What does living in the present really entail?
Does it mean that we neglect the influence of past events? Perhaps it means that we strictly focus on the current affairs of our lives? Living in the present requires walking a very fine line. It means we acknowledge that our past molds us, but we must not let previous engagements interfere with our current state and obstruct us from achieving what is in front of us.
The borders between the past, present, and future are tethered together. These so called time frames have a tremendous influence on one another and how we chose to live our current lives.
We are constantly shaped by not only the past, but also the future. It is easier to see how our history is intertwined with the present. We acknowledge that prior interactions have a direct impact on us and how we socialize with our peers. For example, an argument with a loved one may cause you to harbor ill feelings and suspend communication. Just as the past effects us, the future does as well. Take for instance the phrase, “The bark…” the following word changes how we view the sentences. It could read, “The bark of a dog,” just as it could read, “the bark of a tree.” What happens in the past and future effects how we live in the present.
It is important to understand that the present involves each of these different time stages and in order to be in full attendance we must not forget that everything is interdependent with one another. Just as the food we eat now influences what we become later, and the items we consumed in the past have a direct correlation with how we appear now.
There is a distinct difference between conceding the events of the past and getting stuck in them. Many people live in the past. They focus on previous events and they allow those instances to control their lives and how they treat people. What we often forget is that people are constantly changing. You are a different person than you were a year ago, let alone five years. The experiences that happen in our past have the ability to change us and alter how we react in present day situations. We must be able to accept the past while also having the strength to forgive and move on.
Often times we hear of people holding grudges or feuds. They allow past encounters to directly influence their emotions and how they presently interact with people. If we constantly focus on previous wrongdoings we deprive ourselves the wonderful gift of freedom. We instead become slaves to our own emotions. We become chained to the past and our ability to see clearly is obstructed. We must be willing to move on for the benefit of not only ourselves, but others as well.
Forgiveness does not mean that we forget what has happened. Forgiveness means that we no longer allow a particular altercation to influence our present state. It means accepting what has happened and permitting ourselves to move forward. When we genuinely forgive someone we gain back control that had been lost due to malicious thoughts and resentments.
Just as living in the past has downfalls, so does living in the future. If we constantly worry about something that may or may not happen we rob ourselves of the beauty that exists here and now. We must let go of the false sense of authority we feel we hold over nature.
There is very little we have control over. Why do we devote so much energy to living in other time frames? We exist in this very second. We are not guaranteed anything. We have the ability to control our attitude and outlook. So let us focus our attention on being attentive to the needs that present themselves now.
I challenge you to be the master of your attitude. You have the ability to overcome far more than you realize. I encourage you to forgive someone who has caused pain and hurt. Forgiveness does not mean that you forget; but rather that you allow yourself to move on. Grant yourself permission to experience your emotions, accept what has happened, then agree to move on. Do not let prior events control your outlook on life.
Look for the beauty in every day. Channel your energy into experiencing your life now. We only have this very moment, so do not focus on what has happened or what could happen. Focus your attention on what is happening.
I challenge you to accept people for who they are, not for who they have been. I urge you to experience your emotions; they exist for a reason. Allow yourself to cry, laugh, smile, and scream. It’s when we detain ourselves from truly feeling, that we run into complications. Being healthy means not only maintaining your physical appearance, but also your mental and spiritual health as well. We must be present to the whole of our bodies rather than one singular facet.
I encourage you to live in the present. I encourage you to smile and be grateful you are alive. I encourage you to live free.