Loving the Here and Now

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Learn to love the life you have now! Change what you can, and accept what you can’t! There was a time when I was constantly looking to the future, and even to the past. I thought that my life wasn’t good enough right where I was. I was dissatisfied, and just completely miserable, when I was stuck in this mindset. Once I finally learned to embrace the present moment, I found the strength to make changes that I needed to make, and my path became clearer. Now, I look forward to the future, but I also find happiness now!

It is especially easy to get caught up in wishing for the future, or dwelling on the past, as equestrians. This is a tough sport that involves so many pieces to work together, in order for us to become successful competitively. We have to have the right horse at the right time. When we have this “right horse,” we have to have the means to afford all that it takes to compete; as well as the time to actually compete. So many factors have to work together, and so often many of them are beyond our control. Sometimes our horses get hurt, or sick. Sometimes they don’t behave the way we need them to. Sometimes a particular horse does not want to do what we want it to! Becoming a competitive equestrian is almost like putting together a puzzle, and we just don’t always have all the pieces.

For so long, I found myself looking back to a time when I did have all the pieces. My “glory days,” you could say. I was always trying to get back there. I compared myself to my past self, and you know what? I was miserable. I couldn’t appreciate, or enjoy, my present because I was stuck in my past. I did the same thing when thinking about the future. It was always, “things will be better when I have a new horse,” or “I will be happy when I’m able to do this.” I was always striving for more, more, more. I was trying to control everything. I was trying to mold my horse into something he just wasn’t meant to be. I was trying to mold myself into something I’m not.

Focusing more on the past, and future, than my present held me back in my riding career – rather than pushing me forward. And it made me miserable for a long time. Not having the perfect horse, or the perfect competitive career, is not necessarily bad. Having to take a step back made me a better rider, and horsewoman. It changed my perspective on the sport, and horses in general. There a lot of ways to have success with horses, besides jumping big jumps and winning lots of ribbons.

Learning to love your life right now does not mean that you will be stuck, nor does it mean that you’re giving up. Loving the present means that you’re not living in past – or future. Loving the here and now, means that you will be able to find happiness wherever you are!

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