As I write these words, I struggle to stay present. My mind wants to remind me of everything I have coming up, things that I should be thinking about, planning, and worrying over.
Yet, as I focus on the future it interferes with right now, with this very moment. In fact, I realize that thinking about the future while living in the present is not even possible.
I cannot live in two places at the same time!
The future distracts me, it leads me down a path where there is precious little under my control. While living in the future, I hear words such as “What if… I should… I need to.” There is very little positive or productive thinking in these words. The future is out of my control.
However, when I am in the present, really in the moment, things get done. Articles get written, art is created, goals are met, creative business ideas are achieved, and real life is experienced.
In the present, I am committed to my true, authentic self. In the future I connect with my fearful self, the one who anticipates, who becomes cautious and who ultimately lives in fear.
There are other times, however, when I let myself live in the past. I remember what I should have done, the choices that might have been better, the creative things I could have gone for. I begin to move from presence to the past, from this very moment that is under my control, to looking back on how I might have lived differently.
Even though I cannot in any way change or control my past, I allow myself to feel guilt and shame. I have plenty of material to feel regret, so instead of gaining wisdom from my past and becoming stronger as a result in the moment, I beat myself up, as if there was something I could do about it today.