There is peace available in every moment

Published 5:55 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009

“You can always cope with the now, but you can never cope with the future, nor do you have to. It doesn’t exist. It’s a phantom. The answer, the strength, the right action, or the resource will be there when you need it, not before, not after.”

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

We cannot have peace when our mind is in the future. We worry by creating scary stories about what could happen, might happen, or will happen. We’re afraid we won’t be able to control ourselves or our situation or others’ decisions that affect us. We worry that our loved ones won’t be safe. We worry we won’t have enough money. We worry there won’t be enough love. We worry about losing our jobs and about our health problems. We even worry about our own funerals!

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We lack the faith we will be able to handle it.

In my book, “How To Stop Your Anxiety Now!” I ask the questions, “Do you have what you need now?” “Has there ever been a time in your life when you didn’t get what you needed?”

The answer to the first question is always “yes.” We have what we need in this moment. In this moment, we are alive. In this moment, we are loved. In this moment, we have the ability to improve our situation, whatever it is. ANY time in the future will always end up being a “now,” and we will continue to handle it in that now, not this now.

The answer to the second question is always “no”. We have always gotten what we needed to survive, or we wouldn’t be here. Has it always been fun? No. Has it been painful at times? Yes. Did we always get what we wanted? No. Did we receive what we needed in that moment, in that experience, in that time, to survive, to make it to where we are today? Yes!

The point is we handled it. We always handle it. Perhaps not perfectly. Perhaps not without discouragement or loneliness or challenge. Perhaps we needed lots of support. But we did make it.

We will always make it.

After speaking one day with a woman dying of cancer, I said to her, “I don’t know if I could cope with this if it happened to me.”

“Yes, you could,” she said. “After all, what’s the alternative to coping? Not coping? If it happened to you, you would choose to cope, because coping is better than not coping. And you’ll be surprised what you’ll learn you can do.”

I learned something important that day. Something about my own resourcefulness, something about the power of God, and something about how my needs never go unnoticed, never go unanswered. Even in death, we are headed on to better things.

What is your concern, your worry? Has a friend betrayed you? Is your marriage under great stress? Is someone important to you very sick? Are you lonely? Do you live in constant pain? Have you been a victim of crime? Have you lost your money, your job, a loved one?

I have lived through all of these things. I believe you can too. Your trials may come in a different form, with different types of challenges. But I believe you’re up to it.

Whatever we need at the time will be given to us — at that time — in that now. You don’t have to worry if you can handle it. You can handle it.

Are you making it? Yes. Are you asking for enough support to make it easier on yourself? I hope so. You are more resourceful than you think.

David Larson, C.P.C.C., is a licensed psychologist and personal life coach. He can be reached at the Institute for Wellness at (507) 373-7913 or at his Web site,