Or maybe that was just me.
There was something in the complete stillness that settled the chaos inside I’d been feeling. I meandered among the trees illuminated with the white of the falling snow, yet standing skeletal against the darkness of the night sky and admired how they sequester themselves away every winter to do the inner work needed to make them bloom again. How they don’t force it but allow it to happen naturally, in due time.
If you have to force something, it either isn’t the right time or it wasn’t meant for you.
Took me a long time to realize this. I had confused force with dogged determination, tenacity with bone-headed stubbornness, far too many times. I had forced myself to get over things; forced myself to accept things I didn’t want or just wasn’t ready to. Forced myself to do things I knew on some level wouldn’t be aligned with my truth or purpose but convinced myself I had to because of a myriad of reasons, none of which good. I’ve also forced myself to stop when I knew I needed to keep going. Forced myself into situations because I felt like I was required to participate. Honestly, it feels like I’ve forced much of my life up to this very moment.
Contemplative, I continued through the woods.
I am as tired of thinking of all my yesterdays as I am worrying about all my tomorrows.
I came upon a giant, towering pine tree and found that I could stand underneath its aromatic boughs, protected somewhat from the snow, for a bit. Leaning against it I gazed back on the way I had come, seeing the warm lights of home shining in the darkness. Standing there, breathing in the strong scent of winter mixed with pine, I felt a truth break loose within my belly and travel to my consciousness. I smiled once it formed in my mind and knew without a doubt it was the biggest piece, at the moment, missing from the puzzle of my life.
The truth: All that matters is who you are in this moment.
All your yesterdays may be part of your story and all your tomorrows will be a continuation on from now but the only thing, the only thing that matters is who you are in this moment.
I left the shelter of the tree and wandered some more, letting this new truth rattle around in my mind a bit. It resonated. I found some of the pressure I had built up inside, lessen a bit.
Who I’ve been no longer matters because of who I have become. Who I will be doesn’t matter because there are so many missing pieces I haven’t discovered yet. Realizing this, I felt more pressure release. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the possible contingencies that tomorrow could bring, most of which may never happen and easy to continually manifest the past because it is our known, that we blend both past and future together in our mind, and frankly, it’s just too much.
All that matters is this moment in our lives and who we are within it.
If you’re only focusing on where you go from each moment to the next, your mind will be in a much calmer, clearer state to make the best decisions for you. Plus, it makes living far more manageable. Think of it as a puzzle. When you first open the box, there are thousands of small pieces that on their own are meaningless. But start placing one piece at a time, searching for the perfect fit, and before you know it, it all comes together to form a beautiful picture.
Those pieces are your moments. The picture, your life.
You can’t force pieces together. If it doesn’t belong, it won’t fit. If it does, it will come together seamlessly, and you will feel that click inside your soul telling you so. Doesn’t matter where you’ve been. Doesn’t matter who you were. The only thing that matters is the moment and the current piece you are working on.
For me, my moments lately have been nothing short of trying to be and do - everything at once. It’s like I picked up two fistfuls of puzzle pieces and attempted to jam them all together. Didn’t work. Wasn’t natural. I’ve been trying to make up for lost time because I was letting the past fuel me, and I didn’t appreciate my motivations. Attempting to make the future come way sooner than it was supposed to because I feel on a deep level that I have an immense amount of time to make up for. Formative years I spent living a life dictated by someone else, for someone else and not spent creating my life.
I just have to remember-
No one stays stuck forever.
Life doesn’t seem nearly as overwhelming as it did before my walk through the snow. I laughed as I caught snowflakes on my tongue as I made my way home, my steps feeling much lighter. Once you realize the only thing that matters is who you are in this moment, it frees you from the past and encourages you towards the future. It relieves some of the pressure, helping you to center yourself, free from the bonds of a past you can’t change and a future waiting for the culmination of your moments to bloom into a world you dreamed and worked hard to create.
All that matters is who you are, in this moment.