To live for any time that is not the present, is quite simply to be outside of reality. Sometimes, when things are really bad, looking to the future can pull you through. But doing it too often can only lead to more unsatisfactory feelings about one’s present experience.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Seize the Day!
“Looking for alternatives - better sights than we see, better sounds than we hear, a better mind than we have - keeps us from realizing that we could stand with pride in the middle of our life and realize it’s a sacred mandala.” - Pema Chodron
Why is it so difficult to live in the present moment and to appreciate it for what it is? Instead we tend to find it more alluring to look into the future and fantasize about a time when we will be richer, thinner, or happier for a myriad of reasons. Or we get stuck focusing on past glories, or what would have, could have, should have been.
Getting stuck in the past can be even worse: We imagine what might be if we had only done something different. How things would be better in our current situation, if only... But there is no way of knowing how things would have turned out if another choice had been made, because it’s impossible to see far enough down that path. Things could indeed be worse!
When we spend too much energy imagining better outcomes or dreaming about a perfect future, we lose sight of the true power we have in our present time to make the positive changes necessary to move forward in our lives. We certainly need to remember the lessons of the past, and set goals toward our future success but the key to getting the most out of our experiences lies in our ability to live consciously in the present.
Image: www.viewonbuddhism.org/ tantra_symbols. html