Embracing the Moment

The importance of "living in the moment" to my recovery needs to be emphasized. Before recovery, I lived in constant fear. I was obsessed with finding security; financial security, emotional security, job security, etc. I wanted to ensure that nothing rocked the boat in my carefully constructed little world. Yet the more I pursued such goals, the faster they eluded me. As I desperately tried to cling to material and physical stuff, I saw it literally vaporize between my fingers.

I've read somewhere that living is really about giving up. The final thing we give up or surrender is our very life (i.e., we eventually surrender to physical death). I remember when my Grandfather died in 1982, the doctors said, "He fought hard for life, but his heart was just too weak." The same principle applies to other areas: no matter how hard we fight to hang on to someone or something, we eventually give in and give up.

In a sense, as soon as we are born, we begin the lifelong process of giving up. We give up the warmth and security of the womb; we give up the bond with our mother; we give up baby food; we give up being carried everywhere; we give up crawling; we give up holding a parent's hand; we give three-wheels for two-wheels; and so on throughout all of life. Life is constantly changing, moment by moment, all around us. Every passing minute is one less to call our own.

Thus, every moment is indeed precious. Every moment has a lesson to learn. Every moment brings me closer to something else I must eventually give up. Every moment must be embraced and lived fully, and then released. Maybe fully embracing each moment is the only way to surrender each moment.

Yesterday was Father's Day. My children are twelve and nine. Only a moment ago, they were newborn. Only a moment from now, they'll graduating college, creating lives of their own. I try to embrace every moment I spend with them, but I also surrender and let each moment go. For example, my 1997 Father's Day was very special. I spent the day with friends who care about me, because the kids are off vacationing with their mother in another state.

Sure, I missed seeing them, but all the times we've spent together are here in my heart. All the moments we'll spend together in the future still await.

I've learned how to embrace the moment, in the now, and my life is better for having done so. I'm no longer dependent on the past or the future. I'm no longer chasing the illusion of security. I accept things as they come; I release things as they go. This is balance. This is peace. This is serenity. This is recovery.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 28). Embracing the Moment, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Last Updated: August 8, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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