Today Is The Best Place To Be
“And God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it. You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known. Yesterday is dead and over. Wrapped in grace. Those days are grace. You are still alive, and today is the most interesting day. Today is the best place to live.”
I came across this quote while reading Jamie’s book entitled, If You Feel Too Much. I read all of his thought provoking and intentionally kind words written in his book, yet this one seems to stick out a lot in my mind. It reminds me of one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years; to live your life during the day you are in at this moment, frequently known as today.
I read somewhere that depression is ruminating over the past while anxiety is the fear of the future. And when you have both, our views on the pasts and our futures are in competition with each other. The way my mind sees these time frames is warped and confusing. I believe that my past self wants me to move forward as my future self wants me to stay in the past. There are so many different ways to interpret that one sentence, but I guess in my mind, it’s so very complicated yet so very simple.
It means that when I think about the past, my mind may go to the negative moments displaying my shortcomings and mistakes or the sweet moments I’ve had in the past, usually with people that aren’t in my life anymore for various reasons. Either way, that mindset during my times of reflecting on my past typically lead to sadness; I may beat myself up mentally over what I should have, could have or would have done if I could go back and do it over again. Or I find myself ruminating on relationships of any kind that have been lost over time or have fallen by the wayside, which then leads to me missing the person and making me more sad.
So as I think and overthink about the past, a huge part of me wants to move forward and leave all of the sadness and negativity behind. But then there’s a flip side to all of it. As I think about the future, I often imagine scary big steps that need to be taken in order for it to be successful. However usually I end up with the hope of wishing that tomorrow will be like the positive yesterdays that have happened already. The good yesterdays and even the bad ones are both easier for me to picture myself reliving with the simple logic of the comfort in familiarity. A part of me would rather face all of the tomorrows with the longing of the occurrences being similar to yesterday. All the yesterdays have already happened, so knowing how it feels and what to do brings a sense of comfort to my mind, almost as if I know what is coming next. With the future, everything is unknown. Predictable at times, but overall unknown.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard the words “stay in the moment”, I would be swimming in an unlimited supply of dollar bills. At first, that phrase helped me start to think about the purpose of life itself. Then it got old and really annoying. I guess Jamie simply rearranged the words to call his own in an effort to convey the same message. In his theme, today is the only day that matters. The things we do today will affect all of the tomorrows yet to come. Nothing can change the past, however we have the power in our minds to reframe our ways of thinking, viewing and reflecting on what has happened to us in all of the yesterdays that are behind us.
Then I step back and think, if I live every tomorrow with the same mindset that I had yesterday, nothing would change. And many of my yesterdays have been spent sad, lonely, angry and discouraged. After many days of thinking and long nights of over thinking, I’ve been wanting for things to change. When you have a mental illness, sometimes it’s hard to find the determination, but more so the motivation, to get up every morning and keep moving forward. Many mornings I find myself not wanting to get out of bed with the ever present fear of failure and not feeling good enough. I am not alone in these feelings; I figured that out along my travels of 20 hospitals and programs.
So I guess at the beginning and end of every day, the challenge is to find that motivating factor that keeps you going throughout today and every day. Finding that one thing that makes you want to get out of bed is never easy, it doesn’t come naturally at first and it can take a very long time. And at the same time, it is so worth it. It is so worth finding because once you have discovered what your heart beats for, you’ll never want to let go of whatever gives you motivation because that is what will make you excited for all of the tomorrows yet to come.