Last week I extolled the virtue of exercising patience with leaders who mostly don’t understand our LDS singles experience. Patience is often a conscious choice, one not made out of habit. Patience helps us to live more in the moment.
Living in the moment is where we find the true joy of living, regardless of our individual circumstances. Life doesn’t have to be everything we want it to be for us to enjoy it. That joy starts when we consciously choose to live in the moment.
Living in the moment means being present in the now. Too often LDS singles aren’t present in the now. Rather they’re present in the future — a future when an eternal companion provides them with the rite of passage that brings acceptance within LDS subculture.
But living in the future (and one which for many LDS singles never seems to come) forfeits the joy of living found only in the present moment. The joy of living now comes only by living in the now. And that’s true regardless of your circumstances.
You need a choice, not a plan
I remember a singles conference where one speaker talked about living in the moment. She encouraged intentional living. Living with intention can lead you to own your life. And I’m a big fan of owning your life.
Then the speaker defined intentional to mean having a plan. The joy of living in the moment, she declared, comes from following a plan.
I couldn’t disagree more.
Due to our design as human beings to follow habits, I define intentional to mean choosing consciously. Living with intent means you choose in the moment to do what you do. Conscious choices in the moment refuse to let your habits simply play themselves out, allowing you to embrace life and all the true joy of living.
You don’t need a plan for any of that to unfold for you. All you need is to use the one gift from God we all have — agency. You simply make a conscious choice.
Make the happy life
Happiness comes not from just doing the right things but from giving your all to the right things. That giving your all is a conscious choice. And when you choose that path with full awareness and intent to pursue it, the true joy of being alive can come to you.
Life on autopilot offers comfort and a sense of stability, but true joy isn’t found in comfort and stability alone. True joy comes from consciously embracing the right things.
I use that word embracing intentionally. You can’t just execute a routine of righteous activity and expect happiness to find you. The happy life doesn’t find you. You have to make it. That requires choosing the right things with intention. That means breaking out of the habit of routine living. And that means embracing the right things in your life.
Choose to lift yourself
Too often we LDS singles don’t. Eager for acceptance within a culture that prizes marriage and family as the door to belonging, we LDS singles often focus on the future to that eternal companion we all yearn to have.
Yet your focus always determines your reality. Focusing on what you don’t have now always fills your reality with a heightened awareness of what you don’t have now. A life that feels lacking is never enjoyable.
However, the same principles work in the other direction. Focusing on what you do have now fills your reality with gratitude. You begin to see how richly the Lord has blessed you. Life starts feeling plentiful.
That focus on what you have now is key to living in the moment. Focusing on the present and not the future is a conscious choice that helps you live with intention. And the gift of agency from a loving Heavenly Father brings that choice within reach of us all.
You don’t need a plan to live with intention. You need simply to focus on what you’re doing in the present moment. Then you can breathe with confidence. You can walk with boldness. You can let go of everything drawing your focus to the future and bring your focus to the present moment. When you make these choices consciously, you open yourself to a life you can savor regardless of your circumstances.
Righteous intentional choices lift what you do to a new level because in so doing you give your all to the right things. And when you give your all to the right things, life in return gives back to you all the joy and satisfaction of a life well lived. You’ll always get what you give, so give your all to the right things and get the life that’s right in all ways for you.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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