It’s a well-documented fact that mindfulness and meditation lead us to be better, more grounded, more loving people. Mindfulness and meditation also ask us to live in the now, to deeply feel each and every thing that we do, to forget (if only temporarily) the past and the future, and to breathe in the moment.
But we can all admit the moment sucks sometimes, right? Sometimes now is the last thing I want to focus on. I want to focus on the next pleasant thing that I’m anticipating, rather than the unpleasant task at hand.
And there are times in which focuses on another time is a very useful skill: it helps us survive trauma, it helps push us through a long run, it helps get us past the mundane task at work and get to the good stuff, it helps us hope for a better future.
But we lose something if we make focusing on the future a way of life. We lose the only time we have.
Now is the time the work must be done. Now is the time joy must be found. Now is the time we must celebrate, and protest, and mourn, and rejoice. Now is the time our eyes must be open, and our minds must be clear. Now is the time we must speak to each other, say the words we don’t want left unsaid. Now is the time we must do the difficult thing, the right thing, the only thing we know to do. Life is not happening yesterday or tomorrow. It is only happening today.
So allow yourself to think about the past and the future only so much as it helps you live better today. Because, although there may be more beautiful times, this one is ours. It’s the only one we’ll get.