Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Power to Change…

“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” James Joyce

So, I’ve been thinking about this quote for days and days and days now*. James Joyce is speaking my language!

Anyone who knows me knows I talk about past, present, and future Liz, ALL THE TIME!

In my head, I’m always running a little dialogue about my choices and actions. I’ll give you an example that will make you feel grateful that you are not me:

“Present Liz, how will this help future Liz? It doesn’t. It’s only helping you. I know past Liz screwed you over by making that one choice that has now become a habit. Darn you, past Liz! But, present Liz, think of future Liz, and help her out. Stop right now! I mean it! Soon, present Liz, you’re going to be past Liz, and you don’t want future Liz, who becomes present Liz, to talk about you this way, do you? No! So knock it off future past Liz, or present Liz, whoever** you are!”

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Liz, you are one crazy lady, and need help!” But thinking this way has helped me come to terms with past behaviors, and make the needed corrections.

We only ever have the present. And if you engage with it, you can change. Slowly, but surely, I’ve been re-writing myself, trying to make sure that what I’m establishing today will make me who** I want to be tomorrow.

It’s a long, daily process. And these last couple of months I’ve done some major transformations within myself. (This is part of the reason I haven’t done any thoughtful posts in a while.)

I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but changing the way you think is hard work. And I mean HARD!

To help me with this, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. And I mean A LOT!

Books on the mind, books on thinking, books on choices, books on living in the present moment, books on happiness, books on sadness, books on spirituality, books on life, books from religious teachers, books from regular people, LDS books, non-LDS books. And then with everything I’ve read, I’ve crossed referenced it with scriptures. It’s been very labor intensive, let me tell ya!***

I’ve learned SO much: about myself, about our minds, about our spirits, about the power of thoughts and words, about the universe, about the ability we have to change, about the reliance we have on God.

And if I’m with you long enough (and we’re not with a crowd), I’ll want to tell you everything I’ve learned!


Case in point: Last night, at Young Womens, we were interviewing the girls on their personal progress. And I had a sweet 12 year old who I talked to for about 20 minutes on “the power she has now to make herself the woman she wants to become, and how she needs to think of her future self when making choices. But that she should live in the “now” because now is the only moment we ever truly live. And she has the ability to interpret her past any way she wants, thereby creating a new present and future.” I think she almost poked out her own eyeball to get away from me! Poor girl.

I guess I’m saying all this to remind you that you are establishing your future at this very moment, and to warn you that the next time I see you, be prepared for the onslaught of information coming your way!

You might want to have something handy to poke your eye…

*I’ve wanted to post on this for weeks, but I haven’t done any “thinky” posts in a LONG time, and it made me nervous. Yes, nervous! Light-hearted posts are much safer and easier. They don’t really bare the soul, do they? But, I’m brave, and posting. So there.

**I’ve decided to forgo “whom” because it doesn’t sound natural even though it’s grammatically correct. And because of my English degree, I felt compelled to mention it. I’m torn between two worlds, folks!

*** This is why I’ve been failing on my book blog. I’ve been reading the books; I just haven’t had the energy to post on them. But, it’s my goal for next month!


Rachel said...

I'm totally ready for the onslaught of info and I'll start waving my crochet hook it if becomes too much. But I do love hearing you talk so I doubt that it be.

And I completely know what you're talking about with whom. I try not to use it too often because it makes me sound like a snob but when I don't my brain explodes a little.

Mr. Hall said...

Liz, this is a great post. It reminded me of a song by Magne F titled, "Past perfect future tense." I doubt that you have heard of this song, but I can play it for you when we take our little photography excursion. I am also very much looking forward to hearing your discourse on these thoughts--I love this kind of stuff and am sure that I will eat up what you have to offer. Thanks for posting!

Tammy said...

Thanks for your post , it is brave to post on your thoughts and feelings. I will try to gird up and do some thoughtful posts. Well I constantly beat up past Tammy and too scared to talk to future Tammy, and ignore present Tammy, so I have some work to do!

Anonymous said...

You rock the Casbah. A present me was just sitting thinking that the future me of 15 minutes from now would seriously love to be in bed instead of warming up to work out. And present me is gonna lose the argument because of the more up to date present me.

themayerfamily said...

I agree with you. Changing the way you think about yourself, or your schema of thins is HARD. I loved this post. It does give you a lot to think about. I wish more parents(myself included) would think about their future life in disciplining thier kids in the present. It would solve a lot of problems.