Showing Up for Our Lives

“One life on this earth is all that we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.”

-Frederick Buechner

How do we truly show up for our lives? Show up for ourselves? Show up for each other? Show up for our kids?

How do we make the most of our time while we are here? Having a meaningful life, being present and living life to the fullest moment to moment, right here-right now? Feeling connection with what’s here-ourselves and each other.

I believe the first step is, we have to show up for ourselves, take care of ourselves. If we do this, we are more able to show up and be present for each other.

Here’s the other part, showing up can be difficult. Being present can be difficult. There are things that get in the way and prevent us from being right here. They get in the way of our ability to show up, care for ourselves, and each other.

Things like stress, worry, fear, shame, judgment, insecurity, doubt, pain, and struggle. The constant to do list, being pulled in a million different directions-all things we have to get done in this hour, this day. Sometimes when I am feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and worried my thoughts of judgment can take over. Here are a few: I am not good enough; I can’t handle this; I am the only one going through this. Let’s not forget about the blame, the finger pointing, or the complaining about others.

And then when this all takes over, there can be a resisting, when things don’t feel good, uncomfortable, or unpleasant. Things like avoidance, pushing away, and ignoring can happen. Striving and grasping can also appear. If only I had this or this was this way or I liked that way better. Sometimes I want to run as away from it as possible or hide for that matter.

What I realized is that this gets exhausting. When this happens, I disconnect from what is right here, myself and the people around me because I am stuck in my head.

So perhaps a shift. Instead of pushing away or being alone. All of this is what makes us human. We are all imperfectly human. This is when we need each other most, to offer care to ourselves and each other.

How can we start our day in a way where we welcome everything and show up for our lives?

Each morning we wake up what are we paying attention to? There are many mornings I wake up and I am focused on what is wrong and what needs to be fixed. The what ifs and coulda shouldas take over, living in the past and the future. I would be happier if this happened or it was still this way or if only these things were occurring.

These things take me away from what is right here in front of me. I am swept away from this present moment. The moment I notice that this is happening it is an opportunity for me to pause and acknowledge what is here. This act of paying attention is a choice. We can choose what we pay attention to and how we pay attention to it each and every day.

Once I have acknowledged and allowed myself to feel and take in my experience, I can make a choice to begin my day with gratitude, appreciation, joy, and well-being. There are so many wonderful things going on around us. It can be an essential part of our day to ask ourselves this questions, what is most important and matters most? We can then take as much time as we have an need to pause, reflect, and notice what arises when we ask ourselves this important questions. This isn’t about forcing feelings it is a chance for awareness and perspective.

At some point, each of us has been sent the message to enjoy the simple things in life. When I used to hear this I would brush it off and say to myself this is cheesy or too cliché. As I began to ask myself-what is most important and matters most, I realized that it is the simple things that are most meaningful and precious. I have so much to be grateful for and appreciate.

So, I woke up today. I was able to stand on my own two feet. I was breathing. I was able to take a hot shower and put clothes on my back. I kissed my wife goodbye and saw my kids sleeping safely in their beds. I make a cup of coffee and this was just the first thirty minutes of my day.

What a wonderful life I have. We can have it all, the pain, the joy, the love, and the fear. Each morning we can make a choice of how we go into our day, how we want be with ourselves and the people in our lives. We can all make a choice of how we want to live our lives. When we take care of ourselves, we are showing up for our lives, and each other.

 

 

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