This month our eyes are set firmly on the horizon, which sounds like a fine idea to me. Times have been tough—they still are—and there’s some comfort to be had in looking ahead, to better days. Whether it’s the warm embrace of friends and family; a shared cultural event, such as a festival or a concert; or holidaying abroad once more, these are all things to look forward to.
But in doing so, let’s avoid a couple of traps it’s easy to fall into. The first can be found in those daydreams, above. As much as looking to the future, they’re also dwelling in the past. “I just want things back to how they were,” has been the signature tune of humans since goodness knows when.
For the past has a cosy familiarity to it. It seems predictable. We want more of the good old stuff, because we know how it feels. Or at least we think we do, until someone brandishing a large pin bursts our bubble by pointing out that the past is no more than a thought that’s happening right now. It’s a creation, and an unreliable one at that.
We are not feeling the past. That is not possible. We are feeling our thoughts about the past, now.
And that ‘better future’ we’re pinning our hopes on… will it come to pass? It’s very unlikely. Sure, we can predict that the sun will rise tomorrow—that’s natural laws in action—but the decisions of our leaders and the actions of others, not so much. And what about how we’ll feel? Forget it! You can no more predict the shapes of your moods than you can predict the shapes of the clouds.
When we labour under the misapprehension that happiness comes from outside of us, it makes total sense to try and plan a set of circumstances that will ‘make us’ happy. But—and here comes the big pin again—the future is no more than a thought that’s happening right now. It’s a literal daydream (or ‘day-mare’, depending on your outlook).
We are not feeling the future. That is not possible. We are feeling our thoughts about the future, now.
So where does this leave us? In the present moment, of course. And what is truly liberating, for each and every one of us, is not so much working at being more present, as seeing that there is nothing else!
This means it is only ever now that we can find happiness. It exists nowhere else. Think about it.
Right. Armed with this knowledge… I’m off to plan a holiday.
Dr Giles P Croft
Healing • Coaching • Speaking
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Group “Wellbeing Wednesdays” sessions are being held, online, on 24th, and July 8th & 22nd, 2020. If you want to take part and ask questions, join us on the Live Stream by registering now at https://bit.ly/wellbeingwednesdayslive. For more details email email@example.com, message 0788 925 4987, or join the Facebook group “Wellbeing Wednesdays Abergavenny”, where videos from previous meetings are available for free.