This has no context with the post I’m writing. But since I liked the car’s pose… 😁
The future has become a monster for me. Every time I try to peek into it I come back burdened immensely than before.
Thinking about anything that isn’t here and now has become intolerable for me. I can’t handle the stress of it anymore.
But my disregard kills me! It makes me run greedily towards the future. Again and again! After several sad encounters, I didn’t choose to learn. I try, but the charm stuck in head for futuristic delusions has found a deep dark corner inside.
The future lures us towards greater benefits. Promotion in our jobs. Gargantuan success in business. Or some fantasized evolution. Or an overnight drastic change in the numbers of your bank account balance.
This is the fantasizing parts of the future. But there is even a realistic part to it.
Where you’re all the time running. It’s like a treadmill. You’ll keep running ahead, or at least try to. But ending up where you are always. The common dialogues in this department are,
“I hope the boss doesn’t reject me!”
“I hope he/she approves my entry.”
“What if Jessica has been promoted without my notice?”
“What if we meet a lethal accident while our way to the beach?”
We’re being realistic, and crazy at the same time. I hope, I wish, What if. All the questions are driving us nuts. Many times I feel hostile. As if I’ll get attacked at any time.
The attack could be from anyone, and of any type. It could be some situation or even a person.
A person could attack my feelings, my defensive ego or my physical structure on the outside.
A situation, especially an adverse one, could attack my well-being and luck. My good times could turn into bad times.
Nothing is sure to happen. All of the above could happen. Future assumptions!
It’s the future that is driving us nuts by making us dodge several future possibilities. The planning to avoid, fight or escape an unwanted situation is all incessantly going on in our heads.
“I’ll do this if that happens. Or maybe it could even turn out like that! I’ll then have to deal with it like this. And if by chance Mr.XYZ says ABC to me, I’ll respond in such-and-such method to completely shut him out!”
Such dialogues are almost all the time running in our heads. I’ll be learning a great formula right now and in my head, planning to write a great answer in the exams at the same time.
“If I somehow bump into that girl today, I’ll say “hello” for sure. Just to start a conversation. I just have to maintain my calm as I talk to her. I fumble a lot! Wait I’ll search, “How to talk to a girl?” on wikiHow.”
If I ask myself, whether I do constant planning for the future uselessly 70% of the time, I’ll deny.
The planning, defending, strategizing and executing seems so essential and real, that we never find it as a separate task. It’s like the background music that has been playing in the store of which you have lost awareness. We’re so busy shopping, that the music has totally slipped out of our knowledge.
The same way, we have adapted to the mind’s constant chatter. We’re used to it. Or perhaps we’re lost so much in that noise, that we don’t know if it’s even happening or not. It’s all happening without our consent.
I have lost control over the mind. Since it is doing whatever it wants without my permission!
Hey mind! Get your butt here! Off I go!! Bye Bye!
Once we start patiently listening to this madness, it scares us. Or sometimes it may even put a smile on our faces.
The above dialogues that I had mentioned above come from my own mind. It is perhaps the condition of most of us.
Those words must have made you smile, or at least delivered a sense of connection with them. And when we hear it on our own, we find it maddening!
When I first read The Power of Now, I started listening to the thinker.
90% times, I failed. But I used to get reminded immediately to come back.
Since those thoughts happened in my own space, I could easily recall them. And when I did, I would get terrified.
The 10% times when I used to actually be there when the mind’s drama was going on, I would at times catch myself smiling! The mind felt like a little kid throwing tantrums.
Many times, the thoughts’…speed, for a lack of a better word, gets transferred on to the work we’re doing. If I’m cooking, and there’s a rushed dialogue spinning in my head about the upcoming interview, my work’s going to be imbued by a sense of hurry.
“Oh god! What if they ask this (tipped over the salt vessel), I haven’t even prepared for that! (Spoon slipped out of hand) And what if my son doesn’t get better my tomorrow? (Running here and there looking for cinnamon when it’s kept right in front of me.) I’ll miss the very important interview! (Spilled the milk all over the floor!)”
When we’re in a mental hurry, we are also experiencing some sort of discomfort in our bodies. Although it doesn’t come under our awareness, it is there. I mostly experience it in my hands and gut.
The overall stress sucks the energy out of us.
The Only Solution…
The only solution to this insanity and useless fear is to live here and now.
Being here and now cuts off all connections and entangled threadings of the future. The gigantic web in which we all are stuck gets wiped and cleaned away.
The spider named future, that never eats us, but keeps scaring us all the time from a distance.
The future itself, it’s going to merge into the present whenever it comes.
There are several ways to live in present and not run into the future. One of the easiest and most effective ways is to watch your breath.
It’s going in…good…now it’s going out…awesome!
As I said, “watch your breath”, your attention must have got drawn towards your nostrils. And you must have even lost track of it. But now you must have caught hold of your breath again!
You can try it right now…
Living in present doesn’t mean you don’t go into the future. The future is of great use. I’ll quote Eckhart Tolle to clear the confusion in one go,
“Earlier, you used to live in the future and past and pay brief visits to the present. Now, you must pay brief visits to the past and future and live in present.”
Use them as a tool. Pick them up, fix your screws, then keep it down when done.
Long story short, stop digging your own grave…
(My first story without any conclusion!)
Originally published at medium.com