Accept the Past, Embrace the Future, and Live in the Present
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
We live in an uncertain world. Everything is moving, changing, and revealing itself to be not what we thought it might be.
We are too focused on the past and the future. We should concentrate on now, in order to get now right.
Time compounds our fears, and it takes us into a future that will never happen.
Time and fear keep slipping in and out of past and future.
Fear drives many of us to go to a job that is unfulfilling, to deal with unpleasant tasks in life that help stave off financial catastrophes.
Mostly, we battle our way through, there is little time to deal with the things of everyday life properly, we simply do our best, and create a trail of half done jobs that don’t seem to add up to much.
Then we deal with our feelings. Our fears.
Questions arise about meaningfulness.
We read, we write, we go for a walk and think about the past and the future. And when we return home, we carry on doing the same as before.
We try and stay in the now, but that’s hard. Maybe I’ll try again later.
We are not perfect.
Many people suffer from fear of life, fear of future, fears that the past will catch them up and bite them hard. Often, people who experience fear of failure, incompetence, or the lackluster days of their life, don’t have the time to dig deep and see that they are wrapped up in a world of meaningless tasks that amount to nothing much for themselves, but everything for their employer and other people in their lives.
Time passes and we feel it. We have little control over time, naturally thinking that somebody must be in control, but life isn’t really like that. Time is a concept, I’ve listened to many people try and correct me and say that time is a scientific discovery. A thing that the boffins of precision discovered long ago.
Time is a concept, that’s why it is many things to many different people.
Your time is worth more than mine, my time has more quality than yours. We both march to the same tick-tock of the clock, but we feel differently about life and the passing of time.
Our lives are different. You were born into a decade of political crisis, I was born into a decade of social change. The guy next to you was born into a World War. We all start at different points in time. Time is activity measured.
Time creates fear. We feel it, can’t see it, or change it. It is only there for us to conceptualize into a meaningful idea of how long our lives are, and how to make use of life.
We measure with time. But what are we measuring? Our meaningfulness, or the job we did for the boss. How does that add up into quality time — and why measure it anyway?
Maybe, we are too busy measuring other people’s time.
The fear of life starts when we come out into the cold world, then we are wrapped into a swaddling by strange hands that reassure us that life is good and time will show us what will be.
Fear that sits deep in the soul will never go away. Fear is a driver, it pushes us out of the womb and into the jungle. We hit the ground running like a trooper out of a chopper that’s only stopping for three seconds, and then whoosh! that thing is gone and we have to figure it all out for ourselves.
There are always people out there who tell us they understand our fears. They utilize fear to manipulate and control other people’s existence. They offer antidotes to fear, special top whack super duper ideas all wrapped up into weekend courses to overcome fears.
These people seem to have a handle on fear and life.
The problem with fear is that it hides itself well. We call it by many names; worry, anxiety, caution, nervousness, timidity, shyness, lack of will, weak mindedness, and the list goes on.
Its all the same thing, it’s the problem that we all need to face up to and overcome, but we don’t need a weekend course in learning how to deal with our fears. We live with them, they are always right there with us, gnawing away at our brains, making us edgy and fidgety about life.
We can deal with fear by facing it. That takes courage, but come on, be a trooper.
Some of us begin believing in superstitions. They are comforting, and some of them can be traced back to another time, where it made absolute sense to avoid walking under a rickety old ladder with a half ton weight dangling above your head.
Wet Hovels and Spiky Umbrellas
If you open an umbrella inside a house it’s bad luck, apparently. Nobody tells you why, but when a home was a small hovel of a place, not much space, and filled with ten kids and a barking dog, I’m sure an umbrella was a dangerous object to be waving around the place.
I wonder how many kids lost an eye to the spike or spoke of dad’s umbrella suddenly popping open and filling up half the room — umbrella’s used to be bigger, rooms smaller. Time still passed slowly on rainy days.
Superstitions are everywhere in our lives. It’s hard to distinguish between a superstition and a religious practice. Does filling a room full with incense really banish evil spirits? Or does it just make it smell pleasant?
I wonder how superstition and new technology will get along together? You would imagine that they don’t fit each other, the thought processes are different — it could turn out to be bad luck to switch your phone off when you go to sleep, or to have the wrong screen saver. People will make stuff up because superstitions help us overcome fears in life.
Those fears feel real, and they may be based on real life threats, or they be unfounded fears of the future. Superstitions tend to deal with the future. They protect from unknown happenings that will occur.
People are afraid to go out without their mobile phones. If they forget the phone, they begin to feel uncomfortable, maybe it’ll lead to a bad situation.
Some people can’t relax if their phone is switched off, others flop their mobile between their hands like a pancake — it’s a lucky movement, it calms the nerves, it gets rid of fears.
If you don’t observe the practice of keeping a lucky penny in your side pocket, or first rubbing your forehead, then touching your left thigh before going into an interview, you may end up suffering an unknown punishment — undoubtedly, meted out by the all knowing Universe.
Who wants to mess with the universe? Don’t tempt fate, fall in line and follow the rules.
You might think that the world of technology, computers and electronic devices take us into the age of being in the know. A world of ideas and actions that result in truths and effective living. A world that has forgotten fear and anxiety.
The idea is that we stay informed, on the spot and ready to act and decide at the push of a button. Paring life down to the simplicity of looking, deciding and acting with our thumbs and fingers. No brain overload, no worries about right or wrong choices, and all the answers laid out for easy use.
We are told that what’s on offer is the solution to our problems. For the advertisers to get their marketing right, they must push our fear buttons.
How do they do this?
They ask us questions about how we feel about our lives.
The weekend course that promises that we will become more effective in the tasks that we do, that we will step up to the plate of life and bat with all our heart, promises us that if we dole out the allotted amount of cash, we will overcome our deepest fears.
We’ve been conditioned to believe the superstitious idea that money solves all our problems. Pay and solve the problem. Or don’t, it’s your risk.
Urban myths, a little like superstitions, work well with the internet and computers. “The Men in Black”, myth started in the 1970s when “Break-out” and “Space Invader” machines where put into bars.
People would play them and attempt to score what seemed like astonishingly high scores, when the highest scores were reached, an ominous group of men, dressed in dark glasses and black suits would turn up in the bar and observe the player.
The men in black suits, it was said, were from a secret Government project. They were on the look out for naturally gifted computer geniuses who had fast reactions and could beat a computer.
As time passes, these myths quickly develop into tales of encounters with the Men in Black, or witnesses who watched a player being escorted out of a bar, never to be seen again.
People love myths and tales. They tantalize and raise interest in the hidden possibilities of life.
Just that alone, will create feelings of fear and wonder about this mysterious world of ours.
Fear and time passing, work wonders to create the Rabbit caught in the Headlights effect.
Just as Men in Black create the feeling of not having control in life — they’re out there somewhere, and it’s all too big for me to change.
Think about it with a sad heart, and deepen the already felt melancholy that weighs us down.
Or, think about the reality of not being able to change a damned thing about the past.
That’s when time takes on a new face. The concept of time that we can perceive with our minds, becomes ours — not their’s, to play with, to taunt us with.
Time puts us under pressure, aging puts us under pressure, so does taking a long time to complete a meaningful job, like writing a novel, building a decent business, and understanding your relationship with the world, the universe and your own heart.
Fear of the future, the passing of time, and not having a chance to get there and meet it, is the feelings we have when we follow other people’s concept of time. Time keeps slipping, when it’s in the hands of others.
The others are no myth, they are those who always have the perfect solution to life’s problems. You only pay ten bucks, and then you can upgrade to the premium gold project whenever it pleases you. The offer is time limited, so make a panicky decision and push a button, now.
Tomorrow, it’s gone, time keeps slipping.