July 14

Not living in the present is a form
of denial.  It's easier to live in the
past or future because then you don't
have to be responsible for the present.

Jane Hendrix


Today's Meditation:

The only way I was ever able to learn how to live in the present moment was to learn what it means to try to live in the past or future.  It's simply a matter of where our thoughts are.  Are they on the things that are a part of our reality at this moment, or are they on the insults from yesterday or the wonderful vacation last month?  Are they on the movie I'm going to see tomorrow or the trip I'll take three weeks from now?  While some thought to things like these can be important, too much time spent thinking about them can keep us from the joys and responsibilities of the right now.

I used to agonize over mistakes that I had made.  I would think about them for days, sure that someone was mad at me or disappointed with me.  I came to learn that while I was spending tons of mental energy on such thoughts--and missing many pleasant moments in the present--other people had completely forgotten my mistakes, or hadn't even noticed them in the first place.

It's been widely said that the only moment we can possibly live in is the present moment.  If we try to live anywhere else in time, we're only remembering or hoping, but always about times over which we have absolutely no control.  As Jane says, this is a form of denial, but it's also a form of avoidance.  My actions at this moment shape my future, and if I avoid acting, I can blame my future on forces outside of myself.  But if we take responsibility for our own lives and fill this present moment with a focus on what we need to do and with giving and sharing and showing love, then moment by moment we're building a life that truly contributes to this world in which we live, and the other people and living things in it and on it.

It is easier to focus on the past or future; because it's impossible to act in either, it allows us to spend time without being compelled to act at all.  But if our actions are loving and giving, it's a tragedy to spend time without contributing those acts to our world.  What you do right now is very important to many, and it's a great thing if you can make your present full of positive, loving acts.

Questions to consider:

How many of your moments do you actually spend focused on the present moment?  How many do you spend focused on the past or future? 

Why is it so easy to avoid being focused on the present moment?

What are some downfalls to avoiding a focus on the present?

For further thought:

There is only one time that is important--Now!  It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.  The most necessary person is the one with whom you are, for no person knows whether he or she will ever have dealings with anyone else:  and the most important affair is, to do the person good, because for that purpose alone were human beings sent into this life!

Wayne Dyer


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