Freedom – Part 2bMaureen McCaldin
Being present enables us to be contented all the time. Constant happiness can only be experienced when we are present. Why? All sadness/regret is based on something in the past that has already happened and all fear is based on something in the future that has not yet happened.
If we are pre-occupied with the past or anticipating the future, we may miss opportunities that are present right now. Where is our focus?
Remembering some problem from the past we get caught up in the victim trap of “If only . . .” The consequence of some past action may have given rise to a tricky situation in the present. We tend to avoid taking responsibility for the present situation by blaming others or blaming circumstances. We then go over and over these past actions. Circular thoughts about old situations are a waste of time and energy. We all know that the past cannot be changed. Past is past. Of course we can learn from what happened but then we need to let go and move on. Learn and let go is a good mantra to keep in mind about the past.
When our thoughts are focused on the future in the way of thinking that begins, “I’ll be happy when. . .” such speculation suggests we are not happy now. For example, “I’ll be happy when I’ve finished studying”, “I’ll be happy when I get married,” “I’ll be happy when I have children,” “I’ll be happy when the kids leave home!” We end up wishing our lives away and missing the present opportunities.
Or if we become pre-occupied with “What if . . .” mode, we will get caught up in a long list of fears. We lose our clarity of thought because the emotion of fear takes over and so we fail to realise that “What if . . .” is pure speculation about the future. We allow ourselves to get stressed about something that hasn’t even happened! Anxiety, worry, fear of failure, fear of illness, fear of poverty and fear of old age and death. Another example is fear of success: if we have completed a task successfully there is often the idea that we may be asked to do something more and then the fear comes that we may not be successful. Our lives can become very unhappy about things that may never happen. Such focus is always on external things, that is on circumstances or relationships in life that we cannot control anyway.
The future is a great adventure! Life is for our entertainment. Life is a big extra. Life is the greatest game of all. Life is fun. Situations will arise but solutions sharpen our creativity and so we grow. The choice is ours.
This is freedom.