Focus Is Key: Where Am I Living Right Now?

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I’ve been a fan of science fiction & fantasy since childhood, and I have to say that through the years I’ve found many truths were shared in the creation of those other worlds by many a great writer. As a Star Trek fan from the beginning, I admit that Deep Space Nine may not have been my favorite show of the franchise, but it had its moments and its insights to be sure, and I loved many of the characters.

Star Trek: DS9 debuted as a series way back in 1993, but I still remember the pilot, because it introduced me to an important concept. I can’t say that I embodied the lesson then, but at least its message was imprinted on my consciousness so that many years later I would start to live that wisdom.

In part 2 of the pilot episode, Commander Benjamin Sisko (played by the brilliant Avery Brooks) took a shuttle craft into a stable wormhole. Rather than returning as expected, however, he was taken into what seemed to be another dimension, where beings of a very different understanding lived. These beings found the concept of linear time altogether foreign and nonsensical. In an attempt to understand Commander Sisko and third-dimensional humans, they plucked scenes from his life and had him relive them.

Sisko’s wife had died when their starship was attacked by the Borg, and he was unable to save her. He and his son had to evacuate the ship and leave her behind. Although the inhabitants of the wormhole took Commander Sisko through many of his life experiences, they kept returning him to this one scene that replayed over and over again. He became more distraught each time he was forced to relive that moment of having to leave his trapped, dying wife, and he said to the aliens something like, “Why do you keep bringing me here?! I don’t want to be here!”

Their reply was the same each time: “You live here.” In the years that followed his wife’s death, his intense guilt and grief had lingered to such an extent that the beings in the wormhole believed that this moment was his reality. It was the place where his mind returned every day—likely many times a day. In essence, he indeed lived in that same excruciating place for many years.

Thankfully, the wormhole inhabitants came to comprehend Sisko enough to know that he wasn’t a threat to them and let him leave the wormhole and return to the space station. In the process, they helped him to come to terms with his wife’s death and to realize that it was time to release the past and move beyond that place of guilt, anger and sorrow.

I too spent much of my life living in the past—especially in those moments where my great wounds were born—and I can say from much experience that it is not possible to cling to those old wounds and still be whole here in the present. It took me decades to let go of the more intense traumas of my life, but now at last they have faded and receded and in some cases entirely departed. This took diligence, self-exploration and a great deal of healing work using many modalities to get past those traumas. I feel grateful every day that I was able both to heal and to train myself to focus on the life I was born to live and the world that I want to create.

Of course, it wasn’t only the big things that lingered in my psyche. I used to find myself rehashing every day and wishing I had done this or that differently/better. Worrying about the past never improves the future, however. In fact, it creates more of the same, because the focus is on the thing that was unhealthy rather than on building the best life possible. The law of attraction teaches that energy moves in the direction of our attention, which means that every time I felt angst, guilt, etc. for those moments I deemed inappropriate, I was generating energy toward the repetition of the same.

I still have to work every day at focusing entirely on what I desire to see in the world (rather than what appears to be), but it gets easier as I generate more positive thought and feeling in my life. While still a work in progress to be sure, I can say that dedicated practice of focusing on what I want to create has helped me shift many patterns and deeply ingrained behaviors. Each success in this process builds on the prior ones until it becomes second nature.

I know from countless experiences in this life that the law of attraction not only works but is actually quite foolproof. Yes, it takes time (mostly because of the need to keep shifting ourselves in the direction we want to go) and extreme self-awareness and diligence. Even so, we have such an opportunity every day to choose where to place our energy and attention. That’s the great gift of free will. By staying in harmony and deciding in each moment to hold only Light AND by living in gratitude for all the good things that are present here in the present, we can build a personal reality that embodies our fondest dreams, and that reality then can spill out into the world to touch other people’s lives in beneficial ways.

This is what I believe, because this is my experience. You are free to embrace your own experience. I simply extend the invitation to join me on the quest for a truly joyful life. How? It begins by checking in several times a day to see where the attention is going. Simply ask, “Where am I living right now? Do I like it here?” If the answer is “no,” then it’s up to each of us to unequivocally decide to alter our trajectory. See what happens when the focus shifts.

I’m not saying it’s always easy. I know firsthand that can be exceedingly challenging. I have been in that pit of despair—unable to relinquish my sense of loss or anger or some other painful emotion. Finding the way past such things takes work, and seeking help along the way from friends, family and even professionals is the wise act of a strong person. Yet, once we get to a certain point in the journey, it becomes about retraining our minds to align with the highest reality, and that can go hand in hand with all other efforts on the path of healing.

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