So much is written and talked about regarding living in the present moment…the ‘now’. I wonder, is this truly possible? Doesn’t the present moment move too fast for any of us to capture or contemplate?
I believe I get the idea folks are hinting at. It’s an idea where your attention is, as much as any of us are capable of, localized in the present moment you are living. It’s a way of releasing all our other thoughts, the ones that drag us back into the past or shove us forward into the future.
Living in the ‘now’ is thought to allow us to be mindful and conscious of our current existence, so that we don’t miss anything. And so that we find value and pleasure in each moment, not mourning its passing nor avoiding the next moment to come.
I recognize that, whether conscious of it or not, we are always living from one moment to the next. It doesn’t matter what your mind or your heart is doing, the flow of time continues to move.
I may be missing some very important distinction or point about all of this and perhaps what I have to say won’t hit your target, but I have a different view I’d like to share. It’s a case for not living in the ‘now’, at least not as described above.
In part, as with almost any idea, there is an underlying expectation about living in the ‘now’. There is a perceived right way and a wrong way to do it.
I find that whenever the paradigm of right and wrong exists, there can be judgment, scolding and shame involved. Whether these are turned inward or received from outside matters not. Their poison is as strong, regardless of its direction.
Have you felt this?
Maybe it hasn’t happened to you in connection with this particular concept, but has it happened with other ideas?
Although it’s unfortunate, I believe we all have experienced this. So, I’d like to remind you that you needn’t ever accept your own or someone else’s judgment, scolding or shame. None of these belong to you.
If you initially allow them in, please feel free to release them. They are only meant to tear you down, never to build you up. That’s one of the easiest ways to spot them. If they come at you and hurt you, let them go.
If living in the ‘now’ feels like spiritual dogma to you, by all means, let it pass you by.
If you’ve tried to be present, staying in the chronological ‘now’ and failed. Let it go. If your failure seeps into you and separates you from happiness and joy, give your ‘failure’ away.
If you feel that you can’t hold a present moment in your grasp or that meeting this expectation overwhelms you. Release it and let it go.
If you feel your inner wellness is becoming conditional on your success at remaining in the ‘now’, do yourself a favor and abandon this quest.
Value is shared and available no matter where you are or what direction you choose, past, present, or future. Sweetness and brilliance exist everywhere. No one moment is more meaningful than another.
I don’t believe it matters what moment you live in, as long as it means something to you. There are beautiful memories from the past to keep, to hold on to and to cherish.
There are wonderful dreams you may have for the future, ones that need cultivating in the present moment in order to blossom and bear fruit.
You have perfect free will, so whatever moment calls to you, choose it and live well.
4 Replies to “A Case for Not Living in the Now”
We are all human, after all. You make an excellent case for not living in the now.
Thanks, I’ve found the idea of living in the now more and more troublesome, although it has a lot of traction in the world.
It’s becoming dogma. The problem with that is, while it is a great practice, it can’t be an end-all be-all to the point that it is stressing us out when we don’t succeed.