Staying in the Present
There is a country song with a lyric
that goes something like this "Don't blink...100 years goes faster than
you think". This lyric brings to mind two important concepts: 1. life is
fleeting; and 2. to get the most out of life, you must be in the present at all
Remember when we were kids? It
seemed like we had all the time in the world. We were invincible, immortal, and
comparatively free of attachments. With age, however, things started to change,
and time began to catch up with us.
There is a wonderful movie whose main character was dying. He was a Professor, who had a strained relationship with his son and wife. In his mind, he had not accomplished in life what he had dreamed of doing. He hadn't become famous like many of his colleagues, and hadn't written that influential book or article.
As the Professor drew nearer to
death, he realized that there was so much left he wanted to do, and he said
something which struck a cord, "Living grows on you". In other words,
he was clinging to life, holding on as hard as he could while at the same time
knowing he was going to die in the near future.
We pass along the foregoing story because one of the worst things we can do as human beings is die with regret. Make the most of every moment. Take in the blueness of the sky, the temperature, the clouds, the leaves on the trees, the scent in the air, and the people you're with. Because you will never have that moment again.
Sometimes people think, "Gosh,
I've wasted so much time complaining about my job, my house, the people around
me, and my life. If I die today or tomorrow, is that really how I want to have
spent the last moments of my life?"
What takes us out of the present is
attachment. Attachment to people, places, and things. Because of attachment,
we're bound by the past and bound by the future. Remember that attachment
literally creates lines of energy. For example, let's say someone did something
hurtful to you in the past. If you haven't let that incident go, there is a
line of energy connecting you to that person and that incident. Take another
example. Society has told us that to be happy, we need to collect things…a
house, a wife or husband, kids, money, a car, etc. So we become attached to all
of these things under the illusion they will make us happy.
Many people have so many lines of energy attaching them to things, that they're like an insect caught in a spider's web. They cannot move, and cannot live in the here and now. Their lines of attachment drag them to and fro.
Several years ago, a gentleman in his 90s was talking about his long life. What he said was strikingly similar to the lyric from the song noted above. He remark was, "Boy, it sure went by quickly". To get the most out of life, don't worry about the past because the horse is already out of the barn. Don't worry about the future. Be fully invested in now because you'll never, ever get now back.