by Antonella De Giuli
“TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.”
The first time I read this sentence was 20 years ago. It appeared on a banner hanging from the bell tower of a church in San Francisco. I was in a car with my sister and two friends. We were traveling through an unfamiliar city, in an unfamiliar country. Yet, we were filled with a spirit of adventure. We were holding the world in the palm of our hands and it was ours to explore!
This sentence reflected all that I was feeling in that moment 20 years ago-that change was coming to offer a new beginning, that I was aware of my power to choose my own destiny, that I was grateful for the opportunity to start over, even after making mistakes or living through difficult moments in the past, and for the chance to learn and grow every day. I will never forget these words. I often repeat them to myself to remind me why I am still here, with the ability to begin again, always.
Sometimes life can push us into dark corners. Our mind can cause us to feel overwhelmed by what makes us uneasy, never letting us acknowledge anything other than our own dark thoughts. It can make us deny our suffering so that we fool ourselves into thinking our troubles will magically disappear.
We try to think of other things, to distract ourselves with too many commitments, bouncing from one activity to another like the ball in an old pinball machine. The hours, even days, pass with our energy drained, leaving us tired and feeling as if we have not solved or accomplished anything. Feeling that nothing can change. Perhaps we blame ourselves for wasting time. We worry more about the past or what’s coming tomorrow. And so we lose the chance to be in the present. This is when we must stop, breathe deeply, and remember we must live each day fully, one day at a time
A new day
Just as the sun rises each day, so too can we choose to rise with it. When we encounter obstacles, we can take a moment to change our perspective, to view these obstacles as a new opportunity to pursue our goals even more vigorously. We can choose to live in the present, to take a moment to step out of ourselves and observe and embrace the world. We can see the bright colors of a sunset, hear the cheerful laughter of children playing, smell the scent of a freshly baked cake. We can marvel at the rays of sunlight filtering through the branches of a tree on a winter’s day. And we can treasure the warm smile of a family member, friend, or colleague. To do any of these things, even for a moment, can free us from the burdens of our lives and allow us to begin anew.
In the words of the Dalai Lama, “There are only two days a year in which you can do nothing: one is called yesterday, the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and above all, live.”
Foto di: Pressfoto