Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Friday, October 2, 2020

In the Moment

Have you ever been in a situation in your life where you thought that if things just changed you would be happy?

I know this happens, not just to us addicts and alcoholics, but to the world at large. If I just get this job I'll be happy. If I just find the love of my life then I'll be happy. This new car or new house will complete my life. Or if I get to go on this vacation everything will be just fine.

But don't you see the problem here? If are always in this mode of sitting around and waiting for the next good thing to happen then our life is always on hold.

Because, if we're always sitting and waiting for the next best thing then as soon as we get it how long are we going to enjoy it? The new car starts getting a few dings in it and trash in the back seat. Pretty soon it's a year old and one of the neighbors has bought a newer model or more expensive car and all of a sudden your love affair with your new car is over. It wasn't quite the fix you thought it would be.

Same with finding the love of your life. The first six months are a honeymoon. A love affair out of a movie. But then we start seeing that the person we love is just another ordinary human being with all the faults and character defects other human beings have.

And maybe that vacation that we fantasize about and were saving money for wasn't all that great. Maybe it rained. Maybe you lost your luggage. Maybe you missed your flight. In any case the memories you return home with weren't very memorable in a positive way.

The point is if we live our lives with the idea that we'll really be happy when we arrive at the next best thing, the next goal or amount of money or job or whatever we're seeking then we aren't living our life in the moment or living our life today. We're living in suspended animation as the minutes and hours and days pass by with us waiting for what we think will make us happy.

But the reality is that nothing will make us happy if that's the way we travel. Because happiness only happens in this moment, not in the future. So the remedy is to keep focused on here and now because this little slice of time is all that God has given us and all that we can count on. It's impossible to be happy in the future today. And it's such a waste of the precious moments we have on this planet.

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