How Living In The Present Helped Me To Take Control Of My Life & Be Who I Wanted To Be
I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. It is sure that planning a wedding can be very stressful. Especially when you have the tendency to be a bit of a control freak like myself? So when everything seems to fall on top of you and you feel weighed down. What do you do? How do you cope?
I remember when I was a pre-teen and how emotionally vulnerable I was. Losing my father to suicide at the age of 12 really screwed up my self esteem and the way I could relate to others my age. I was constantly anxious. Dealing with normal teenage fears of fitting in and finding my independence coupled with the complexities of grief. Was all too much for me to handle.
I was headed down a dark road
To cope I lived in a world of escapism. I was a chronic day dreamer. Reality was just too hard to deal with. So for almost 5 years I created a little world in my head. A future me and a future life that was perfect. Being someone that doesn’t like to burden others, this was in my view, my only other option. I didn’t have to talk about what was really happening and in the process I didn’t have to worry my mum and my family.
It worked for a short time, until one day reality hit me smack bang in the face. I had made myself believe that this little world was real. Or at least was going to be real. I realised it was never going to happen and all hell broke lose. For me I was either constantly stuck an imaginary future or I was in ‘reality’ dealing with the past.
I realised quickly that my coping mechanism wasn’t working and that I was heading down a similar path to my dad. Knock on effect. What was I going to do? I had already been taken to see counsellor after counsellor. I had already gone down the medication route and I didn’t want to continue the way I was going. So my only option left was for me to take control of my own life.
The Power of Now
That was when I started my own course of self-development and I came across the book ‘ The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. A strange and unique look on life but a book that helped to transform me to take hold of my life and be the person I wanted to be.
The Power of Now takes on a buddhist type approaching in say that all worry and fear comes from not living the present moment. When you are constantly thinking and fretting about the past then that is when you live with fear. When you are constantly thinking about the future is when you start to live in worry.
I remember reading it and feeling a little uneasy. It was hard to adjust to what I was so used to. Just when I was about to give up I read a line which said. Do you have a problem right now? I thought Yea, I have bills to pay, I am not what I want to be right now. Blah blah. Then I read again. NO Do you have a problem NOW? At this very instant, at this very second. Look around you and where you are and take in everything. Do you have a problem right now?
Letting go of the constant mind chatter
That was my A’HA moment. No I didn’t. I was sitting in my living room curled up on the sofa comfy and warm. At this very second I didn’t have a problem. It was like a weight lifted from my shoulders and I felt light and fluffy. I felt good.
The book goes on to encourage people not to be consumed by the constant chatter in our minds. Which if you listen carefully is often stuck in the past or in the future. But to stop thinking and emerge yourself in the present moment.
This book literally saved me from having a full on mental breakdown and gave me the courage to take hold of my life and be better than I was. There are always times when I get caught up with life and stress, fear and worry take hold of me. But when it gets tough I ask myself. Do I have a problem right NOW?
If you suffer from anxiety, depression, fear or worry which most of us do. I highly recommend you give this book a chance. Check out my post for Simple and Easy ways to de-Stress.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links