The phrase ‘just live in the moment’ had become so overused that it’s starting to sound trite; but learning to take things one moment at a time can be really helpful. I’ve always found it difficult to have confidence that I am strong enough to cope with my delusions, and thinking about this has really helped. Here’s how:
When you think about all the problems you are going to encounter in the future (even if you’re not being a drama-queen about it, we can still guarantee a lot of challenges), it is easy to feel like that future is pressing down on us, a huge mountain that we have to climb. How will I ever reach the top?
But we don’t need to think about reaching the summit: we just need to think about taking one step. In this moment, that one step is all we have to take. In the next moment, we’ll take another; the summit will get closer one step at a time.
This is actually quite profound: it means that all I need to be able to cope with is what I’m experiencing right now – and I am strong enough for that. Why? Because it will be over in a moment. We will never have to experience all those future problems all at one time: this can’t happen. That mountain will never crush us because it’s made up of lots of tiny parts. We only constructed the mountain in our imagination. If we take things one moment at a time, then at that moment, we will be strong enough.
For example, say you develop cancer: that seems like something to get stressed about. But, how much of the suffering you’re experiencing is actually happening in that moment, and how much is you worrying about all the future moments of pain, the possibility of surgery, and so forth? If we could let go of all those future moments – which may or may not occur – then the suffering that remains in this moment seems relatively small by comparison. No more than we can cope with right now. And by coping with this moment, we have some strength of mind and confidence to deal with the next moment, the next day … the rest of our life. One moment at a time.