I find inspiration in a lot of things I see and read, but I often have to write about those ideas for me to completely understand them myself. So I’m going to start sharing what I find inspiring, and then share what I’ve come to understand about it as well.
Today, I read this fantastic poem written by Charlie Chaplin “Love Myself Poem”. The stanza that really struck me was:
“As I began to love myself
I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call this Self-Confidence.”
I’ve heard this before – “You are exactly where you are meant to be.” Let me tell you, when I was in a place in my life where I did not want to be, this was something I did NOT wanted to hear. To avoid how unhappy I was with my life, I’d daydream about my life being different in ways I’d hope it could be. I did this often when I lived in California, when I worked all the time. I would rage against my current situation and long for it to be different, but I’d remain actionless. I’d get stuck in the thought – I want to change, but I don’t know how.
I’ve been through a lot since those days, and I’ve grown significantly more comfortable in my own skin. So I see these words “I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment.” differently now and probably more inline with what Charlie Chaplin intended.
In the past, I wanted to rebel against this idea. I wanted to blame the universe for where I was at. I wanted everything to be different and I felt like I was saddled with this life without a clue on how to change. So, screw this is exactly where I am supposed to be in this moment.
The truth is that I’d take that so called hope of different life that I created in my head, and compare it to compare it to what I thought was my actual life. It would make me feel like my life was lacking. I’d be so focused on that lack, I couldn’t see what my life actually was. I missed the moment and all the things I had to appriciate in my life. Constantly comparing my life to some idea I had, kept me from completely living that moment. It kept me from seeing that I have agency in my life and I can chose how to live it. The daydream of a different life was robbing me of living in the moment.
I have to admit, the line “everything happens at the exactly right moment” was still hard for me to swallow this morning when I read this poem. However, the more I digest the idea, the more it makes sense. The reason I bristled against the idea is that I felt like it sounded like our lives our fated and what will happen to us is due to some predetermined destiny, which I don’t agree with. However, after thinking about it for a bit, I don’t think that is what Charlie Chaplin meant. Rather, if I can live completely in this moment and know that it is in this moment that I can chose how to live, then that moment will be completely right for me. Getting lost in the past or hoping for some future is a distraction that keeps me from living.
However, even looking at my own life, I can see examples of how life provided exactly what I needed in the moment. I always have hunderds of ideas of things I’d like to do swirling around in my head. If I try to force an idea, it usually doesn’t happen. I even find myself rebelling against it or procrastinating doing it. For the ideas that do become reality, it’s like everything in that exact moment aligned correctly for it to happen. I had the tools, the ability, the time, the energy, the money, the support, and everything else that was needed to make the idea happen.
It just happened with my trip to Montana and Idaho. I’ve wanted to go back to Glacier since my first visit 5 years ago and the Going to the Sun road was closed due to an early snowstorm. If I had tried to plan the trip I just took, I would have found lots of reasons for it not to happen. Instead the thought came a few days before we left, what if I go to Glacier this week. Instantly, it came together without. It was the exactly the right moment for me to go back to Glacier.
I admit, I don’t stay in the moment as much as I’d like. I still daydream about different possiblities of my life. Hell, I am human. I make lots of mistakes. I hurt myself often, but I totally see the power of understanding “I’m in the right place at the right time and everything happens at the exactly right moment.”
As I was journaling about this idea, this is how I put the idea into my own words – In life, we only have this one moment we are currently living. The past is gone and the future is not promised. This moment is the only one I am guaranteed, so don’t waste it by wishing it could somehow be different. Enjoy this moment, accept this moment for exactly what it is, and be grateful I have this moment to live. I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this exact moment. In accepting this gift, I am able to live completely.