Every Day is the Only Day We Have
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
We all want to feel better. There are billion dollar industries built around this basic human need. But there are some moments in life where you need help just to feel normal - times of illness, or loss, financial issues, family problems, overwhelm, divorce, addiction.... the list could go on. The thing about crisis is that it makes you appreciate the small things. It makes you realize what is really important. You are forced to focus on whatever will lift you up, even if it is just for a minute, even if it is just a warm pair of socks. What if you didn't wait for a crisis to be conscious of how miraculous every second really is? This is what I am calling "everydayism."***
I am not a "glass half full" person. So I am not here to blow sunshine, so to speak. In fact, this blog is not even about "happiness." It is about truth. The truth is that there is a finite number of mornings that you will wake up. There is a certain number of breaths you will take, and a number of times your heart will beat. Think about all the people who mean something to you in your life right now. There is a finite number of days that they will all be here with you. Today is the only day you have. Indeed, it is the only day that exists. All other days are only real in your mind. Yet we do not live from this truth.
My purpose here is to write about small things that might help us connect to truth, things that might help us love the life we have, and the person we are, and things that might give us a few moments of peace when we need it the most. It is to reflect on things that might help us remain in the awareness of the honor of being alive. It is said that you always have something to be grateful for, even if it is just the fact that you are breathing. Imagine if that was the bar we set for feeling good.
I know that this is not easy. We are not trained to think this way. We are trained to prioritize all the things that we see as wrong in our day so that we can fix or improve those things. (Living like this is torture, by the way, speaking from experience.) There are also things that can overwhelm us in life to a point where any advice seems empty at best, insensitive at worst. But the fact that it is not easy is exactly why we need practice. This is why what we do every day - how we think, what we believe - matters. If we want to live in truth, we need ways to ground ourselves and find our way back when we are lost in fear and pain. We can learn to use the everyday, the things as ordinary as our breath, as a home base, as a touch stone for truth. This blog is my way of keeping myself engaged in this practice and recording what I learn along the way, in case it might help someone else do the same.
There is nothing new to see here. I'm not inventing anything or making any giant revelations. It all falls under the familiar categories of awareness, mindfulness, gratitude, etc. But what I am hoping to focus on here is what those things mean on a practical level each day. How do we find the poetry in ordinary moments? How do we focus on this particular 24 hours so that we don't get overwhelmed or miss out on what we already have? Because as we are all finding out together these days, every day is the only day we have.
***H.G. Wells' used the term to describe the inertia that keeps us from spiritual or creative evolution. I am taking the opposite approach, seeing it as a vehicle for our progress instead of a hinderance.