Our life is precious. Every moment of our life is precious. We will never be able to relive any moment again.
Yet we spend a lot of our life, wishing it away.
We spend so much of our time thinking, “Once this is finished, then I can enjoy myself” or “When this happens, then I would be happy.” “Once I get out of this traffic, I will be able to relax” or “After I finish this assignment, I can stop stressing.”
How about those mornings when you wake up dreading the day ahead, and just wishing that it’ll be over with so you can get back into bed, or come home to a quiet night?
Even on vacations, in the midst of the beautiful scenery that you drove hours for, is your mind there or thinking of the next stop? Perhaps your mind has already left the vacation and returned back to work, consumed in thinking of all the chores back at home or your job that needs doing?
When having a meal, are you there tasting the food in your mouth, or are you craving for the next bite even before you finish what’s in your mouth?
How often are you waiting for something to happen, thinking that happiness is there, only to get there and immediately take off in your mind to the next destination?
In essence, each time our mind darts toward the future, we are not here with what is happening in this moment. Our minds can’t stay with the present because it is not content with it, wanting to rid it for something else.
Alternatively, our minds may dart in the other direction, ruminating on what has already happened, getting stuck in the thickets of past memories that has already been lost in time.
Whether our thoughts of the past or future are pleasant or unpleasant, we are not truly here to appreciate the present, wishing it away for the fantasies of a past and future that is already gone or not yet arrived.
However, these bubbles of memories and future plans give us no real joy compared to the power of truly living this present moment.
To give you an example, I invite you to reflect on the times in your life when you were most happy.
See clearly in your mind that moment or those moments.
It may be when you graduated; got married; spent time with your loved ones; played with your children or grandchildren.
Were those moments memorable because you were thinking of the past or future? Or were those times memorable because you were truly living and enjoying what was happening and who you were with?
Sometimes people may recall to mind simple everyday moments. You may spend time with your loved ones every day, but some days, it seems there is a different quality to that interaction. You may walk a particular path everyday, but I encourage you to take that same walk next time but enjoy that walk fully as if you can never relive that moment again. Because in truth, you can’t.
When we realise the preciousness of each moment, we can develop a deep appreciation for our every moment, to live each moment fully and completely, to meet everything with honour and wonder – from a loved one to an insect crawling on the ground to the birds chirping in the trees to the sway of the clouds above.
When we slow down and take the time to be here, we start to see the depth and detail of everything – even an ant can be fascinating, let alone the ever changing nature that envelopes us every day. We start to develop deeper connections in our relationships with others – even a moment’s contact with a stranger can be filled with genuineness and humanity. As we start to interact with the world in this way, we see how everything and everyone has so much to share with us. We are humbled, and we come to see our place in this interconnected world.
When we start living our life, not in our heads or through screens, our life will open itself in ways that we can’t imagine. For truly, when we do, there is no room for imagination because every wonder that we can possibly conjure up in our minds has already manifested before us.
Life is precious. Every moment of your life is precious.
May this new year bring you the fullness of life, in every precious moment.
Note: The fire ant shown in the picture on this page has been dubbed the “Dancing Ant” taken by Robertus Agung Sudiatmokos with macro lens in the small village at Cibinong, Indonesia. I wasn’t kidding when I said ants can be fascinating creatures.