Written by Heather Riggleman
I’ve never felt more alive than in this current moment. It’s nearing the end of the year–November 29th, in fact. A mere 33 days left before this year gives way to the next, leaving some of us to wonder where the time went. I realized something last week, how dead in the moment I’ve become. Aimlessly searching for happiness in the next big thing. Rushing, instead of relishing each moment, each day on my journey to the end of my lifetime.
During a coffee date with a friend of mine, we sipped on holiday lattes, savoring the taste of cream and coffee beans while talking about our lives. We chatted about the cold air moving in, about our kids–how quickly they seem to grow and the cockiness that comes with age. Still we chatted a few minutes more about life when she had commented about getting her priorities straight and living for what’s important. After all we are giving a mere 60 to 80 years, why are we in such a hurry if life is just a wisp?
I don’t know if it was the expression on her face or the explicable joy radiating from her voice. Maybe it was the spark in her eyes or peace of contentment in her confidence. Whatever it was, it drew me in and landed on my heart with full attention. Cindy’s approach to life struck a chord deep within, convicting me of the way I had been living instead of being fully present, the hear and now. Maybe you’ve been there too?
Maybe that’s why the title caught your eye. We’ve fallen prey to the influence of what happiness and contentedness is supposed to look like. You think you’ll find it in the next best thing in the latest craze, cup of coffee (Have you heard of Starbucks $7,00 cup of coffee?), life event , Iphone or dress.
Today we hear a philosophy of happiness that’s actually been training us for a long time not to be happy. It says there’s always something else, something more, some additional requirement we need to really enjoy life the way it was meant to be enjoyed. So the advertisements bombard us with suggestions dripping with recommendations intended to whet our appetites and tantalize our taste buds encouraging us to get rid of the old and acquire the new, to be dissatisfied with what we already have. (Priscilla Shrirer).
If you’re single, then you’re feeling left out of the security of marriage.
If you’re married, you need to spice it up with others.
If you have an apartment, you ought to have a house.
If you’ve got a house, then it’s time to get a bigger one.
If you’re overweight, then you need to diet.
If you’re thin, you need to be thinner than her.
But what if….what if I could accept being fully present in the here and now? To drink in all of today’s worth? To hold steady in the moment with my kids? What if I could taste today and not worry about the obligations of tomorrow? What if contentment is a learned art of looking at life in black and white–maybe then we can choose contentment Maybe then, you and I both can breath deep in the fullness of confidence we have everything we need, knowing that today only comes around once–it’s best to embrace the moment we’re given and live life for what it is.
As I sit here staring the screen, reality of my words set in. My husband walks through the door–sick. The kids are fighting over which DVD to play, the house is cluttered and cramped, and I intend to be fully present in every moment.