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Find Peace Today: Stop Worrying About What You Might Lose

Present Moment

“The whole life of a man is but a point in time; let us enjoy it.” ~ Plutarch

Take a moment to think about the last time you stared up into a clear night sky, one that was gorged with stars and seemed to go on forever—one where the longer you stared, the more depth appeared.

How did you feel in that moment? Did you feel calm? Scared? Alone? Completely content? Did you wish you could stay in that moment forever?

Skies like that give me an incredible sense of peace and remind me to breathe deeply and contemplate how our lives are simultaneously overwhelmingly vast and incredibly finite.

Over the years, I have struggled with allowing people to get close to me for fear of losing them the way I had lost so many before.

After an adoption, the unexpected death of my adopted mother, my best friend, several family members, and the smattering of broken relationships, I built a solid wall against anyone who looked like they wanted to be near me.

I finally came to terms with the fact that in the end, most people who come into our lives will leave in some way or another—sometimes by choice and sometimes not, but their presence is what matters, not their absence.

What’s important is realizing that each moment we have with those we love is of infinite value, and we must enjoy the time we have with them while we have it instead of being so afraid we’ll lose them that we’re never really with them even when they are here.

If we’re so engulfed in the potential for loss, we’ll not only miss the lessons each experience can bring to our lives, but the joy it has to offer. Our happiness will sit in front of us waiting for us to recognize its face and we’ll look past it like a stranger.

People spend an exorbitant amount of time, energy, and resources on attempting to hold back aging as it is a reminder of our mortality. It reminds us that there is no permanence, so we frantically fight to find ways to extend the length of our lives, but how many focus on deepening the quality?

Why not slow down and realize we are immortal only in the moment we are in—this moment we inhabit contains our entire past and all of our potential and possibility for the future that may or may not arrive.

Let’s fill this time we have now with all that we are instead of fighting for more and never actually doing anything with it. It’s like collecting a bunch of empty jars but never putting anything in them. 

I know it can be terrifying to let go and be present in the moment because we think we have to control everything; we have to be prepared for loss, for disappointment, for heartache. We don’t want it to creep up and take us by surprise, but here’s the thing: no matter what we do to prepare, we’ll never be ready for it when it comes.

The best we can do is fully embrace the only thing we know to be certain, and that is the current moment we inhabit. This very second as you’re reading these words, you know that you are alive.

And no matter what’s going on in your life, your life is a miracle. Right. This. Second. Your living is an amazing orchestration of a billion and one complex systems that enables you to breathe, to think, to have a heartbeat, to learn, to grow, and to love.

It’s hard to not fear losing others. It’s hard to not fear losing ourselves, but fear is what drives away our peace, joy, and love.

Learning to retrain our thoughts so we don’t dwell on our fear of the unknown future and grounding into the present will help us shift our focus from loss to abundance.

When we focus on loss, it feels as though we’re always lacking and we worry we’ll lose what we have. When we focus on abundance, we recognize that our lives are full and we cultivate the faith that each moment we’re alive, we will have what we need.

Additionally, when we focus on abundance, a sense of gratitude seems to naturally follow. How could we recognize how full our lives are and not be grateful?

When we are grateful for the moment we are in, we will find our lives are long enough—no matter how many years they contain.

Photo by pdam2

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About Haiku Kwon

Haiku Kwon is an avid wanderluster who has been a barista, bartender, logistics specialist, yoga instructor, and counselor in her different lives that have taken her all over the world. She has yet to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. You can follow her story at Life's A Risk... And I'm All In. She would love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • Leanne

    This really meant something to me. I am going to print this out and display it prominently. I have had 4 different kinds of cancer. My health is pretty good right now. Every day is a blessing. I like the last sentence….”When we are grateful for the moment we are in, we will find our lives are long enough—no matter how many years they contain.” I pray that is true…I want to make it true!

  • Alexey Sunly

    :P

  • http://profiles.google.com/semayawi.toadcottage Beth Gallagher

    Leanne, peace to your heart from mine. You’re so right about each day being a blessing, and each moment a miracle. Sending love and peace your way.

  • http://profiles.google.com/semayawi.toadcottage Beth Gallagher

    How very true and especially poignant for me at this moment. I have spent all morning struggling with the thought of losing a very dear friend, and this arrived at just the right moment. Thank you!

  • Haiku

    Hi Beth- my heart goes out to you. I know losing someone close is never easy. Wishing you peace and joy~

  • Haiku

    Leanne- remember to breathe and know that you have the strength you need to give each and every moment of your life infinite depth. Sending you love and light. <3

  • Amna

    I knew if I went on tinybuddha today, I’ll come across the exact message I need to hear. Thank you for this. The fear of potential loss runs very deep but embracing the present moment is the right tonic for it.

  • lv2terp

    Truly inspiring post!!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom :) I love the part when you say “It’s hard to not fear losing others. It’s hard to not fear losing
    ourselves, but fear is what drives away our peace, joy, and love”….beautiful! :)

  • Haiku

    Thank you for reading! :)

  • Haiku

    “The fear of potential loss runs very deep…” so true, but when we learn to accept that “potential” isn’t “now” and that now is all we really have, we learn to live fully and be grateful instead of fearful.

  • http://simpleworksorganzing.com/ Simple Works Organizing

    The thought of “potential” is suffering. The end of thought is “now”.

    The thought of “peace” is suffering. The end of thought is “peace”.

    Mind bending

  • http://urbanspiritual.org/ Terence Stone

    Beautiful words. Yes, all is impermanence. We spend far too much time holding onto time gone by and worrying about what’s to come. But truly, the past is gone and the future never comes. All we ever have is this moment–good, bad, or in between. When we embrace what is, we are on the path to liberation from fear. Thanks for sharing.

    ts
    http://urbanspiritual.org/

  • Haiku

    “When we embrace what is, we are on the path to liberation from fear.” So true.

  • Gary

    When I read this post it made me want to cry, my whole life has mirrored this, losing a mother and a brother at tender ages. Most of my relationships have ended with the other partner leaving. It’s hard to find a meaning and what your higher purpose in life is. I will keep trying and hopefully one day find that inner peace. Thanks for the post.

  • Amanda

    I absolutely love this statement:
    “..their presence is what matters, not their absence.”
    It really struck me in all its simplicity.

  • Haiku

    Hi Amanda :) Amazing how those simple things can be the most profound… it took me YEARS to finally realize that… when I did, I found a lot more peace.

  • Haiku

    Hi Gary- thank you for reading. Remember to breathe deep and focus on the things that bring you joy; even if they seem small and insignificant. I’ve learned that gratitude brings a great deal of peace because we focus less on what we think we lack and more on what we have… a lesson I’m still working on.