"There are only two days in the year that noting can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, and do and mostly live."
~ Dalai Lama
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the past? Do you relive moments of greatness or pleasure? Do you spend time regretting past actions or past inactions? Or do you spend a lot of time dreaming about the future, thinking about the things that life holds for you down the road?
All of us do both of these to some extent, but many of us let the past and the future rule our lives, and while we are there, we forget that life is made and lived now, at this very moment.
We cannot change the past
No matter how much we wish we could, we cannot change the past. No matter how different we want our path to have been, there is nothing we can do to make it any different. Our past experiences are what has brought us to the point we are now, whether we like it or not. We have become the person we are because of everything that has happened to us.
The experiences that we have had are responsible for allowing us to determine our preferences. They allow us to understand what we like and what we don't like about our situation, and they give us the incentive to move toward something different. We should learn from our experiences, but from there we need to move on. This is where many of us get stuck.
We make choices in our lives. Once the choice is made, we start taking action on that choice, and, at that point, our life is forever altered. We cannot go back. Of course, we sometimes feel that we have made the wrong choice, and so we sit with regret. The thing we sometimes fail to realize is that we can always make a new choice...at any time. We can always choose a different direction from this point...we just can't go back to the point of the original choice and choose differently. It really shouldn't matter, as we can't make a wrong choice. We can't get things wrong. Each choice, each experience, each view of a situation from our current perspective, is exactly what we need at that time.
Leave the past in the past. Don't let it suck up the present by consuming your thoughts. We can't change what has happened, but we can move forward, we can create the intention to change things in the way which we feel will bring us to where we wish to be in our lives. Move forward. No regrets.
We do not know what the future brings
Although we can hope and plan, we cannot know exactly what the future brings. We all have many things that we hope for in the future, but we are never sure from day to day what the will happen.
Of course we make plans. Of course we think about what we want to happen and we work toward that. But many of us tend to live in the future. "I can hardly wait until xxx happens." "I will be happy when I have xxx." These types of thoughts are the most dangerous to us, because, with the promise of a better life, we keep our minds focused on that future time, and we miss out on what is happening now. As a matter of fact, if we live too much in the future, we not only miss the present, but we fail to live the things, or take the opportunities that will get us to the life we desire much quicker.
When we live too much in the future, we tend to be disappointed with our lives. We aren't where we want to be, so we feel that there is something wrong with us, or something wrong with our lives. We often fail to realize that we are on a path...a journey...and that journey will pass through the place we desire to be, but just because we aren't there yet does not mean we will never get there. It is like taking a road trip to a different city. For almost the entire trip, you are not where you want to be, but we keep moving forward because we know that we will get to our destination eventually.
Plan for the future, but don't live there. You only set yourself up for disappointment.
Now is all there is
Now...right now...is when everything in your life happens. Now is the only time that you can ever have any effect on your life. Now is what makes life.
It doesn't matter if you spend now thinking about the past, or if you spend it thinking about the future. It is now that you are living. It is now that your decisions make a difference in your life. The old adage, "There's no time like the present," is not quite accurate. Although the adage is true, it doesn't give the completed picture. A more accurate statement would be, "there's no time but the present."
When you live now, when you pay attention to what is happening at this time, you experience life more fully. You become aware of the opportunities that are presented to you and you are much more likely to take them. When you live in the now, you are fully participating in your life, and you will find yourself much more fulfilled; you will find yourself much happier because you aren't waiting to find happiness or for happiness to come to you.
Live in the now. Set your intention to do just that.
Are you living in the now, or do you spend more of your time in the past or the future? Are you willing to take change how you experience life, even if temporarily? Leave a comment and let the community know what you think about living in the now. We're listening.