Living in the Present

It’s the principle behind so many philosophies
It is the precept of 10 step programs
It is called mindfulness in Buddhism
It’s suppose to be the secret of happiness
Yet it’s probably one of the most difficult things to do
We all seem to have a predisposition
to live either in the past or in the future

Living in the past can be melodramatic and downright sad
We have so many regrets, things we would do differently
events we would like to return to and do differently.
If you live in the past, you are often riddled with guilt and regret. It is thought to be a factor in depression

Living in the future is a very anxious way to live
because we are not in control of our future
If you live in the future, you are afraid to miss out on the good
or you are afraid to afraid to be confronted with the worse
Living in the future is like living in the dark
It can be pretty terrifying
This type of mindset is associated with panic disorders

Focusing on one day at a time, even one moment at a time
This day, this moment – these are manageable time frames.
And yet …
most work of art , most literary masterpieces
rely on a connection to one’s memories – once past
the images and feelings they evoke.
And most innovations , most inventions, most successful businesses
require an ability to foresee the future.
Many people thrive on future achievements and goals.
I am one of them….

The future has always been my driving force.
The present has never felt acceptable in an of of itself.
Every thought and action was supposed to be an investment in the future (possibly in an effort to put distance between me and my past?)

It’s so hard to learn to live in the present.
To give each experience its rightful credit
rather than bank it for the future.
Now that I have quite a bit less time ahead then behind me
I need to learn to appreciate the here and now.
How does one begin to do this?

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