The idea of “One Day at a Time” was new to me. I always had to protect myself from past harms and was very focused on how to be safe. I did not know that I was reliving the past repeatedly and reacting to those old situations. As I worked through the principles presented in my first columns, I was able to leave my history behind, one fear at a time. In addition, I could release my resentments, as I was no longer the little 5 year old throwing a temper tantrum that life did not go my way.
As I let go of my past negative thoughts and actions that had been recreating my going around on the hamster wheel, I could now move off the old rotation and into the present time. This frees me not to carry the burdens of the earlier experiences. My head can clear of those messages that kept me reacting as if I was still in the old predicaments.
The emotional damage from punishment was severely ingrained for not getting the chores done as directed. I was beaten, humiliated, and shamed for not measuring up to my stepfather’s standards and requirements. Therefore, I acted in extremes to be perfect to escape his chastisement. However, there was always another predicament and price to pay. This kept me a victim and always vigilant trying to stay safe. It felt like I was always in a war zone. Focusing on the past for me was about survival.
At the same time, I had a huge worry about the future, especially, my financial security. My fear of not having money began at the age of three. My mother and real father fought every night, and I felt abandoned and without any security in my life. How would I get money for food? If they were not there for me, how would I eat? This fear followed me throughout my life until recently.
My mother was raised in the Great Depression in the United States. She taught me the fear of financial insecurity well. I was to keep my meager amount of money from birthday gifts in the bank until a rainy day. I kept track of every penny I had or spent. That was the rule. I never had an allowance to blow on myself. If I did not buy a souvenir on a vacation, that was considered a good choice. Even in my marriage, I wrote down every penny spent for the family. To spend money on me meant I might not have the food I would need in my future.
Therefore, coming to terms that they were sick people and I do not have to follow their demands anymore became freeing. It became essential to release the past and the future so I could live in the NOW—One Day at a Time. In my earlier years, I was never in reality. Accepting that the past cannot be redone, improved, or changed. I can replace the old messages and fire those voices in my head. I can make my own rules and give myself approval for my actions. This meant moving beyond my childish endurance. I cannot pray for a better past. It is over.
The past was a fantasy that no longer existed. My worries about the future were unrealistic hope or figments of my imagination. I so much wanted to have everyone get along and treat me decently. My prayers for a happy family were not going to happen. That daydream never came true. I have to create my happiness and not depend on them to make me happy or provide my needs.
Living in the present time is a novel idea. Reality is in the moment to moment. Life is only right now. I have a roof over my head, food for the next meal, a car to get me to my activities. How I handle my life right now builds my future. If I offer loving help, listen to someone, or do a kindness for someone, it will come back to me. When I drive a friend to the grocery store or contribute my time or money to a good cause, I am creating my potential.
As an adult, I see where I can contribute to others. Instead of a love taker, I became a love giver. My future becomes caring, kindness, and being helpful. I build my own future by how I respond in love now. What I give away returns as abundance.
Now, it is possible to make good choices. I no longer react from the past and am acting in loving ways. I make amends where it is appropriate to right my side of the street and trust the universe to give me direction and guidance for my life. The ego is no longer running my show, I am.
I just do the next right indicated thing as I move through the day. This is the secret for being in reality. Now I can be fully engaged in what is happening around me: the sights, smells, sounds, the people, things, and the ideas that occur. When I learn to value each day, using it wisely, and fully, I need not react when it ebbs into yesterdays, nor waste it by projecting my thoughts into tomorrows.
Living one day at a time allows me to brush away my previous days, to let go of my dread of tomorrow, and get on with my life, now. I seize today, put it in order, and fully make it my own. I take time to stop and smell the roses, and take my life One Day at a Time. I am happy in reality.
Today I Will:
- Slow down
- Enjoy the flowers
- Be kind to others and myself
- Remember everything is OK.
- Reduce my expectations
- Increase my laughter
- Be less sensitive
- Hug my lover
- Not over react
- Meet all events with confidence
- Release the past
- Enjoy the quality of life’s journey
I share my experience and strength hoping t it will enrich your life.
Web site is Angelicasgifts.com
Blog is marilynredmondbooks.blogspot.com
Lectures, interviews, and spiritual information on You Tube at