If I were to foregather people suffering psychologically, and given a chance to provide them with a way out, I would make them aware of what the present moment has to offer. Sufferings that have made our life a hell have little to with the present moment and more to do with the past or the future. The former a lot many of us dwell on, the latter many of us are worried about. In any case, they are something that don’t exist at the moment. A person capable of taking the trouble to think about the complications of time would agree that both the past and the future are illusions.
Here are examples to show why living in the now is so vital:
The other day one of my friends seemed to have some bouts of depressive tendencies for being subjected to people’s brickbats thrown at him way long back. The scenario my pal was caught up in had to do with the cutting remarks that he became victim of. Speaking sensibly, there’s no way to physically go back in time and take revenge of the wrong that had been done to him. Therefore, screwing ourselves up badly over our past is absolute nonsense.
Anyhow, now the situation demands something to get rid of the psychological pain. Here the present acts as the best psychiatrist. What it offers is the best medicine. You turn towards it, it gives you hope. You immerse yourself in it, it provides you with much-needed relief. The brickbats no longer exist. The present moment guides you all through the way.
Stressed out over what the future has in store for him, this young boy always paid long visits into the future. He would get things done in the future, get things undone in the future, speak to intellectuals, become a millionaire. Having high hopes of all the stuff he’s enjoying in the made-up future, he began to have some intense brain fogs as “things” unfolded before him and scared him to death. The seriousness of his fast-forwarding into the future had him take no action. And in such a state he wasted a good number of years.
Such future-fuelled stress could be eliminated by being in the now. By doing things with all your heart and mind. No fantasies involved. One shouldn’t keep high hopes of the future. When the you’re honest with the present, not wandering in psychological time, the future by itself turns beautiful.
Besides the typical examples I stated above, the present moment can be used to withstand anything that seems to be eating away at our psyche.
Let’s give it a try on an individual level.
The writer is a post-graduate student of History at Kashmir University. [email protected]