Life is fleeing past us, unnoticed. Time is flowing too fast to keep an account of the moments fleeting. We all complain on missing out on life. Yet we all are living either in the past or future, instead of this very moment, The Present. We live life when we are living in the present, but life happens to us when we quit living in the present. We are either consumed in the regrets of the past or baffled by the plight of the unseen future. No amount of regret can change the past and no amount of preparation can make us all equipped for the future.
We all have experienced the art of letting go of this present moment in search of our happiness in some distant past or near future. Living in the past can take many forms. We keep running and re-running the conversations in our heads which happened long ago in the past. We water our regrets to the extent that they consume us. We blame ourselves for mistakes of the past. We hurt ourselves by blaming for our bad decisions.
Similarly, living in the future can take many forms.
We dread our exams result, worry about our job’s future, fear the turmoil in our relationships, and much more. We create scenarios in our mind that might never happen. We weave far-fetched realities and resort to unsaid conversations. We worry about those problems which we might never face. Then, we devise unrealistic solutions to these problems. One of the major reasons of living in the future is our presence online. There will be very few among us who do not have an online presence on a social media portal or who are not part of any chat group. These online portals have changed the way we live and behave. We go to movie theaters and all through the screening we try to capture one perfect shot of the running images in front of us. What for? Just to share it on some social media forum. We go to social events, charity balls, wedding functions and all the time our minds are consumed in finding words to compile a catchy status and our eyes are hunting for a perfect shot of the event through which we can share our life with the world out there. Sometimes, just for the sake of sharing our happiness and sometimes making some one jealous of our blessings. We put our lives in front of others to observe, yet when some of these observations are accompanied by comments which are not so kind, we complain.
Our happiness should not be needy of a validation from others. Similarly, our sorrows should not be searching for sympathy from others.
Most of us try to study or even work with several distractions willingly added to our environment. Because, we don’t want to miss out on our lives through social media. The mere urge of connecting with the world has made it difficult for us to handle the same world. Our lives are constantly buzzing with the pings of texts, notifications, emails, reminders and what not. The moment we wake up in the morning the first instinct is to check emails and see social media activity. A single unpleasant comment can ruin our whole day. Similarly, a kind comment can set the pace for the day. Our moods are now defined by our interactions online. Social anxiety is a reality now.
The burning question now is how to live in the present then.
It really requires a mental shift. First, we must admit that we have been doing ourselves no good by residing in the past or living in the future. Then, consciously drag ourselves into the present whenever we start immersing ourselves in the ruins of the past or fear of the future. It takes a conscious repeated effort to remind ourselves that this is the moment we must live in otherwise it soon will become something which is lost forever.
I am not suggesting that you disconnect with the world around you but keep it to the extent which doesn’t make you anxious and restless. I remember the time when I chose to put a limit on the details of my life being shared online. It was such a relief that I no longer have to take a perfect picture for my social media timeline or have to think of some fancy words to put up as a status. I no longer have to worry about selecting the best picture of the event to put up online. I don’t feel the need to share every other political meme, lame joke or viral video. I also don’t have to go through the anxiety of checking my status views and post likes again and again. It’s a beautiful and blissful world out there away from the hysteric of the social media.
To live peacefully in the present moment, you first have to make peace with yourself.
Start by forgiving yourself. Be kind to yourself as they say charity begins at home. Similarly, I have gathered enough courage to relieve myself of the regrets of the past. I have also forgiven everyone who wronged me. Forgiveness is more for your own well-being than it is for others. Not that I have forgotten everything. But I don’t go for a leisure walk on the trodden path of regrets of the past. Now I don’t live by the urge of fearing the future or re-imagining the past.
I live here, in this moment and that is the best place to be.