“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha
I was talking to somebody recently and as I was listening to her, I have noticed that she kept talking about the past. I felt no present, no future in her life, only a great deal of past, a lot of past memories, and so I asked her: “Mary, you know what I have noticed? You talk a lot about your past but I hear nothing about your present life and maybe about some future goals and dreams you may have.” You know what she told me? That she is happy with her past and that she loves talking about it. It feels good. Of course, you could tell that there was something wrong and that she wasn’t really satisfied with her present situation, and when I asked her to tell me more about her present life if she’s happy, she replied: “What is it to talk about? I have nothing. I don’t like my present life, in fact, I hate it. What is there to talk about? That is exactly why I always talk about my past because it makes me feel better about myself and my life. I can’t stand what my present life looks like… ”
How wrong is that? If you get stuck in your past, you aren’t really living. You can’t run away forever from your life, and that is exactly what this person was trying to do, and unfortunately she is not the only one. A lot of people run away from their present lives, living in the past or future, wasting their lives. The present moment for them is an obstacle, something that they can’t stand because the present moment keeps them away from something better… If you are only talking about your past or future, you aren’t really present, you aren’t really living. Your life is now and whether you like it or not, you need to see it as being truth and maybe start acting upon that truth.
Isn’t it interesting how you hate the present, how you hate your circumstances and your life in this very moment, but after the present is no longer present, after the present becomes a memory after the present becomes the past, you decide that you love it and that you feel good about it? What is wrong with us? Are we really that crazy? You don’t like this very moment, but when this moment is gone you realize that is very precious? Can’t you just realize that this is all you have? Can’t you realize that the present moment is, in fact, your life? You will never feel more alive than you do right now, in this very moment, so why using the present moment to think about something you didn’t even value when it was there when it was present? Become aware and try to see the truth in these words, and by doing this, you will realize how much your life would be simplified and how beautiful and precious your life would become.
What really struck me about Mary was that she hated her present circumstances, she hated her life, but she had no thoughts or ideas on how to change any of those circumstances, and when I suggested her that maybe she would want to consider taking some action, she told me she is afraid. Afraid…
What is it with us people that we us so scared, so afraid of everything? It’s not like the moment we decide to make a change in our lives, all kind of monsters will start attacking us, and that is exactly why we choose to stay in our comfort zone so that we won’t get attacked and get hurt.
If you don’t like your present life, you have a choice. You can either do something about it, take some action and change it, or just accept the idea that your fears rule you; that you will always be at their mercy; that your life will always look the way it does; that you will be miserable for the rest of your life.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Frank Herbert
So what do you choose to do? I know you will choose to make a change for the better and that you will use that brain of yours for the right reasons, no longer allowing those neurons of yours to go to waste, and you can start by asking yourself some of these questions:
How would my life look like in 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 20 years etc. if I continue living the way I do?
Do I want to continue living like this for the rest of my life?
What is it that I am so afraid of?
Are any of these fears real?
Do I want to make a change?
Do I want to be happy?
Do I deserve to live a better life?
What is it that I want to change about me and about my life?
How would my ideal life look like? Can I make that happen?
What are the steps that I would need to take?
Who are the people that could help me?
Do I need to stop drinking?
Do I need to stop using drugs?
Do I need to go back to school?
Do I need to start exercising?
Do I need to start paying closer attention to what I eat?
Do I need to quit my job? Can I afford to do that?
Am I willing to accept some short-term pain that will eventually bring me long term gain?
Am I willing to face the criticism of those around me?
Am I willing to face my fears?
Am I really capable of changing those many limiting beliefs that I have about myself, my capabilities and my potential?
It doesn’t have to be difficult. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself these questions and many others you might have. If you let yourself be controlled by your fears, if you are afraid and if you never find the courage to ask yourself these questions, you will be unhappy for the rest of your life, and nobody wants that. You thought you were cheating life, but who were you kidding? You were only cheating yourself.
To tell you the truth, Mary, just like any one of us, has incredible potential and she is such a talented and creative person, and it’s so sad to see how most of us choose to waste all of these precious gifts and talents that were given to us because we are afraid. She was afraid of change, of the unknown, and even though she was dissatisfied with her current situation, with her present life, she got accustomed with that.
It never ceases to amaze me how people say that they are unhappy, that they hate their jobs, their lives, their partners etc., and when an opportunity comes, an opportunity for them to start living a better life, they realize that they are too scared, and that in fact they got pretty comfortable to feeling the way they do, to loving the life they are living and that they are going to stick with it for a little while. They are going to make a change, but not right now. They need a little more time…
I really think that deep down inside, we all know how great we are and how many wonderful things we can achieve, and that is exactly what we fear. We fear our greatness…