Time can be our worst enemy and the cause of so much suffering. Not clock time, but rather psychological time, where we dwell in the past or project into the future. We are either trying to reconcile a history that we keep reliving over and over again or trying to avoid a bad future that hasn’t happened yet. Both are madness because you’ve never been in your history and you’re never in your future. They are only conversations based in language between your ears. And yet this is the predominant human condition, which takes so much of our energy and creates so much suffering. Disorders like depression and anxiety are bedfellows of this denial of being present, with depression typically stuck in the past and anxiety worried about a future that exists only in your mind. Of course, the past has passed, and the future can only arrive as the present moment so both states of being are illusory.
So, how do we get past the trappings of the past and/or stop overvaluing the future at the cost of devaluing the present moment? Awareness is the access point; if you pause and take some time to reflect and investigate, you may discover you are rarely ever in the now. This is a completely dysfunctional state of being and just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It is in this unconscious mindset that arises the majority of suffering and bad behavior in this world.
I would invite you to have a different relationship with life. One where you move at the speed of life, with an intimate relationship to reality. One where you allow events to unfold, without judgment, opinions or biased. One where there is no resistance to the flow of life and how things unfold. In other words, you’re not carrying your baggage from the past and simultaneously also trusting the universe to allow whatever comes next. It’s Let Go/Don’t Know: letting go of the past and being comfortable with not knowing what the future holds realizing you never did know, despite the mind always trying to predict and protect. In this state of being, you no longer come from the energy of being reactive – which is usually trying to avoid something – and now are creative – an energy committed to working towards something. It’s a subtle, but powerful shift. If you’re visual, literally move the c in reactive to the front to create the word creative. It is a subtle but profound shift. In this new heightened state of alertness, you are more aware and open to the abundance of life and not limited to the mental constructs of limitations and constraints that we put upon ourselves.
To be sure, all easier said than done. But doable, and it starts with the belief that it is possible to shift our state of being towards more consciousness and be in the present moment. Many of us that have experienced trauma in the past simply don’t believe they can overcome this now and it becomes part of their identity, their story. Perhaps there was abuse in their childhood – emotional, physical or sexual – and they now carry it forward to their adult lives. Or PTSD after serving in a war. These are all horrific events that we need to bring empathy and compassion for, but to carry it into this present moment is a form of emotional indigestion. It is all too common for those who have suffered these atrocities to carry a narrative ten, twenty, thirty years later and it’s destroying their lives. But if they can see that this was just an event and it does not define their lives, they can free themselves of this mental construct. The event happened, as horrible as it was, but they don’t need to carry it forward into their current lives. It need not define them now and yet it is all too common to create a victim identity and bring this negative energy into their daily lives. Again, bringing compassion and easier said than done, the more one can objectively view it as an event that no longer exists, the greater freedom they will have in their lives now. Dwelling in this awful past robs us of our joy and vitality. The same principle applies with less dramatic issues too, where we cling and attach to past negative experiences.
Emotions also rob of us our joy and vitality as they too are stuck in time. You are carrying the emotion – whether it be anger, rage or disgust – because of the underlying current of being hurt in the past. Behind every negative emotion is simply the undercurrent of hurt and fear. It is human and beautiful to have feelings, as we need and want to feel in the present moment to truly experience life, but emotions are stuck in time and create suffering.
When we are not dwelling in the past and trying to reconcile our history, we are often drifting into the future. We tend to overvalue the future, as it offers hope in getting us out of this mess. We say to ourselves I am getting there or when I finally have x, then I can be happy (x can be a better body, sports car, bigger house, better job, etc). Ironically, everyone is in a hurry to get to a future where they don’t have to be in a hurry. It’s like chasing horizons that they will never get to. But the future can only arrive in the present moment so to project out is both futile and exhausting. This is different than having goals, which emanates from a creative process and not a psychological emotion. Having goals and wanting to achieve is fantastic; devaluing the present moment for a future state that only exists in your mind creates suffering and resistance as it robs us of this most precious moment, the now. Nonetheless, our brains are hardwired to predict and protect, so we are constantly trying to figure it all out, often to our own detriment. Freedom arrives when you realize you don’t know – and have never known – what the future holds.
On the flip side, anxiety arises when we fear our future. Past hurt informs future fears. So, we live in a mild state of panic, always worrying the worst outcome. This creates resistance to the flow of life and where there is stress and tension, you are never living an optimal life. Anxiety can be soul crushing because at the root of it is you don’t trust how life will unfold for you. If you can realize this is a subjective narrative in your mind, not based in reality, you can free yourself from suffering. To truly embody manifestation, realize it’s not an external event but rather an energy from within. Change your energy and you will change your life.
When you move at the speed of life, you are collapsing time. There is no resistance to the flow of life and you allow it all to unfold with acceptance and surrender. We Let Go of the past and Don’t Know our future and are completely comfortable with this paradigm. It invites a spirit of curiosity while not dragging the baggage of the past with us. It creates a state of being of joy and vitality as you are no longer burdened with these human conditions of the unconscious mind. You now see the circumstances of your reality without building a subjective narrative around it, thereby not creating suffering, it is as it is. You now have an intimate relationship to reality, being in the moment with all its infinite possibilities, and feel the upward flow of energy within you. It is your inherent right to feel this joy and vitality and the power lies within you to release it from the limitations and constraints you’ve built around it. This is freedom as the best gift you can give yourself is inner peace.