I am becoming a little obsessed with yoga. My kids think that I have gone completely crazy.
Until now, it has been more about health and getting in shape for me – not so much the “mind” part. But the other day, my instructor said something that made me think. She spoke about letting things go and being in the moment.
Her advice was to let the past go, not worry about the future, and just be in the here and now so that you can live in peace.
That statement struck a chord with me. I love what she said and would love to be able to do that. I strive towards it, but it is very hard to do.
To live in peace, I need to let the past go. First I need to figure out exactly what that means for me.
You can’t erase your past, and I wouldn’t want to (well most of it anyway). Your past is a large part of what makes you who you are. For one thing, there are so many wonderful memories in the past that I cherish. For another, I wouldn’t be who I am now without things that happened in the past. Experiences, both good and bad, are what help shape you as a person.
That all being said, I am sure that she wasn’t saying to erase your past. I think she meant to let go of bad feelings, hurt, anger, etc. I think I have been trying to do this, although it is not easy. Like most people, I have had experiences that have made me both sad and angry, so negative thoughts are the natural reaction. I have learned that those kinds of feelings are just bad for you. They make you unhealthy, physically as well as mentally.
The best thing to do for yourself is to live your life as happily as you can.
This has taken me years to figure out. Letting things go is not the easiest thing to do, and being happy can be more difficult than it sounds. But I am trying to let the bad part of my past go and I feel like I am finally getting there.
I tend to worry about the future often.
Worrying about the future can also hamper efforts to live in peace. How do you possibly not worry about the future?? There are sooooo many things to worry about!
I worry about the immediate future – getting Amanda’s car fixed, taking Lily to the dr. because her back hurts, little problems at work, fitting all I need to do in the little free time I have, getting a broken toilet fixed…..the list can go on and on.
I also worry about the near future – Amanda getting into the college she wants to go to, Lily getting through a very challenging year at school, getting through the holidays which I hate, etc.
Then there is the distant future – my finances, both girls going to college, eventually moving out of my house, getting old, wrinkles, osteoporosis. This list can truly go on forever.
How can I not worry about all of that?
I really do not have the answer to this. I do try to take one day at a time but my thoughts can’t always help but going towards worrying. I can sometimes block things out, which I do often. Doing this can be good and bad.
Blocking things out can make me appear scattered. I put a lot of things on the back burner which may make me forgetful. I just may need to concentrate on the worries of today, not the worries of tomorrow.
Funny example – the parents of seniors had to do some things for the yearbook – send in a baby picture, pictures with friends when they were younger, and do an ad (put pictures of your child through their life and write something to congratulate them). I believe we received the first email about this in August – it was due in the beginning of October. I read it and put it aside thinking I would deal with it when it got closer. There were other more pertinent things to worry about in August. Some of the parents were worrying and talking about this as soon as the email came out. I was not that parent.
I wish I was the person who did things right away and put them behind me.
Since I am not that person, I need to put it away until I have time to get it done. I have started to figure out how not to turn something like that into a big concern. I have too many other big worries that take precedence.
I do know that when thoughts of the future bother me, I remind myself to stay in the present. And when upset about something in my past, I remind myself that whatever it was is over now and to not hold onto the negative feelings.
This can be very challenging for me. I tend to ruminate and can drive myself crazy. But I know that I have lived the other way for years and it was not good – so much anxiety and stress. Now I am trying try to focus on staying in the here and now because my goal is to live in peace.
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.