"So let’s be content to live the only time we can possibly live: from now until bedtime."
Do you ever find yourself agitating over past mistakes or worrying about what might happen in the future? I must admit I do. However I try to limit these thoughts because of the negative feelings they bring. I tend to worry more about the future than agonise over what has happened in the past. I can easily let "FEAR" take over. It's not "fear" folks, it is "FEAR - Fantasised Experiences Appearing Real." You might be familiar with this type of thinking yourself, it is when you let all the "What if's……" run away with you until you are full of anxiety, panic and misery. When I become aware that I am engaging in this type of negative fantasising, I stop by reminding myself to live in "Day tight compartments".
On a Sunday evening in April 1913, Sir William Osler gave an address to the students of Yale, entitled "The Way of Life". Osler was a physician and one of the founders of the John Hopkins hospital. He was instrumental in the establishment of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and became one of the institutions first professor of medicine.
During his address to the students of Yale, Osler recommended they develop the habit of "Living for the day only, and for the day's work; Life in day tight compartments."
Osler recommended, 'Change that hard saying "Sufficient to each day is the evil thereof" into the "goodness thereof" since the chief worries of life arise from the foolish habit of looking before and after'. He pointed out that one finds peace when they are neither looking forward or backward. During his lecture he went on to speak about his experience standing on the deck of a great liner. A signal was sounded and all over the ship the water tight compartments were closed. The captain explained to Osler that this was the most important safety factor. Osler went on to say to the students 'Now each one of you is a much more marvellous organisation than that great liner and bound on a much longer voyage. What I urge is that you so learn to control the machinery as to live with "day-tight compartments" as the most certain way to ensure safety on the voyage…..Touch a button and hear, at every level of your life, the iron doors shutting out the Past - the dead yesterdays. Touch another button and shut off with a metal curtain the Future - the unborn tomorrows. Then you are safe, - safe for today!'
So this is a strategy I use when I start to worry about the future. I remind myself I am engaging in "What if…" thinking which is making me "FEARful," I remind myself to live this day and be fully present in it, to enjoy it. I remind myself that I have no overdue bills, I have a roof over my head and food in my home. Sufficient to today is the goodness thereof. I am fully equipped to get through today. More than that if I stop to think I can find many things for which to be grateful. I stay in that moment experiencing the gratitude for the bounty I have. I give thanks for it. All is well in my world.