“Be Where You Are!” – The Words That Changed Everything!

“Be where you are!” were some of the first words spoken to me by the Chaplain at a local hospital. Father Mike introduced himself as I stood over our infant son Jordan laying in a baby warmer dressed in only a diaper and a hat knitted by a kind-hearted hospital volunteer. Jordan and I had just arrived at the ER via ambulance. He was all of 12 days old when his condition had gone from bad to worse. He was immediately intubated and an x-ray showed that his heart was enlarged. It was quickly decided that he would be better served at a hospital an hour away, so a transfer via helicopter was arranged.

"Be Where You Are!": The words that changed everything. Will they change you too?

My husband had just left to go pack my suitcase, when Father Mike joined me at Jordan’s bedside. He went onto explain his words: “Be where you are!”. Father Mike said that the next several weeks and months would be some of the hardest in our lives. He urged me to be fully present in every moment – “be where you are” – and to trust that I was right where I was supposed to be, all the time.

“Be fully engaged in your oldest child, when you are at home with him. Play with him, interact and give him your undivided attention. Trust that Jordan is well cared for at the hospital, so you can be a wonderful mother to your oldest son. When you are with Jordan in the hospital be present there, pay attention to your surroundings, changes in Jordan and be mindful of his needs. You can do this knowing that your oldest son is safe in his loving home.”  Father Mike’s words stuck with me. I made a decision to follow his advice and be present in every moment, however scary and frightening it would be.

“Be where you are” became my mantra, the words that would comfort me during our darkest hours. The four words kept me centered during Jordan’s six weeks in the PICU where I sat bedside and watched helplessly as our infant struggled to fight for what I promised him would be a beautiful life.

Now, six years later, we are blessed with a large flock of little boys and my promise to Jordan has come true – our life IS beautiful. With that said, I still on a daily basis remind myself of Father Mike’s words: “be where you are.”

On days when the kids are melting down and fighting as siblings do, I remind myself to be present in the moment. These times, however crazy they make me, however tired and frazzled I may feel, they are not to be wished away – and I certainly should not be dreaming of a quiet beach on a remote island, because I am right where I am supposed to be.

Wouldn’t you know it, when I pull myself back from my day dream and focus on separating the two little boys that are stuck together like pieces of LEGO, the fighting stops. The tantrums, the meltdowns, the yelling, the arguing – they all come to a halt! When I live by the words “be where you are,” the boys realize that I see them. I am no longer distracted by my own wandering thoughts, flashy iPhone or luring social media notifications – I am fully present, engaged, and focused on them and their endless stream of questions, knock-knock jokes, comments, silly voices and retelling of their school adventures.

Father Mike’s advice got me through the worst of times. His guiding words led me through the muddiest waters to the other side, where our family is flourishing with renewed focus and resolve.

When you feel torn between friends, when the work/ life balance is out of whack, when you are annoyed that everything happens on “their time” and you long for some “me time” – take a step back and tell yourself to “be where you are!” Trust me – it works.

When was the last time you wished to be far away from reality? What mantra keeps you grounded?

You can read more from the archives about our journey with Jordan: “Breastfeeding Jordan. Our Baby With a Big Heart

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  1. Yours! It truly is a beautiful mantra to live by. I can say I was given this piece of advice by a wonderful Mother (you). I have since never (almost never) wished to be somewhere I am not. I love being where I am too. I try to let go and not be in control of the future but of this moment. Thank you for sharing this again. I will post your beautiful reminder in my other mom group.

    • Mama in the Now says:

      THANK YOU for your sweet words – it really warms my heart to know that I have helped you in some small way!!!! THANK YOU!

  2. Tove, you know this already, but I’ll say it again because it’s worth saying. Those four words you shared with me on Facebook – they were my anchor when the twins were in NICU, and I was in a terrible, dark place. You literally pulled me out of the darkness. I survived, they survived. THANK YOU.

    • Mama in the Now says:

      This is BY FAR the sweetest thing I have ever been told – seriously! I am so glad that your babies are doing well – and that I played a small role in your saving your sanity! I am very happy to hear this!

  3. Wow this is fantastic advice, Tove. I was just thinking about living in the now the other night, and how it’s calming and makes you aware of yourself and your surroundings. What a great mantra to remind yourself when times are tough and you’re worrying about the what ifs and things you can’t even handle. Just handle and be wherever you are—awesome.

    • Mama in the Now says:

      Thank you, Nina. It IS calming to live in the Now – it sort of shuts out all the internal noise telling you to do this and be there.

  4. Thank You!!
    Wow! Tove, awesome article! Wish I had that advice 15 years ago today as I sat by my sons PiCU bedside wondering if I would ever bring him home, I did thankfully!!!!
    Congrats to you!!! Now off to redo my mascara

  5. This is an excellent post. I find it far too easy to live in either the past or the future. And forget that now is where I am.


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