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How Chasing Forever Steals Our Joy Right Now

Our favorite childhood stories end in “happily ever after”.   We love weddings that promise love until “death do us part”.   We focus on the comfort of knowing that our deepest love and joy will last…well, forever.  Since I’m a romantic by nature, I was a big fan of all this too, until recently.  Now I’ve come to see how living in this “forever” story actually steals our joy from right now – the only moment we truly ever have.

Exploring eastern culture, I’m learning how our desires and attachments cause us to crave more of what we enjoy and avoid anything we don’t.  I see how I have written a story with each pain or loss about how I caused that by being a certain way, and how I vowed to change that aspect of myself (either my own behavior or my choices) so I could avoid that in the future.  Likewise, I did the reverse with happy circumstances to create more of those.  Over time, I got so lost in little and big stories I’d written and modifications I’d made that I wasn’t at all my authentic self.  More ironically, I wasn’t any closer to lasting happiness and I was so wrapped up in my past lessons and future desires that I wasn’t even living in the present at all.  When I looked around, I was surrounded by people doing the same thing.

It’s great to have dreams.  It’s commendable to evolve into better people through the lessons of our lives.  What seems a waste is to lose ourselves, our true selves, in the stories of our past and the desires of our future until we are not living the only moment that matters: right now.  Finding ways to return to the present moment can help us break this cycle and appreciate what we have right now.

Meditation returns us to the present moment and helps us train our chattering minds to take a break.  Slow body movement exercises or dance can bring us back to center.  Nature helps us enjoy the moment in a breeze, the rustle of leaves, the glimpse of a soaring bird.

When we love those we are with right now, give thanks for all our blessings right now, savor even our own pain as a reminder that we are fully and completely alive to feel everything right now, we are living our truth.  The past and the future are just our stories.  Right now is the joy we were trying to create and plan for throughout our distracted past.  Let’s not remain so distracted as to miss it!


Sheryl Sitts, Founder & Chief Inspirational Officer

Journey of Possibilities

Sheryl’s Blog


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