I am completely for mindfulness and experiencing the moment as it is, rather than letting our thoughts affect the reality of now.
But now – I want chocolate. Now – I want to spend money I don’t have and go shopping. Now – I don’t want to be uncomfortable working up a sweat that will remind me just how unfit I am. Now, I want to release my anger and say something that I might regret later.
If I only live in the now, maybe I don’t make choices that I need to make for my future self. If I only live in the now, then only this moment matters and I am potentially compromising future moments, but it doesn’t work the other way – the future doesn’t affect the present moment but the present moment does affect the future.
I also happen to think that hope can be a wonderful thing, often it is what keeps someone alive.
The hope that something will change,
the hope that they won’t feel this way forever,
the hope that things will get better.
Hope is a beautiful thing that can gently cradle us when we need it.
The thing about hope is that we can’t rely on it all the time. We can’t just automatically assume that hope will turn up and deliver us what we want. We can’t give hope the responsibility of accepting certain realities that keep us stuck in the same dysfunctional patterns.
Hope on its own is like a rock climbing safety rope… it will stop you falling to the ground, but it alone won’t get you to the summit.
So how do we use hope and being present in each moment to best serve us and not let them protect us from some of the more difficult things we need to tackle in life?
Hope needs a buddy – and it is possibility.
We need action to create possible opportunities (that we can then hope will be beneficial). If you’re hanging from your safety rope on the cliff face – you start swinging or moving in some way, you have to create some possibility of grabbing on to something to help you up.
This moment right now is influenced by the moments that preceded it. Tomorrow’s moments might be affected by what happens today. What follows after doesn’t affect this moment. Yet, we spend so much of our time thinking to the future… trying to ensure that we have a better future. Decisions can’t be made only focusing on the present moment – we do need to consider our future self and work towards what we might want.
Living in the present moment and having mindfulness around what is happening now, is a good thing. In order for it to be a great thing, we need to ensure that we are making decisions for the benefit of our future self – because sometimes the present self hates the difficulty that it needs to go through.