At first glance the word excites a certain perspective in our minds. For me, I think of an explosion, or a large crowd of people that are rioting. Strange, perhaps, but chaos can take many forms. Not the least of which is the form of scattered, littering thoughts in your mind.
Yes, your mind. Inside the sacred temple of thought whose permissible entrants are your deepest psyche and no one else, chaos can take root. For most of us, it has not only taken root, but it is a permanent resident. Each day we’re bombarded by the prison of the past and the daunting and fear-exciting prospects of the future. Each day we wake up begrudgingly and fearfully, as if the past has whispers in ours ears even in our dreams and the future taunts us with impossible tasks.
Projects need completing, failures loom, and our every waking moment is a reflection of the past where the places we’ve been and the place’s we think we’re going converge. The present moment is little more than the clashing of two giant waves of unavoidable failure, and we — poor little us — are doomed to endure such a fate each and every day.
But we soldier on, gritting our teeth and gripping with white knuckles the fearful moment, hoping the our grim prospects of the future aren’t what’s in today’s hand, and that the cards are buried somewhere deep in the deck. Deep down, we know it must be dealt, yet we hope it isn’t today because, if it is, we may not know just how to handle it.
If so, you’re not alone. Turns out this is the way many people think and many of those don’t escape it. But you’re in luck — you can escape it. How? What magical spell must I cast to rid myself of the confines of the ever-compression future and the ever-damning past?
Why, a change of perspective, of course! But, this perspective isn’t just any change, it’s the realist kind. The kind where we don’t combat the future and past, but instead, allow them to be as they are and nothing more. We live in the present moment.
Here, now, where we live, the past’s transgressions can no longer hurt you. Here, now, the future’s daunting and potentially imperial future can’t weaken you. Here, we sit away from the specters that haunt us and instead, discover ourselves.
Our true selves, you see. The selves that dispatch the future and the past with ease, because they dismiss the notion that the future is doom and unhandleable, and the past where our mistakes lie. The past serves as a record of the various versions of the present and, assuredly, the present is continuously written. The future is the foreseeable sum of all potentialities. You’ve taught yourself both to dread and learn from the past and dread and fear the future. Yet, you’ve never taught yourself to treasure the present! Well, take a breath my friend, and start appreciating life!
Often, we tell ourselves, “I’ll be happy when I …” and we list a few check boxes that are left until we can finally be happy. It doesn’t matter what it is. Tell me, have you achieved any of those boxes? Have you found eternal happiness?
What if I told you that happiness was less a distant destination and more a companion sitting silently by your side, waiting for you to notice them? What if I told you that once you stopped your marathon trek towards happiness and waited, that it’d appear without your need?
Why, you’d think I was crazy! Yet, that is precisely how happiness works! It lives within you only when you have embraced it. It exists only when you have committed to it now.
I’ll leave this post with a suggested reading: Peace is Every Breath by Which That Hath.
Ask yourself deeply before beginning: Do I really desire happiness? Or am I bound by the mere pursuit of it?