First of all, in order to truly live in the present, you must be able to make peace with your past. If your past has large, unresolved problems, then they will leak into your present time; sometimes a slow leak that gets overlooked until it becomes a flood. We must allow past problems and future concerns to live separately or they will intertwine together leaving behind a mess that may leave behind stains. I am speaking in metaphors, so to speak bluntly, we must deal with our past skeletons or we will cause ourselves (and sometimes others) unnecessary hurt and pain. If you had a rough childhood, come to terms with it, work on it, forgive, or else those problems will leak into your future as a parent, adult, employee, spouse, friend, your person will be affected. If you have a troublesome past with the opposite sex, make peace with it or it will leak into future relationships. Stop waiting for “someday” to make peace with your past or to be happy. Do not live in the past or the future but the present.
If you think about it, we never live in the future, we are always living in present time. Besides, the main problem with fearing the future is that you think about the future situation from the thoughts, emotions and beliefs that you have NOW, which will be different when the future situation comes about. So in a way, the future you are imagining is not the true future.Think positively about your future because when imagining your future, why not imagine a positive one? Resenting the past doesn’t help either because you cannot change it; so why re-live it and suffer when you cannot do anything to change it?
Life is a learning experience. An experience that we never reach the end to because there is even something to be learned in death. Life is made up of various lessons that are disguised as mistakes. A mistake is a lesson that just has yet to be learned and will continually repeat itself until it is learned. I know it is overused, but it is so true, ” The very definition of insanity is doing something the same every time, yet expecting a different outcome”.
I speak from experience. I am a worrier. I worry about everything to the point that I cause the future to be just as how I had envisioned it in my worried mind and when the bad things I feared do not come to be, I have already missed my chance to enjoy the present moment. Every few weeks or months, something will come up that I will lose sleep over. Once I decide to deal with my problems and stop complaining I come up with various solutions. Then I have time to be present.
Some tips on Living in the Moment:
1. See life through a child’s eyes: Children really experience the full experiences of life. They examine everything around them, they take their time when really looking at something as simple as a rock or fallen tree branch. They laugh a deep hearty laugh and they smile when things make them happy. When life is stressing me out, I look at my son and see him playing with his cars. The sheer excitement of the car zooming across the living room floor excites him and he smiles his biggest smile. I hear his laughter and can’t help but smile and giggle a bit along with him.
2. Make peace with your past. Write down things you may regret or that you are upset about in your past. Examine each of them and realize that all things are lessons you have learned and if you haven’t learned them yet, figure out the reason behind them. The truly horrible things, although it may be hard to see, have brought you to who you are today. If you don’t like who are today, figure out how you can resolve those issues whether it be through counseling, writing, or simply letting go.
3. Write down your fears. What are you afraid of? Sometimes when you write down your fears and read them when you are in a different state of mind, you can see how silly they may seem. You may also be able to see the various solutions to those fears.
4. Think about how many times you have worried, lost sleep and driven yourself crazy over a fear that never ended up coming to be?
5. Lastly, make a list of the things you keep putting off to do “someday” that seem to loom over your head daily like a rain cloud. Out of those things listed, how many can you tackle today, this week, this month. Resolve these things or they will forever be on your “to-do” list.
Once you have freed yourself from your past, once you have your future worries resolved, you can truly live in the present. It takes a bit of effort, but it is far better than living life with small bursts of happiness when you can feel happy all the time. =)