(This blog was originally posted on December 1, 2016)
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.
That is why they call it ‘the present.’” – Unknown
My grandfather liked to quote the above saying from time to time, but I never really understood the true meaning of that sentiment until I became an adult. Even now it can still sometimes be tough to find a positive aspect to a difficult or challenging situation after the fact, let alone at the time it is going on. However, it is this ability to see the “bright side” or even find a hidden blessing in misfortune that increases our courage, fortitude and ability to handle or even avoid a similar situation in the future.
Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D. often advised people to “turn it around!” when they were faced with an uncomfortable or difficult situation. Rather than focus on the unpleasant details or challenges you might be experiencing at the moment, look for a positive aspect/redeeming quality or lesson that could be learned from it. If you have a misunderstanding with a family member or even a colleague at work, consider what circumstances led up to the argument. Perhaps you or the other person misunderstood the meaning or intent behind something that was said. The lesson or “gift” of that experience would be that in the future, you would be more thoughtful and careful about what and how you communicated a thought or idea. You would also understand that it might be prudent to ask questions and clarify the meaning of what you believe you heard or saw before making any judgment about an incident.
But the greatest benefit of considering the present as a true gift is that you can approach each new day and situation with appreciation for the opportunities, wisdom and pleasure the experience can offer. The subconscious mind may try to challenge this more carefree, appreciative perspective about the unknown with cautionary memories about a similar situation that may not have worked out. You may even experience uncomfortable physiological symptoms of anxiety that are further exacerbated by a sudden drop in blood-sugar level if you happen to be hungry at the time. But this reaction is merely the subconscious mind’s reference to a previous subconscious mental script that likes and wants to attach old meanings to a new experience. No matter how many similarities exist between those experiences to make the outcome somewhat predictable, each one is inherently unique and therefore deserves to be enjoyed and appreciated for what it is: A gift.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.