Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Are You Missing the Present Because You"re Stressing About the Future Or Worried the Past?

Eric Hoffer said,
A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
When you are deciding where to 'live' - in the past, in the future, in the present (or some other cosmic option you might know about) living in the future, just like living in the past, robs us of the present.
Many people over the past year or so have felt a sense of fear, dismay, and negativity that seemed to sweep over people who normally didn't become fearful and dismayed.
This has caused many of us to do some intense thinking about this phenomenon.
Let's think about fear, just a bit.
If you are being chased by a mountain lion or a brown bear, you are afraid - and what you are afraid of, if you really think about it, is the future.
It's your picture, your vision, your imagining that you are going to get clawed, mauled, tossed around, or eaten.
You feel fear now (and so would I), but that fear is really about something in the future.
While this may seem a bit dramatic, I want us to get the mental picture of where all fear is directed.
It's always directed in the future.
You may want to write that down:
Fear is future-directed.
Even if we are afraid that something we did in the past is going to come back to haunt us - it is not the past that we are really fearful about - it is the future of what will happen when someone (or lots of someones) find out.
You can probably think of someone famous in the news right now (no matter when you read this, unfortunately) whose past is jumping up (big time) - but his fear is about the future.
You can probably think of something that you have done that you really, really hope others do not find out about - and you can recognize the fear, worry, and angst that come as we imagine what would happen if people found out.
Spending a great deal of time being fearful of the future...
based on something from the past, isn't wise and it certainly isn't productive.
So, I hope this is clear, that is, that you understand that fear, worry, and anxiety are all future-focused, not present focused.
As Tennessee Williams wrote:
The future is called "perhaps," which is the only possible thing to call the future.
And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you.
If you are feeling fearful or worried, see if you need to pull yourself mentally back to the present.
It's not so scary right here, right now.
Really.

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