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Hold On to the Moment

July 14, 2013 | by Emuna Braverman

Stopping my mind from wandering into those negative places.

I’m trying to hold on to the moment. But it isn’t easy.

I’m sitting looking out my window at the roses blooming on the bushes, at the newly planted grape vines beginning to take root and thrive, at the warm, bright sun shining down… It’s beautiful and peaceful with just a light breeze in the air. I’m trying to hold on. But then my mind goes to those negative places. The rose bushes need pruning, grape leaves attract rats, the sun – well, we all know the dangers it brings, and the seemingly random concern over some unpaid bills.

I’m trying to hold on to the moment. I attend my grandson’s kindergarten graduation and am moved by the songs and dances and by their burgeoning personalities and their nascent commitment to Torah and a relationship with God. Then my mind rushes to concerns for the future – how will they get along with next year’s teachers, will they have a good class, will their learning develop, will they be happy and should I have that doughnut or not?

I’m trying to hold on to the moment. I go to my daughter’s high school graduation and am touched by the innocent faces, full of pride of accomplishment, hope and potential. But my mind won’t stop racing. I see the possible pain ahead in the search for a worthy partner in marriage, for a stable income, for their own children. So much unknown. And what should I make for dinner?

I’m trying to hold on to the moment. But it’s so hard. There are so many possible minefields ahead, so many challenges, anticipated and not, so much happiness and so much pain to follow. And then there the distractions…

I know too much. And yet this moment is beautiful and precious. A gift created just for me. As are all of our moments. I have to stop and enjoy. It may not be possible to hold on but we at least need to appreciate and not waste the opportunity.

We can’t prevent the pain. But we can change our focus. We can try to prevent ourselves from constantly wallowing in unproductive emotions. We can refuse to indulge our anxieties, to give in to our yetzer hara, our lower selves. We can be thankful for all the good the Almighty has given us. We can embrace the opportunity for growth even in the not so good. We can see beauty all around us and offer thanks. We can recognize potential and attempt to achieve it. We can push to be better. We can emphasize the positive and play down the negative. Life is indeed beautiful.

My granddaughter calls to me and smiles. I’m trying to hold on to the moment.

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