Tuesday, April 12, 2011

living in the moment

A lesson that I’ve learned and relearned and still have to learn at least once a day is the importance of ‘living in the moment’. There really is no other time than the present: than the exact moment that I’m writing this and you’re doing something else (now already past), until you read it and I’m doing something else (in the future, but just now the present and right now... past).
The past is a pre-distorted and ever-fading memory; the future is always pure speculation - loosely based on past experiences - but only ever created (made ‘present’) as a direct ‘outcome’ of present conditions and, as such, unproven and unclear by its very nature (ie. complete lack of one).
Whereas the past is technically ‘responsible’ for the present, it has no direct impact whatsoever on the future. That is the job of the present, of the moment, and of the moments to immediately follow as they themselves become present.

There is no other time than the present - than the exact moment, than now. You can’t live in any reflected upon or fantasy past or in a speculative future. They don’t or won’t or didn’t or wouldn’t exist or have existed. They are lies. Shoulda woulda coulda is the one thing that will absolutely never happen. Your future will never match your expectation. It shouldn’t. You can’t know what you don’t know. Everyone would be a fireman.  

'What does all this new agey pablem have to do with cancer?' you ask.
It makes referencing the future with any confidence very deceptive (for anyone). 'You have six months to live,’ ‘this is your last chance,’ ‘you start on Monday,’ and ‘I’ll be there in an hour,’ sound pretty convincing, but are really hypothetical. None of those statements is ‘true’: it’s arbitrary guesswork and set not in stone, but in the deluded (and fickle) imagination of the speaker who thinks they ‘know’ what they’re talking about.

So, instead of 'living each day as if it were your last' - which I would find horribly frightening (what terrible advice if you think about it) - just try to make each day 'count'. Live in and experience 'the moment' fully. Don't regret or dwell on the past or worry about the future - the only time you'll be able to do anything about either will always be now - in the moment.
Ironically, I wrote the above a few months ago – good to see that it’s still valid ;-) I had 'planned' to write something about ‘fear’, which I’ve been happily obsessed with lately, but stumbled upon this old chestnut instead. Here’s a fairly recent picture of Manders living in the moment: