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What’s So Enticing About Past and Future Vs. the Present Moment?

What's So Enticing About Past and Future Vs. the Present Moment?

If you consider it logically, it’s odd how we’re so used to having our consideration targeted on previous and future, largely to the exclusion of the current. In any case, the current is the just one that’s, actually, occurring and that may be tangibly engaged proper now — neither of which could be stated for previous or future.

Now’s all there’s, the solely “time” and “place” through which life is ever occurring. And but we spend the overwhelming majority of our time mentally partaking remembered or imagined pasts and futures, versus truly encountering the second we’re in.

From a logical perspective, shouldn’t it’s the different means round? Shouldn’t we be spending the overwhelming majority of life with our full consideration engaged in the current, apart from the occasional reminisce into previous or future?

What’s it about humanity at giant — and every of us particularly — that causes us to function in reverse of what would appear pure?

We will do nearly nothing about the previous and future, apart from to recollect them positively or negatively, anticipate them anxiously, or fret and fear about them.

But there’s lots we will see, really feel and do in the current second.  Nonetheless, whereas we might select to be absolutely engaged in the second earlier than us in its full, alive, three-dimensional shade and splendor, we so not often train this consciousness. As an alternative, we virtually all the time go for the considerations and worries of one other second — one which we’re not even capable of actively interact now, however solely to assume and brood about.

Why? What’s the massive draw?  Can we truly take pleasure in the state of low or excessive degree nervousness all this fascinated with previous and future places us in?  No we don’t, that’s the irony!  However I’ll inform you why we do it.  It’s as a result of it lets us really feel like we get to handle our lives and be in command of how issues form up.  Which is all an enormous phantasm anyway. Our inner dialogue and ideas and worries about what has occurred or might occur does nothing to vary what truly did or will occur.

It’s simply interesting to run to our ideas about one thing troublesome that occurred as a result of it lets us keep away from feeling it. Say we’ve been emotionally wounded in a relationship, for instance.  If we permit, really feel and settle for that ache proper now as an alternative of spinning our psychological tales about it, we’re being current with it.  I.e. alive, now, on this second.

However what are we being current with?  Emotional ache. Ouch, that’s not straightforward.  Which is strictly why our first impulse is to run to our ideas about it, the place we will maintain that ache a protected distance away by desirous about it as an alternative of feeling it. Whereas fascinated by one thing painful is disagreeable, it truly hurts lower than feeling it.

Similar goes for worrying a few future occasion.  Say we have now an upcoming examination, for instance.  As an alternative of simply being in the second and feeling no matter nervousness comes up regarding the upcoming examination, we rehash ideas about how dangerous it might be to fail the examination, how troublesome the material is and the like.  Nervousness is so exhausting to take a seat with, so what can we do?  We run to the “safety” of our minds the place we will fret and fear about the check.  Whereas doing so isn’t enjoyable, it truly distracts us from feeling the nervousness.

However in each of the above situations we pay an enormous worth for escaping to ideas about the previous and future to keep away from feeling the emotion of the second.  It might be one factor if escaping on a previous or future journey round a troublesome emotion truly removed the emotion.  Nevertheless it doesn’t.  The harm, worry or different troublesome emotion that drove us to flee the second continues to be there, nonetheless ready to be met. We didn’t truly escape it, so it continues to repeat itself, and we proceed feeling compelled to flee it by operating to previous and future ideas about it, advert infinitum.

So what we find yourself dropping isn’t the emotion, however the alternative to return to phrases with the emotion or expertise by feeling what it’s mentioning in us proper now. You see, as quickly as we’re in thoughts we’re considering.  Which suggests we’re not feeling.  Which suggests we’re not related to our self, because it resides in the current second.  And so we permit the emotion to maintain us from being alive to the solely actuality we even have, the current second actuality.

Once we drop thought, we return immediately to what’s right here, earlier than us, simply ready to be lived.

Once we stay in the previous and future, we’re primarily in a fog.  Once we stay in the current, we are literally experiencing life in its aliveness.  It’s like the distinction between one-dimensional vs. three-dimensional actuality.

That’s to not say life lived in the current is all enjoyable, straightforward and a continuing bathe of rose petals. Difficulties and challenges come up once we stick round “here” lengthy sufficient to offer them our consideration. Disagreeable, boring and uncomfortable conditions need to be handled. Robust selections have to be made. Painful emotions ask to be confronted.

These weak moments are the moments when thoughts shortly jumps in to entice and tempt us to consider that it could actually handle issues higher than life is already doing. That it may maneuver a safer, extra snug and extra pain-free passage by means of life on our behalf. Lies! 

In actuality, all it may well do is take us to its pretend, stale, make-believe world the place we discover ourselves ensnared in a loop of considering, fretting and brooding over what has occurred or will occur, as an alternative of assembly what’s right here now with belief, consciousness and vivacity.

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