Between Before and After is Now

Photo by Spencer Selover on

“Who I am right now will be the before of who I am tomorrow,” Sarah Landry.  This one stopped me in my tracks as the rest of the post went on to talk about living in the before/after (like posting before and after pics).  As I’m embarking on the new year with all of you, I feel a ton of excitement and energy around what I’m planning to accomplish this year.  It isn’t in an aggressive way or in a way that negates where I’m currently at, it is a genuine excitement to do the work.  I have never felt so supported and aligned with understanding someone’s post before and I felt genuinely seen.  For years I’ve waited for the right moment to do anything and I have missed countless opportunities and events that may have taught me lessons much earlier than they did now.  I waited until I was good enough to experience anything or to even attempt anything.  I really thought I needed to be a certain type of “good” in order to get the experiences I was looking for.  Reading Sarah’s words kept it fresh in my mind: We are good enough NOW.

I convinced myself that I had to wait until the right time or until I was “ready” or “capable” or “able to do it” before trying anything.  I wouldn’t try anything in public because I didn’t want to make a fool of myself.  I wouldn’t even speak up in meetings for a long time because I didn’t want to make waves with my team.  I never saw the value or the worth that I brought to the table.  Even if I had an idea that I knew would work, I kept quiet, assuming others would have a better idea.  I put on the bulky clothes to cover myself so others wouldn’t see my body as it is.  I didn’t share my writing for the longest time because I didn’t think it was good enough.

I realized living that way didn’t feel good.  All of the thoughts I had rolling in my head kept rolling with nowhere to go and they got louder and louder and I started to feel like crap keeping them inside.  I also realized I was forgetting things as I tried to force down the natural progression of my thoughts in favor of what I “should” be doing.  It got so tiring repeating the same day over and over again, constantly feeling frustrated and unexpressed.  And then I realized it was me—I was holding myself back.  Waiting for the “right” time or whatever milestone deemed me worthy kept me fixated on the shortfall of not being where I wanted to be in that moment.  And Sarah says it best for that as well: “The idea of waiting until [whatever is right] is only leading to an unfulfilling of my now days.”

If we are constantly living in the before/after world, we are saying that the now means nothing.  We know the reality is the “now” is all we have yet we live in a constant push for the appearance of more.  We are so trained to ignore what is in order to make sure we are good enough for some imagined requirement in our head.  But the truth is, we are not living in a before.  We are living now and what happens after now is very real.  We can change now at any time with our thoughts.  Sarah goes on to say that seeing ourselves as a before makes us stuck where we are because we aren’t seeing all we are today.  So let me clarify: it isn’t that we shouldn’t strive for more, it’s that we need to understand we are worthy enough as we are to achieve whatever we want to.    

I’m so grateful for this now.  I still don’t do it perfectly, where I’m constantly in flow and simply accepting what is.  That isn’t the point either.  The point is I accept that imperfection as a means to do better and a way to learn more about what I’m capable of.  I am grateful for all my life and for all that is to come because of how I am choosing to live this now. I am so grateful to be able to choose this now and to embrace it for all it is.  That is the only way to fully accept where I’m at, where any of us are at.  So don’t live your live as the before, constantly striving to get to the after.  That after will only be another before to something else.  Live NOW.

2 thoughts on “Between Before and After is Now

  1. Lovely post. It’s so easy to forget to be present, and to be stuck in our regrets of the past or the troubles of tomorrow that may never come. But it’s the now where we truly have our power, and it makes sense to focus most of our attention to it. Thanks for sharing!


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