Present Presence

There was quite a scene at my house. The shoes cluttered the floor – lots of pairs in lots of different areas.  The clothes were all over the bathroom & long hair seemed to cover every surface. My daughter was home, staying with me in between apartments for about 2 weeks.  Boxes of all sizes were stacked in my living room & I didn’t mind any of it. The little things that used to drive me crazy are now actually heart-warming & appreciated.

Though her stuff cluttered my living room, her bathroom was a mess & her clothes were all over the place, her energy filled the air & her presence made me happy. The things I used to prioritize as a parent were suddenly irrelevant & unimportant. I’ve learned to focus on what really matters.  I have new perspective & I am glad for the little things now.

It’s a happy time for her and she’s at such a pivotal point in her life.  I love talking with her, spending time with her, and listening to her excitedly share.  I loved every minute of those days when she was back (Ok… well maybe not EVERY minute, but most of them for sure!)

I knew her time was limited back at home so I was surprised by my reaction when she got the call that the apartment was ready.  Somehow I wasn’t quite ready to let go.  The news struck me & tears seemed to flow… and flow!

Her room is empty again. Her shoes have been cleaned up & all of her long hair has been swept up off the floor & out of the bathroom sink. She’s only a 20 minute drive away but my heart can’t seem to digest that quite yet. I miss her presence.

My mind & heart were filled with memories of the past – the mistakes I made as her mom, the things I wish I had done differently, the distractions I had & the things I wish I hadn’t focused so much on. Suddenly I found myself wanting a re-do. I wanted time back so I could have  second shot at really getting it right. My heart was filled with some regret as I wish I had been able to parent her with what I know now rather than just shooting in the dark hoping I’m getting it right.

Then I find myself flying into the future. Will she be ok? Will the world be a safe place for her? Will she find love in her life & in her career? All of a sudden, I’m 10 years out trying to predict the future, asking questions I could never know the answer to.

I can be plagued by thinking too much which directly leads to feeling too much. My mind makes weird attempts at time travel which don’t always serve me well.  I can get lost in 20 years ago & then just as quickly, project 20 years into the future. I have to practice keeping my head & my feet in the same moment.

I’ve learned to bring myself back to today to ground myself in the present moment. When I do, I realize everything is alright. Typically, things are actually really good.  The time travel too far into future or too far into the past gets me anxious, worried, & regretful.  I can’t predict the future & I can’t change the past so why not stay right here & deal with the present?

Dealing with what is, is so much more powerful & effective then dealing with what might have been or what might come to be.  I want to be present in the presence of this moment, that’s where my power lies – the power to make a decision, change a behavior, make a call, be kind, or to seize an opportunity.  The power lies in recognizing the power of this very moment.