There is a running joke in my house that if something I am looking for is right in front of my face, I will never find it. Sometimes we are so busy searching every hiding place for something that we don’t even think to look right out in the open. The same thing can apply to ideas and answers. Sometimes the answers to our questions are so obvious that we just cannot see them.
There is a statistic out there that we spend 95% of our time thinking about the past and future and only 5% of our time in the present. I don’t know what parameters they used to determine that or if it is entirely true, but I think we can all agree that we definitely spend more time focused on the past and future than right now. I have been trying to change that about myself and focus more on the present and being in the moment. Obviously, we all have to plan for the future and thus spend time thinking about it, but it is the amount of time that is the problem. Especially, when you have any fears or anxieties about what is to come.
About 6 months ago, I walked out my door to find a giant spider web blocking the way to my car. In it was a rather large hairy spider that was eating a much larger praying mantis. I didn’t want to walk under the web for fear of the spider getting in my hair, so I walked around the side of my house to go through the bushes and found another really large web and spider. Thankfully, this one was parallel to my house and I was able to walk sideways like a crab to get by it and cut through my bushes. Phew, what a way to start a Friday morning!
As soon as I saw the spider eating the praying mantis, the word abundance popped into my head. If you’ve read my post on Animal Totems, then you know I believe that sometimes animals (or bugs and spiders) cross our paths to give us a message. I was convinced that I was receiving a premonition that abundance was coming into my life. I had been waiting for a promotion and raise at work, so I thought for sure this was a good sign that it was coming soon. According to psychics, time doesn’t really apply to the spirit world, so when we get a message from the other side that something is going to happen soon, “soon” can mean up to two years from now.
I have been waiting patiently the last 6 months to see the abundance my premonition was referring to. But today I was thinking about the spider and how I still haven’t gotten that promotion and raise and I had an epiphany. The message wasn’t a premonition of the future, it was a message about the present. The truth is that currently (and at the time), my husband and I are doing pretty well financially as DINKs (Dual Income No Kids) and making more than we need, so we have been able to add some to our savings. I guess you could say we have an abundance of money right now. So why couldn’t I see that at the time?
A part of me was still stuck in the past. While my husband has had a steady full-time job for over a year now, he was pretty much out of work for 3 years before that. I was used to the idea that money was tight and even though at the time, he had been working for over 6 months, I was still stuck in an old mindset. Especially, since we were doing updates to things around the house that we had put off when he was out of work, so we did not have enough money at the end of the month to put into savings. So it was hard to see that we weren’t really living paycheck to paycheck anymore. But his being out of work had helped our current situation, because we had developed a bunch of money saving habits during those 3 years, many of which we still utilize today. So we managed to optimize our income.
Another part of me was worrying about the future. My husband and I want to start a family and I can’t help but be concerned about paying for diapers, day care, college, etc… All of those inevitable expenses when you have a child. And to do all of this while still managing to save for retirement. And worrying if we will ever have enough saved to fully retire. I know all of these anxieties are pretty commonplace. But how could I possibly feel that I had an abundance of money when I couldn’t fathom how I would be able to afford these imperative things in my future?
The fact is that I don’t know what my future will hold. The universe has always been able to provide for me up to this point. So why should I fear not having enough in the future? Yes, all of these large expenses will come. Some sooner than others. And if I find myself in a situation where I can’t afford the necessities in life, that would be the time for concern. But not now. I have everything I need right now in the present moment. And I could very well have everything I need in the future as those events unfold. There is absolutely no point in worrying about it. When opportunities to grow my finances present themselves, I will take them. I will keep in mind the need to save for my kids’ college education and my husband’s and my retirement, but I will stay focused on the present. Right now is all we have. There is no guarantee of tomorrow.
It seems so obvious now. The spider had an abundance of food at that time. It was not something that could be squirrelled away for years to ensure there would always be enough. Something like that praying mantis could never last. But that spider wasn’t worrying about some day. It was just happily enjoying what it had today. It may have taken me 6 months, but I think I finally learned what that spider was trying to teach me. I will enjoy every minute of this abundance while it lasts (without going overboard) and not worry about the possibility of it ending. Because I have no proof that it will. There is always the possibility of another praying mantis around the corner.