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The present presence

It’s difficult to live in the now. Our minds usually race between past and future, only briefly touching on the present when we have to deal with reality, like not crashing into the car in front of us, or avoiding the dog poo while out for a stroll. I guess that’s a human condition. We have the ability to remember events (although not as clearly as we think) and feel the emotions we felt then, as well as project ourselves into the future and imagine something that hasn’t happened yet. This is both a blessing and a curse.

Looking backwards, our past can give us guidance, reminding us what worked and what didn’t so we don’t have to make the same mistakes again. But it can also be debilitating when you’re plagued with regret and guilt about things that you’ll never be able to undo or words you’ll never be able to take back.

When we look forward, we have the ability to imagine the best of what could be, dream up wonderful inventions, flights of creative fancy that have brought about immense wealth and progress to the human race. On the other side, we also imagine how our lives could get worse, how everything could come crashing down around us, and this paralyses us with anxiety and fear.

It’s only when you’re actively engaged in the present that you can see the world for what it is, not what it was or what it should be. This stoic detachment allows a different perspective, one which ceases to push against the world and cry out about unfairness and instead seeks to understand the world and bend with and around it. You become an active participant in your life, choosing how to relate to everything around you, not merely a bystander watching as your life goes by.

Be mindful, not mind full.

 

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