Many of us rarely think about our lives in the present. That’s because we often go about our days with memories of the past or expectations of the future influencing our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. So being truly thankful for where we are in this moment – grateful for all the blessings right here, right now – is a monumental task.
The holiday season between Thanksgiving and the first of the new year can be difficult for many of us. Memories of long-gone holiday traditions, joyous celebrations, and familiar faces, now vacant from our reality, haunt our current existence causing us to struggle to maintain any semblance of positivity.
Being thankful for where we are in the present is a challenging concept to adopt. Many often find themselves trapped in the pages of their past experiences while naively expecting our present-day circumstances to somehow replicate the feelings of gaiety we once were so privileged to be a part of.
The difficulty with being thankful for where we are and not where we’ve been or where we’re going is often our present-day existence falls short of our previous experiences and hopes for a more promising future.
I admit my own guilt at times for not fully embracing, or should I say appreciating, the life I’m presently living. At times, all I can see are the voids left by the incredible souls who’ve graced my life with their irreplaceable presence.
They were selfless, compassionate, attentive, cheerful, supportive, grateful, modest, and unwavering in their affection. But when the audience you currently find yourself encircled by practices self-serving and materialistic behaviors, that void can become all-consuming.
Holistic wealth is the practice of collecting experiences (as opposed to just money). In her book Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity, and Happiness, author Keisha Blair writes, “Consider that the path you were once on was meant to end when it did. Obsessing about plans lost or changed is a barrier to holistic wealth because it keeps you stuck in the past and unable to move forward.”
If there’s one guarantee in life, change is inevitable. One of the most significant challenges we as a human race continually struggle with is accepting when something is over. We try so desperately to hang on to past experiences and relationships that will never be again, which, as Blair writes, makes us unable to move forward.
Memories are essential to our lives as they chronicle where we’ve been and establish our legacy. But memories can also hold you prisoner compared to past and present experiences, causing you to miss the opportunities and possibilities right before you.
The past cannot be replicated and striving for that impossibility guarantees disappointment and melancholy. Our current existence may not be exactly what we expected, planned, or wished for, but there are still excellent reasons to be thankful for where we are.