Living in the Moment vs Honoring Commitments


[Today we have another incredible guest post by Mary Carol Moran. She poses a difficult question, one that all of us deal with. How do we move ever closer to the perspective of Who We Really Are while still living in the real world?]

A man who has been married for 46 years tells his dying wife that he will honor their will, leaving their estate to their adult children. She trusts him, and doesn’t leave any of the estate directly to their children in her own will. A year later he meets a woman; one year more and they’re married.  When he dies two years later, his children learn that he has left the bulk of his estate to his new wife.

So, here’s a man living in the moment, doing what feels right in the moment. He’s no longer the person he was when he made the commitment to his first wife. Now it feels better to leave the estate to his new wife, so he does.

And here’s a woman, the second wife, obviously a strong manifester, who has manifested receiving something of material value which she desired.

Did something go wrong?

Live in the moment. Manifest your desires. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Yet most people reading this scenario feel that there’s something wrong.

To me, the sticking point in this story isn’t the commitment to the adult children. We as humans can’t see a big enough picture to know whether they may actually benefit more from not inheriting. It will change their future, maybe for the better. Who knows? Each of them somehow manifested this situation for themselves.

The sticking point for me is the promise to the first wife. How do we live together if each of us lives purely in the moment? I guess we could say that the first wife could have divided the estate in her own will and left her half directly to her children as she wished. It would have involved selling houses, liquidating assets, basically making her surviving husband’s life a lot more difficult. And so she chose not to do that. She trusted him to fulfill his promise to her.

If each of us lives in the moment, does trust cease to exist? Is trust an outdated concept that doesn’t fit with being Who You Really Are? Is there a difference between trust and expectation?

Soul vs. Body

In my journey, I keep bumping into the juxtaposition of Soul and Physical Existence. In the expanded realm of Soul, it makes perfect sense to me that trust is irrelevant. There’s no interdependence. There’s no I or you or we, and everything’s perfect, no matter what.

I think part of the point of our physical existence, this wonderful experiment of living, is that we ARE interdependent. Our bodies perceive an I and a you, even while our souls know we’re all one. And we, Body and Soul, are trying to find a way to live with that. Some of our values as Body are irrelevant to Soul. Loyalty, honesty, trust – these are Human Body values that allow us to live interdependently. And the closer we get to Who We Really Are, to our Souls, the more we bump up against the conundrum that the Soul doesn’t register any of these, or in fact any ‘values’ at all. Soul just is.

So where does that leave us? If we each do what feels best in the moment, can we live together? I had a simple example this morning. I was invited last night to breakfast with a group of friends. I said no, because I had a prior commitment. This morning I went to the prior commitment and the person didn’t show. Simple situation, repeated all over the world every day.

My Soul is happy (she’s always happy!). The other person showing up is irrelevant to her happiness. Going to breakfast with friends or going to the prior commitment – it’s all good! In fact, it’s all fantastic!

My Body on the other hand is a little miffed. I would have enjoyed getting together with my friends.  I’m doing my best not to judge, though it brings up the question of how I respond the next time the current no-show asks me to commit to something. And I feel like a bit of a schmuck for showing up this morning when I really would rather have been somewhere else. Why couldn’t I have been the one to not show? That’s what Who I Really Am would have done, right? Except that would have felt awful, so Who I Really Am wouldn’t have done it.

Living in a Body is a lot more complicated than living as a Soul. Thank goodness my Soul appreciates the fun of the challenges, and helps my conscious mind appreciate it to.

So what is the take-away from all this?

Do I keep valuing loyalty, honesty, trust, and honoring commitments, even when in the moment they might go against what I want to do? For me, the answer is yes. And bumping into the wall, again, has helped clarify that having and living by these guidelines is a choice. Hard as it is, I’m renewing and redoubling my effort to avoid judging anyone based on these precepts, which are my choice and not intrinsic or Soul-given.

Body and Soul, having fun, Amen!

Hugs to all!

Mary Carol

Mary Carol Moran lives in Mexico, where she spreads love and awareness and poetry. Her latest project is an animal shelter for puppies and kitties. Check it out and support the site by liking it here: Amigos de Perros y Gatos Colima


About the Author

  • Hey Mary Carol,

    You’re tackling some really hard questions here, and I LOVE IT! 🙂

    What has helped me a lot, personally, is to remember that nothing has gone wrong. I may not be able to make sense of a situation right away, but the assumption that something has gone horribly wrong feels awful. And so, making the shift to “nothing has gone wrong” is really soothing.

    Now, no one can really know what actually happened, of course, but that’s not really important. The important thing is to find a perspective that feels better to US – one that more closely matches Who We Really Are.

    In this situation, I would look at what the dying wife’s REAL desires were, and I would guess that she wanted her children to be taken care of. And perhaps the husband knew this and figured that they were. The wife, after transitioning would’ve known that her kids were ok and that the inheritance is irrelevant. Because if those adult kids are a vibrational match to money, they will manifest it – whether it comes in the form or inheritance or something else. Parents are not responsible for being the funnel through which their children’s manifestations come, once those kids are old enough to take care of themselves (and even before that, the responsibility is much more limited than we like to think).

    Why did she want to leave the money to her children? To make sure they were ok. And if they were ok (which, again, is ALWAYS the case), then the father honored his promise.

    Most likely, when he changed his mind, he was doing so because he’d gained a new perspective over the years and was now acting from that new point of view. And I do believe that we have the right to do that. There is such a sense of obligation in this world and it often doesn’t serve us.

    I do believe that if we’ve committed to something, we should honor that commitment. I also believe that we should never make commitments that we don’t want to make, so that when we honor a commitment it feels joyous and is in line with Who We Really Are. Then honoring commitments is no longer an obligation, but something we want to do anyway. When we do things that we don’t really want to do but feel obligated to do, we don’t really serve anyone.

    Also, I think it’s really helpful to honor the REAL desire, instead of the details that someone thought would be necessary to facilitate that desire.

    And I also believe, strongly, that the dead don’t care if we keep our promises to them because they KNOW that we are all more than alright. We are all perfect. Those adult children aren’t being deprived of anything. Again, the inheritance isn’t the only funnel through which money can come to them. If they are a match to it, it will flow either way. And if not, the money CANNOT come to them. And perhaps the father felt that discord and COULD NOT leave the money to this kids. LOA wouldn’t let him. That’s a theory, too.

    What a juicy, juicy question. I can’t wait to see what others have to say. 🙂

    Huge hugs!

    • Avatar Sameer says:

      Hey Awesome Melody,

      I have a question here: In today’s world/time, somebody who come to know that, the money was for me (kids) but, father eat it alone. Will they (kids) not shift from we are ‘okay’ to ‘we want that money’?

      Huge Hugs,

      • Avatar Mary Carol says:

        Awesome question, Sameer!

        How the adult children respond is entirely their choice. One person might shift from “I’m fine because I’m inheriting,” to “Help! I’ve lost everything.” That wouldn’t feel very good at all. Another person might react by thinking, “I’m fine on my own, and this confirms my self-confidence.” Another might respond, “What was Dad thinking? Oh well. That’s what he wanted to do.”

        The choice to be fine or not fine is individual, and not circumstantial. We can be happy in the rain, and happy in the sun. My hope would be that the adult children would perhaps vent their frustration (gently), and then move on with their happy lives.

        The bigger question you raise, how we deal with the unexpected turns of life, is something we all face as human bodies, and something our Souls can help us with. For me, the voice of my Soul, which loves and appreciates EVERYTHING, helps me navigate the ups and downs.

        Thanks again for your thoughtful question. Warm hugs!

        Mary Carol

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Hi Melody and Everyone!

      I agree that there are tons of ways of looking at any given situation. My thought with these two examples is to illustrate the bumping together of Soul and Body. The closer we get to Soul, the more we see the body’s “rules” for what they are, just “rules.” And that’s all great.

      But if people don’t follow the “rules,” everyday living gets more complicated. This is why Lao Tzu states (paraphrasing) that living as a monk on a mountaintop is fine, but the real challenge and place for growth is living in the city with everybody else.

      Being in a body allows our Soul to experience and expand, and a large part of that expansion, the part that Soul can’t experience without a body, is getting along with other bodies.

      So the difficulties, the no-shows, the inheritances, are all beautiful manifestations and opportunities for our Soul-in-a-Body experience!

      Hugs for Everyone! And thank you for joining the discussion!

      Mary Carol

  • Before reading the entire article I would have disagreed. However, now I have a new perspective. That’s what I like about your work and blog. xo

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Hi Tess,

      Could you share your new perspective? I’m really interested to hear where you started from and where you finished up.

      Thanks for commenting,

      Mary Carol

  • The “breakfast conundrum” is a great example, Melody. But, here’s a thought: in always moving towards what feels good and away from what feels less-good, might you have said a “conditional yes” to your friends, because that’s what it felt better to do; then, might you have re-verified with the planned meeting to see if it was still a go? Might you have discovered that it was no longer on? Did the Universe give you a message to meet with your friends BECAUSE the Universe knew that the planned meeting no longer had any energy to draw you to it?

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      In hindsight about the breakfast, I can see a bunch of alternatives that didn’t occur to me at the time. And I totally agree that whatever was happening energetically was all to the good. It was a tiny incident, which was the point of writing about it. Not to blow it out of proportion, but to show how we live by the “rules” of interaction every day, all the time. Every interaction is an opportunity to learn a little more about living together. My Soul absolutely loves all these opportunities, and my Body spends a lot of time chuckling.

      Thanks for the reminder that there are many ways to approach any situation, Stephanie. Wiggly puppy hugs,

      Mary Carol

  • Avatar patricia says:

    Oh I have been thinking about this post all morning as i come and go from the computer. I am thinking through in light of what I know about my day. Tonight is book group, only one person has said they are coming to my house…I have had several books groups where no one has attended after all my efforts to be gracious. I feel a bit sad, but then I move on and hope they are happy doing something else.
    It does kick off my abandonment issues, but then I have found that a new opportunity to explore.
    Also today I am arranging for 5 pieces of furniture of my mum’s estate to go into an estate sale. These were all things that the grandchildren said that they wanted. I have been holding on to them and emailing at least 3 times a year a reminder for the past 5 years. Then this estate sale came up….they were willing to free up our house of these stored items….no problem and they thought they would all sell – I took this that it was the right thing to do. I am going to keep the money because I think this is where we will get the last little bit we need to purchase a new bicycle for my partner – who has been so generous to my mother and my family and who needs a new bike…

    My intuition says I honored my mother’s desire for give each grandchild something they wanted, which they no longer want but now with all the alignment of the estate sale that this is where the furniture should go – the pieces all have a long life ahead of them – solid wood desks and dressers – handmade with loving kindness…ah it just seem perfect
    Have I got the concept correct here? Did I read it and glean the right stuff.
    Yep it is difficult material – indeed but and loved how it made me thinking and explore so many feelings.

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Hi Patricia,

      How serendipitous that this post was published on the day you were facing some of the same issues. Funny how life works these things out, isn’t it?

      On the book group, are you able to be in a happy vibration if one person arrives? Can you think, wow! How great that you’re here! (rather than, where’s everybody else?) Hosting an event can be anxiety-producing. I think about taking the extra food to someone who could use it, so whether people come to the party or not, I’m happy!

      Estates are a huge opportunity for everyone. As Melody said, people who have returned to pure Soul know that everything is always all good. Your mother isn’t worried about her furniture any more. Congratulations for following your intuition toward a happy resolution. If it feels better to give the grandchildren one last heads up, do it. Go with the path that gives you a sense of peace and relief.

      Thanks for writing, Patricia. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Hugs,

      Mary Carol

  • That is such a sad story for the kids. I know a family where the husband remarried just 4 months after the mother died and threw away a lot of her letters and journals. That was not fair to the kids at all. I love your concept of Soul vs Body. I hadn’t thought much about the soul not having any of those values. Very interesting! Thanks Mary Carol!

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Hi Betsy,

      From our Body perspective, it is a sad story. Getting past the idea that life is supposed to be fair can be tough. But once you integrate the feeling that life is just life, neither fair nor unfair, you’re getting closer to seeing things from the Soul’s perspective.

      From the Soul’s perspective, the situation isn’t sad at all, but happy. It’s like, “Wow! What a fantastic opportunity! You don’t inherent anything! How great is that!”

      Beyond being good for a laugh, that perspective helps the Body see that it really is all good. That’s why getting closer to your own Soul feels so amazing, not because it makes life less complicated, but because the complications become fun (or at least manageable). Detachment is awesome!! Not that I’m there all the time, but when I do reach it, it feels fantastic.

      Thanks for writing. I always enjoy your comments. Hugs,

      Mary Carol

  • Hi Melody & Mary Carol,
    I was going to say that we are “souls in a body” and here to learn how to deal with issues souls don’t ever have to but, you said it so perfectly here:

    “Being in a body allows our Soul to experience and expand, and a large part of that expansion, the part that Soul can’t experience without a body, is getting along with other bodies.

    So the difficulties, the no-shows, the inheritances, are all beautiful manifestations and opportunities for our Soul-in-a-Body experience!”

    Wonderful! Thank you for this excellent article.

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Thanks Artemis!

      Isn’t it amazing that here we are, Souls in Bodies, soaking up the sun and the rain, experiencing all of life.

      Warm hugs,

      Mary Carol

  • Mary! What an engaging and interesting story/question 🙂

    For me the solution lies in letting go of all the tiny specifics and details.

    It’s not about who left what to who, and when, it’s about what did these people SOULS INTEND?

    Did the first wife “worry often” about “betrayal”, and so, manifest it?

    Did the children fret about “lack of resources” and doing so, side-step a nice windfall?

    Did the man intend to “please everyone”, which goes against The Variety Of The Universe and the Power Of Contrast?

    What I’m getting at is the STORY is focused on a couple small intentions (to leave the money to X), and a lot of tiny “actions” (he did this, she did this, they did this), but from what I understand of LoA, it’s MUCH more about … consistent attitude towards life, none of which was shared or addressed in the tale.

    Meh, food for thawtz, y0 😀

    Always love your posts.

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Hi Jason,

      I imagine you’re right in each of your speculations about the energy of what happened. And you’re right, of course, that it’s the big picture that counts. But often we get caught up in the details, and it’s a lot harder to read the energy of a situation you’re in the middle of.

      That’s where being on speaking terms with your Soul is really helpful, because a little detachment, even if it’s not total, helps. Each time I bump up against a challenge, I feel as if my Soul is jumping up and down, saying, “Oh, goody! How is this one going to work out?” That little nudge of pure joy, of wonder at the weirdness of life, may be just what I need to jolt me into enough detachment to see the situation a little more clearly, a little more big-picture.

      Thank you for the compliment! I always enjoy reading your comments, too.

      Mary Carol

  • Avatar Glynis Jolly says:

    I agree completely. I do feel that many people these days though, would want to live in the moment and just forget about how it effects anyone other than themselves. It’s sad that the world have become such a giant ball of me, me, me.

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      You raise an interesting point, Glynis.

      How do we ourselves distinguish between when we are living positively in the moment, and when we are living selfishly and ignoring others?

      How interesting! I just sat here and waited for a response, and felt a little burst of energy… The answer I get from my Soul is that living positively in the moment, living authentically, feels really really good. If we feel a twinge of wondering if we are being selfish, then we can listen to that twinge and pause before acting. Authentic, inspired action will never feel wrong in any way.

      It’s also important to remember that selfish/unselfish is a human invention, with no meaning to our Souls. An action that appears selfish to one person may actually feel inspired and authentic to the person acting. Suspending ourselves from judging brings us closer to Soul, and to joy.

      We can sense if something feels good, or if it feels less good. That’s our human body barometer. When we listen for joy before acting, we move ever closer to our Souls.

      Thank you for an inspired comment, Glynis! Warm hugs,

      Mary Carol

  • I’ve spent so many years trying to please others, worrying about their approval and generally trying to be “good enough.” I was raised with parents who reinforced that what ever we did (which I internalized as whoever I was) wasn’t quite right. It took me a while to start the shift to doing what feels good for me. I don’t completely disregard how it affects others but I’m not so worried about the approval. Today I’m doing many of the things that the old me would have defined as selfish. Now I know it’s not.

    Since I switched my mindset to simply doing, thinking and feeling what feels good, life is pretty different for me.

    I agree with many of Melody and Jason’s points. Basically, we don’t do anything to anyone. Everyone attracts their own life and circumstances. And we all make our own personal choice of how to interpret all of it.

    Every person here could make up their own story about your two situations. Some would say all is well while others are completely appalled. And so it is, this thing called life.

    Mary Carol – I appreciate you bringing up this topic. I’ve thought a lot about it in my journey between “all about others” vs. “all about me” and finding a happy balance.

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Hi Paige,

      This balance of other/me has been a big issue for me too. I figured out fairly young that I would never please my Mother, which thankfully led to rebellion. But I still find myself at odd moments slipping into ‘pleasing’ mode. For me it’s not so much about approval as it is about bending over backwards to avoid hurting anyone (though my head knows quite well that we can’t actually hurt anyone!).

      Thank you for sharing your story. The Body/Soul interface is a fascinating topic that I’ll be chewing on like old bone for the rest of my life.


      Mary Carol

  • Wow, this is something that I battle with all the time. I promised myself I wouldn’t let anything stand in my way when I first started marketing products online. Because of this, I ignored my friends, my family and my girlfriend and spent hours each day working on the new business. Then, when I realised it may be years before I’m successful I knew I had to make more effort to live in the moment because I could be dead by tomorrow. I’m trying to achieve a good balance and spend time with my loved ones but maintain a good work ethic.

    • Avatar Mary Carol says:

      Hi Gareth,

      Thanks for writing. I apologize for the delay in responding. I was on a 25-hour trek to get from southern Mexico to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It’s gorgeous here, BTW. Great place to vacation!

      You make a great point that balance is all-important. Living in the moment can certainly include working hard to accomplish your goals. If you can focus on work when you’re working, and then let it go and relax with friends, family, and girlfriend, you have the best of both. I was a single mom working 40-50 hour weeks, but when I was with my kids, I was really with my kids – no distractions allowed. We had a good emotional life then, my kids grew up to be fantastic adults (okay, Mom prejudice acknowledged), and we have strong and caring adult relationships.

      Good luck with your marketing business, and with your personal life! I’m sure you’ll make your own personal version of success with both.

      Mary Carol

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