Stop Wasting Your Time!

Joy in the Moment


Guilt and worry are two emotions that keep us from having joy or peace. It doesn’t mean you’re not living in the moment, because you’re always living in the moment. Whatever you are feeling, you are feeling it now…in this very moment.

Guilt (and fear) keep you from doing what you want or need to do. For example, you need some sleep, but thoughts keep you awake and they don’t allow you to fall asleep.

Guilty thoughts make you look back.

Have you ever said or done something you feel guilty about? It reminds me of times when I’ve said or done something I wish I hadn’t. Sure, I may have even said I’m sorry, but I really couldn’t take the action back. Whatever it was that happened, happened in the past. There is nothing you can do about it now but forgive yourself. Continuing to think on these thoughts robs you of the sleep you need.

Worrying thoughts make you look to the future.

Worry is the other emotion that robs us of feeling good. Worry isn’t about what has happened in the past but rather about what may happen in the future. This keeps us from enjoying or having peace in the moment because, once again, what we’re feeling, we’re feeling now. We don’t know the future. Mark Twain said it well: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

A great example for me is when I once had a job I loved. A new director came on board and I received a call from her, mid-week. She wanted to meet Tuesday of the next week. I worried and worried about why she was calling this meeting. Was she going to fire me? Where would I find another job, I’d enjoy so much? How was I going to pay my expenses? These thoughts went on and on during most all my waking moments of the week. They even robbed me of my sleep. Tuesday came, I showed up at the meeting. The new director told me she had seen and heard of my work and wanted to give me a raise for the great job I had done. Wow! What a lesson that was!

Actually, what a lesson both of these have been. Guilt and worry are a waste of time! There is nothing I can do NOW about what happened in the past, and there is nothing I can do NOW about what may or may not happen the future. This does not mean we shouldn’t learn how to forgive ourselves and plan for the future, understanding we’re not exactly sure how it will turn out, but be here now and enjoy joy in the moment.

About the author: Joy Pape, FNP, CDCES, CFCN is a board-certified nurse practitioner who believes in and practices wholistic health and healing. She is a board-certified diabetes care and education specialist, and foot care nurse. She practices at the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian, as well as with Dr. Rock Positano DPM, MSc, MPH, DSc, Founder and Director of the Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service and the Joe DiMaggio Heel and Pain Center at The Hospital of Special Services. She also has a private practice located in the West Village.


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