What is the time of life?
Contribution by Isabel Hernández Negrín, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.
We tend to be full of plans, expectations and desires. Note that all of these are located in the future. In the future I hope to achieve certain things, improvements, to feel better, more relaxed and even to feel happier. I tell myself that when the children grow up, when I get a more suitable job, when I have more time, when I retire, etc. I am bound to have the opportunity to lead the kind of life that I really want. The life that I want will surely be more fulfilling. This reminds me of the sign that appears in some bars and says something like: “Don’t try it today, do it tomorrow”. When you return the next day, the moment eludes you once more. Beware of this trick, because, without being conscious of it, we do the same in our lives. It seems that the present moment is never the right one for what we want to achieve. I always find some kind of impediment that makes it seem reasonable for me to put my life on hold… I experience the present as a means to achieve an end that is constantly moving further away, like the horizon.
In the bustle and in the wandering and distraction that cause us to live in a bewildered fashion it seems to us that the future really exists.
The future is just something we imagine and that compensates us for the tensions of the present: as I am not well today, I want to think that in the future it will be possible and that makes me feel better. And later on, you tell yourself the same thing, like the sign in the bar.
Be aware that life is in the moment you are going through. Life is here and now. Do not be distracted by those things that you conjure up in your mind, which will invent all manner of things, and as the film rolls, will project things that please you but also things that frighten you.
So, what will that future be that you are contemplating?
Pleasant or unpleasant? The time that exists in your life, only exists today. What you do today is the only thing that exists. All the todays will be what you do today. Your today does not depend on others, it only depends on how you choose to live your present moment, distracted by imaging things about the future or attentive to what exists and what you are doing today? There is not much more to it, but that is a big task in itself. A task that is the only thing that will bring you inner strength and peace. Do not leave it to the future! The moment is here and now. You are always the one who decides. What will you decide?