Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rule #10

Sometimes I'm not very good at living in the present. I sure try to be, but when I get stressed out about deadlines or other things that may or may not happen in the near or distant future, I struggle to keep my head in the here and now. This has been one of those weeks. I've been worrying about responsibilities, realities, and relationships, and have been mentally a little miserable.

I worked as staff at a wilderness rehabilitation program for at-risk teens for a few years. When they came into the program they had to memorize 14 rules verbatim, and pass them off with a staff before they could progress in their program. That meant I also had the rules memorized verbatim. It has been almost 5 years since I've recited those rules or heard them recited, but I'm pretty sure I could still recite them for you!

I'll never forget Rule #10: I will not ask questions pertaining to the future. A simple rule, but one of the most questioned and also most learned from. Those kids needed to learn to live in the present! For them, it didn't matter what was going on at home, what their friends were doing, what was happening politically, etc. What mattered was their treatment, and that was where their thoughts needed to be. I loved going into the wilderness every week, leaving everything behind, and living in the present with them! As I did so, I learned the value of living in the present.

The transition from the simplicity of living in the wilderness to the complexity of rejoining the world is a tough one. Rule #10 goes out the window, yet I know the value of living in the present: not worrying so much about what I can't control. Too bad I have to keep relearning this lesson! I am determined to move forward from this week with Rule #10 in mind, focused on the here and now, focused on what I can control, focused on the blessings of each day.