I hope you all had a joyous or at least comfortable Thanksgiving. The holidays can be a tough time for EVERYBODY. My father passed away 2 days after Turkey Day 8 years ago and that’s a hard one to
shake. I’m just glad that all of his grandchildren were with him at the end as a result of having come for a visit for the holiday. So at these times it’s hard not to take a look at the past and pay tribute to those who are no longer here with us. That’s one of the times when reflecting on the past is the appropriate thing to do.
Anyway, today’s blog is Part 2 of, “Heal the past, live the present, dream the future.”, so we will leave the reminiscing out of the equation for the most part.
“Live the present”,what does that and should that mean to us? I’ve written about this subject at length on previous blogs and of course it is a big part of “The Freedom to Recover”so I’m not going to spend too much time on it today. Go back and read all of that if you’re so inclined.
Quite simply, life happens in the present. Sure the past brings us to this moment and what we do today greatly influences our tomorrows. Naturally there are also many outside factors that influence our
tomorrows over which we have no control; such is life.
I’m not a big fan of determinism (the idea that EVERYTHING in your life is pre-ordained and that you really have zero say in any of it) and if you are, then what I have to say will be of no interest to you whatsoever.
I do believe that the choices we make and the actions that we take do in fact greatly alter and form our reality and destiny. For far too long, especially back in the days of my alcoholically dependent life, I lived my “present” on auto-pilot without any real intent other than to quiet my suffering mind. Towards the end, there was no relief but just pure oblivion. It was when I re-claimed my present and added the element of
direction and intent, that things began to improve in my life.
So yes, much of what you do in the present should be predicated by what you would like to accomplish in the future (both short and long-term).
Now I’m going to contradict this idea by admitting that there are times when you should “just go with the flow” and let life happen. Just let it BE if you will and enjoy the moment without worrying about what’s next.
Here’s an example……You’re at a “Green Day” concert and they’re absolutely tearing it up and everybody’s having a great time. You’re enjoying it as well but they haven’t yet played Boulevard
of broken dreams, your favorite song. You start wondering if they are going to play it and when. You start predicting, stressing and forecasting into the near future and as a result you stop actually listening to and enjoying what they are playing RIGHT NOW. You have taken yourself out of the moment! You have to develop the ability to just BE and enjoy what is taking place around you.
So as I see it, there are two ways to approach the present; one with intent which is goal oriented towards the future and that takes into account the fact that present decisions and actions effect and influence that future, and two; to simply be in the moment without putting any pressure on yourself in regards to any specific outcomes. They are both important in their own way and the key to happiness, in my opinion, is being
able to shift from one mode to the other efficiently and appropriately.
Again, I talk about this stuff in much greater detail in the book, so check it out if you haven’t already.
Next up……. “Dream the future”.