If you're anything like me, or most of the planet, you have some future, life-goal that you're striving for. Am I right?
Maybe you're an aspiring pâtissier (French for pastry chef) but you're finding yourself stuck working as a CPA, and you're not sure when, if ever, you gave up on your dream of owning your city's most adorable macaroon stop ever. Or, it could be that your goal is just to make more income next year than you did in the previous year. Perhaps you're just trying to make it through the workday to get home to a nice dinner and some time alone. It could be that your jeans don't fit, and you're counting down the minutes until you can put on some sweatpants...I've been there, I'm not afraid to admit it.
However you slice it, you're waiting for something to arrive that hasn't come yet. Wishing for your dream job or thinking about your to-do list for tomorrow are both symptoms of the same issue: you've lost your presence.
What I'm talking about is the ego-created idea that there is some point in the future (be it in 2 hours or a few years) in which you will be better off, happier, more satisfied, ready to do this or that, etc. You get the idea. There is a desired point of arrival, and you're waiting to get there. Here's the problem...the future hasn't arrived yet, and once it does, it's now the present moment. Then, just like that, it's gone and you're presented with a new moment once again.
So, why is it exactly that we all spend so much time living in the future (or for some of you maybe the past is more of a focus, but the principle works either way)? Living in some imagined or repeated scenario that isn't occurring right now not only removes you from the moment, which makes it difficult for you to do whatever it is you need to do, it robs you of your own peace. Who would voluntarily do that to themselves? We all do it, but because we've lost presence, we've forgotten what we're doing to ourselves.
Of course Eckhart Tolle reminds of the three most important ways you can deal with the present moment if you find yourself resisting it or wishing you were anywhere else.
“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally” - Eckhart Tolle
The fastest way to make the journey to your destination a living hell is to continue to tell yourself that you should be somewhere else other than where you are. Not only is that the definition of insanity, there is also no good reason to continue listening to the thoughts that are creating your unhappiness; you might as well take control and get some new ones.
So, the next time you find yourself asking "are we there yet?" see if you can shake yourself out of it, come back to present, and apply Eckhart's rules to end your own self-imposted torture. Arriving is myth, because the only moment you can arrive at is already here, so enjoy it while you can!
What are you waiting to do? Is there something you're looking forward to in the future that you really could begin right now?
*This blog post is cross-posted to ZYKR blog. If you're interested in spirituality, head on over there and follow! Sterlin is also contributing, so I promise there's fresh content that isn't repeated.