The Cowboy and I were driving through the mountains on a day trip to the lake and as we talked we realized that as of this the fall we will have been together 9 years.
“Wow” he says. “It doesn’t feel like nine years. How do you think we keep our relationship so fresh?”
Me: “Because we both know it’s not forever.”
Sideways glance and lifted eyebrow from handsome over there in the driver seat.
So I continue. “It’s not forever because one day one of us is not going to be here. Death is inevitable and one of us could become ill and not be who we are now. Every moment things change. We age, our children age, cells multiply, divide, die-off, who we were a moment ago is not who we are now. And I don’t take you or what we have together for granted because I know that.”
…the joys of being in a relationship with a life and relationship coach…the answers tend to be deep, philosophical and sometimes radical…
“Umph…that really makes me think. That is really true, isn’t it?”
And it really is.
There are no repeats. Yes Thursday comes around every week but this Thursday is not an exact replica of last Thursday. Even if you go through the same routine and to the same places every Thursday, it is not a repeat. You do not encounter everything exactly the way you did last Thursday. You are in a different frame of mind, a different mood, the people you interact with are also in a different frame of mind and mood, they may be different people all together. The weather is different, where the sun sits in the sky and the moon rises at night is different, everyone you know including you is one week older. You know things this Thursday you didn’t know last Thursday and things that were on your mind last Thursday are long forgotten now.
As much as we feel life is one big wash, rinse, repeat cycle…it isn’t.
Every moment is a new moment, never to be repeated again. And when we take these moments for granted we lose days, weeks and years of our life and relationships.
There is no such thing as Forever. And that is essential to know if you are to LIVE A LIFE YOU LOVE THAT LOVES YOU BACK. If you are in a situation that doesn’t feel good, that doesn’t serve you, then knowing there is no such thing as forever gives you the perspective to make change. And if you are experiencing a situation or relationship that feels good and serves and uplifts you then knowing there is no such thing as forever helps you to savor it, appreciate it and squeeze every drop of divine decadence out of it.
All there is – is NOW. That is ALL we really have. Nothing else lasts. Possessions, cars, homes – they come and go and in the end always go. They wear out, break, are traded, sold, given away, burn down, are lost, eventually downsized and in the end we can’t take them with us. Careers end, relationships end, people leave, move away, grow up, outgrow each other, pass on.
Nothing is forever.
The only thing we really have is NOW – this moment. Are you living this moment like you know that?
Three Keys to Making the MOST of NOW to Stop Taking Your Life & Relationship for Granted
1. Remind Yourself There is No Such Thing as Forever – Forever does not exist. ALL we ever have is NOW. Jump on in! This is where all the livin’ and lovin’ happens!
2. Don’t Let NOW Overwhelm You – Years ago I read a magazine interview of Julianna Margulies star of The Good Wife – one of my favorite SPs (Spicy Indulgences) – and she was talking about the best advice she ever received. It came from her mother. At one particular time in her career when she was overwhelmed and trying to make a choice about continuing her acclaimed role as nurse Carol Hathaway on the TV series ER her mother said to her “This is only one moment in your life, not your whole life.” This stuck with me because when we are in a moment that feels like it is a make-or-break moment this advice puts it all into perspective and takes the overwhelm out of the equation. Its one moment. And we can always handle one moment.
3. Make Your Practice of Living in the NOW Easy – Eckhart Tolle wrote a whole book on living in the present called The Power of NOW and while it is a fantastic and insightful book, you can very simply bring yourself into the present moment by (1) Taking a deep slow breath (2) Engaging your senses – notice the colors in your surroundings, the sounds, feel of the wind in your hair or your clothes on your skin, the aromas around you – Welcome to the moment!
Now I want to hear from you in the comments below. How do you remind yourself not to take life and your relationships for granted? How do you bring yourself back into the NOW? Have you ever taken your life or relationship for granted and what did you learn from that experience?