Ever feel like you’re failing to reach a state of total contentment in life? Like there’s always something you need to do first in order to achieve optimum levels of happiness? Whether it’s to get a new car, find yourself a job you actually like or lose X amount of weight, this “when I get …., I’ll be so happy” mentality means that you overlook your right to happiness in this moment. Whatever it is that you desire, you’ll be happy when you get it and with a little bit of time/effort/perseverance, can you finally bridge the gap that lies between you and your contentment?
Well.. no.. because here’s the first major problem with this approach; it lives in the future therefore it.does.not.exist. In fact, has anything you’ve ever experienced, whether it be a thought/feeling/achievement, happened outside of the present moment? The answer is no isn’t it? Every single thing you’ve ever done in your life happened in the ‘now’, and although it can seem like the past and the future are just as real as the present, they aren’t. The past for example is a memory trace – stored in the mind of a former now. And the future – only a projection of the mind, an imagined version of the now. Neither one hold any reality of their own!
OK what have you been smoking and where can I get some? Right? But for real! The only way one can be truly happy in this life is to allow themselves happiness in THIS moment. After all.. it’s the only place we’ll ever be, the only place we’ll ever exist. And right now is the only time we’ll ever be alive.
Looking at it from a slightly different angle, have you ever worked hard towards a goal and once you achieved it found that it never really gave you that feeling of satisfaction or completion that you expected and if it did, it was short-lived? I think that’s because what we think we want isn’t always what we trulyyy want. We want the feeling we perceive it will give us. That feeling being a fast-track to a state of happiness and contentment with our lives. But it’s like anything really, once novelty wears off, you’re no longer satisfied. Naturally you start looking for the next goal or the next asset which is going to restore your sense of satisfaction. Which is healthy! In terms of striving to better yourself don’t get me wrong.. but consciously/subconsciously removing your happiness from this moment and storing it in one where you’re not, one where you will never be – the future, is detrimental to not only your state of wellbeing but your ability to sustain a happy existence.
One key element to realising that you are perfectly capable of living and being happy in the present is the realisation that problems don’t actually exist either.. haha! Can you spot a pattern here?
For instance.. If you were to drop everything you’re doing right now and tell me what your problems are in this EXACT moment, could you give me an answer? If not it’s because it’s almost impossible to have any problems when your attention is fully here and now. Really if you think about it there are no problems, only situations that need addressing now or in a future version of now where you are capable of doing so.
It’s no secret that problems are made by our own minds, mentally dwelling on a situation with little intention or possibility of taking action now. Take those who have experienced a life or death emergency. They’ll know that the situation they experienced wasn’t a problem. The mind didn’t have time to mess around/over think and make it into one. In a true emergency, the mind stops and you become totally present in the now and something infinitely more powerful takes over. In these types of situations you either survive or you don’t, either way it’s not a ‘problem’.
Negative emotions such as anxiety, stress and worry are all forms of fear, caused by too much future and not enough presence. Whereas sadness, guilt and resentment are all forms of non-forgiveness, caused by too much past and not enough presence.
It’s difficult to believe that it’s possible to live a happy existence free from problems and negativity, but this is the liberated state behind all spiritual teachings!
Just a thought.
P.s very hungover today so if it’s typo galore up there, apologies yo.
2 thoughts on “Living in the here and now”
Loved this last one Mandy xx