Being in the present moment is probably one of the most difficult commitments to ourselves that we could ever undertake. Most of us spend our time in thoughts of the past or the future. When our minds are constantly embedded in the past, these thoughts often are ones of regret, resentment, anger, self-pity or other emotions that only serve to contaminate our bodies and minds with poisonous energy that can only debilitate us.
Even those happy and joy-filled thoughts of the past or anticipation of the future, if we regularly entertain them, can take our attention away from the present moment, which is the only playing field that any of us have to successfully negotiate our daily lives.
To function appropriately in our daily lives, it is necessary to prepare for future events like vacations, meetings, etc. None of these preparations should be engaged in in an obsessive manner. Make your plans and leave them alone until it’s time to execute them.
In my life, I have had a tendency to focus on the past, like my marriage. Initially I was very happy to share my life with my husband. As the years progressed, so many things changed. My husband was sexually engaged with many other women. He suffered with depression but chose not to deal with it. Although he was able to function well on his jobs, there were some he didn’t like, but he was emotionally unable to make a decision to change jobs that were more to his liking, so he complained incessantly.
For years, I endured those experiences because, in between the numerous unhappy episodes, there were some joyous ones, as well. Meanwhile, I feared getting an STD disease. I stayed in that environment for 18 years. Even after divorcing my husband, mentally I stayed in that environment. I complained to anyone who sat still long enough to hear me. I thought of the past for so long and never realized what I was doing to myself.
Shortly before the end of my marriage, I discovered a metaphysical teaching and joined a nearby Unity church. I truly believe this teaching, philosophy/lifestyle became the savior for me. I learned and now truly believe and accept that there is a Presence, a Power that is invisible within me. This Presence, like electricity, is unseen, yet it is real. I learned that my mind is a part of this energy and I have learned to use my mind to create an environment that is more loving, joy-filled, creative and productive.
I am not helping myself physically, mentally, emotionally or psychically by dwelling in the past or the future. By staying in the past, I am unable to forgive others (for me forgiveness simply means to let go) or even forgive myself. The more I dwell in the present, I feel more energetic and capable of handling my life.
We will always encounter challenging situations, but by living in the present moment, we empower ourselves by being open and receptive to the guidance and wisdom of that invisible Presence. I meditate to clear up my mind and stay in the present. I have learned that as I keep my thoughts in the present moment, as much as possible, I am creating an environment that is more amenable to peace of mind.
Those who are constantly stressed are slowly but certainly tearing down their body temples. This doesn’t have to be so. It is only because we have been injecting poison into our temples by negatively holding onto the past or the future, keeping us from focusing on right now.
By staying in the present, we look at what is currently happening. If there’s a possibility for change, then we take that action. If no change is feasible, we must peacefully acknowledge that and conclude, “It is what it is.” The present moment is the only playing field we have been given.