Be Here Now

I don’t often choose a word or a phrase as my word or phrase for a new year.

It seems like an exercise in futility to try to harness a goal or an idea or a theme for a coming year full of unknowns. I guess 53 years of living on this planet of ours has made me hesitant – or cynical – or both. Honestly, sometimes I think I was born this way.

It feels safer to not hope.

I don’t really like this about myself. I don’t revel in it – or maybe I pretend to revel in it, but I do see the flaw – and I know my people see the flaw. #eyeroll

I see how it makes me not a lot of fun to be around at times. I shy away from goals, hopes and dreams, anticipation and even excitement…right up to the moment when I can be certain of whatever the thing is and confident that it all will go according to plan.

I know it’s problematic. Thank God I have a good therapist. She earns every penny I pay her.

But the truth is, I’m not sure this part of me can change this side of heaven.

So I’m trying something.

I chose a phrase for the year 2023 that both fits within my somewhat complicated paradigm and nudges me in the direction of hope.

Be here now.

I think there’s potential in the present moment. In fact, I’m starting to believe that each present moment holds more hope and fulfillment than any planning and goal-setting and anticipation for something in the future can ever give me.

I’ve been practicing this for a while now, so I have a bit of solid data to back up this theory. Plus, loads of research by people way smarter than me seems to point to something healthy about choosing to live in the here and now, even though it goes against the grain of our way of living here in the modern western world.

The here and now is where we are in the best position to do the thing we are meant to be doing. The here and now is full of opportunities for joy and contentment and connection.

The here and now is where my people are, so it’s for sure where I want to be. It’s where my grandbabies come running through my front door and into my arms for a SheShe Day. It’s where my 13yo stretches out his arms for a hug as I walk through the living room where he is playing his video game. It’s where one of my kiddos or a friend or a mama in the midst of great challenges with her children reach out for connection, encouragement and advice. It’s where my children (ages 25, 23, 22 and 13) still gather around and on our bed in the evening when they’re all home to just BE with me.

It’s where my husband faithfully and tirelessly leans in and draws me in to connection.

And it’s where Jesus does exactly the same thing.

The here and now is also where pain finds its way to my awareness. I don’t like this part of it. But the truth is, the pain is there whether or not I am aware of it. And choosing to acknowledge it, embrace it and FEEL it is the kind of presence that allows me to heal from it. And I don’t mean heal from it as in it goes away and doesn’t impact me any longer. That’s not actually the way it works. I mean heal from it as in making peace with its presence in my life.

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