Living One Day At A Time
Living one day at a time (ODAAT) is a wonderfully simple concept. But the journey to get there is mentally tough and a process of constant thought shifting.
To live solely in the day you are currently living, never mind the current moment you are experiencing, is a practice in presentness. Letting go of all your preconceived plans. Pausing the hamster wheel of thought and worry about situations real and imagined. Being right where you are without striving to end the day and move on to the next, or reflecting on the past and thinking about how you would have done things differently. You will waste this day of your life if you stay in that mental space. A day you will never get back, and whose potential is squandered by our imaginary mental trips to other moments.
Easy right? Not even close. But as with many things in recovery, the hard work is worth it's weight in gold for the growth and change it brings. Hard does not equal impossible. It is achievable if you want it.
Finding the willingness each and every day to remain teachable and essentially start at square one is an exercise in humility. We do not know it all. We will never be perfect. Each day will bring challenges and rewards great and small. Each situation will be different in one way or another.
Admitting to your innermost self that this day, right now, is given to me to learn and change allows your ego to take a backseat and let you observe through fresh eyes the lessons laid out in front of you. What knowledge about myself can I gain from this? What can I give?
In addition, staying in a place of gratitude makes it easier for us to notice the small things happening around us. Gratitude is the great ego busting tool. The more thankful your heart the less room there is for anger, fear, envy and the like. It is a wonderful way to break your mind out of those theoretical conversations/arguments your plan out, or the "if only" remorse spiral.
Being grateful is not passive. It requires you to pause the rest of your thoughts and be in your skin, right here, right now. It's effects are instant, but temporary. Meaning that you will notice a shift, but it is up to you to recognize each item you drift into worry or planning and do the work necessary to pause and readjust to the present moment you are living.
Just like anything else is life you will fail at this. It is a guarantee. But, the lessons from failures are just as valuable, if not more so, then our successes. You are finding things, and ways of thought that didn't work. Compiling a list of what not to do if you want more growth. What a valuable list!
Though our continued growth in recovery we are able to pass each lesson we learn onto someone. Even if that lesson was learned sloppily, or it took several attempts to glean the teaching the situation held. Our mess becomes our message to others about right living, and being human. (More on that in the next blog.)
In summary, be here now. Stay in gratitude. Remain open to learning and failure, and pass it on.
Till next time,