There is no future in the past
Strange headline, isn’t it? There must be a connection from the past into the future. But that is not the same as saying that the past set the rules for the outcome of the future. The future, our more preferably futures, is decided in the present moment. Sometimes based on insights and learnings from the past, transformed into possible outcomes or directions in the future. This article is about the importance of having your focus on the present moment. The importance of the connection with your inner I instead of all the roles you play in your daily life.
Do you really know yourself? I mean deeply. Know what you stand for? Know what you really care about? Know your driving forces? Or know the things that you value most? I thought I did and for a long time I followed a path that slowly diminished my inner energy. I based many of my actions on reactions of things happened in the far, or near, past. I thought I based my decisions on well founded facts. Decisions about my way forward in life, career and social life. Always trying to make things better, more interesting and earning more money. Always having multiple options for different futures going on in my mind all the time. A never ending activity, always looking for something better. At the same time considering ”important” things that have happened to me in the past. Considering and thinking about things I made, asking questions like ”what if I had done it that way instead of what I did”, or ”why didn’t I do like this”. My mind occupied with a lot of things about the past pointing towards another possible future or outcome.
Suddenly I came to realize that I spent a lot of time, in my case in head, without connection to my inner I. Always seeking to find answers of what I could do differently to have a better future. On a business trip I started to feel uncomfortable inside my body. Had some pain in my stomach but did not consider it as anything important. Later on that night I woke up with a strange feeling in my body. Something inside me said that this is serious and you need to act now. For once I listened to my body, or more correctly, to my inner I, and asked the night porter to call for an ambulance. If I had followed my previous modus of operandi I would not be writing this article at all.
After my convalescence I started to evaluate my life. Trying to get to know my self in a much better way and trying to put my focus on being present in the present moment. Letting go of my pattern of digging into the past as a way to a new and better future. In the beginning this was a real challenge. But along the way I tried to focus on the things happening right now as much as I could. The more I practiced the more I started to experience things around and within me. I started to hear bird songs, different smells in nature and the beauty of nature itself. I started to hear what people said to me, instead of my predetermined story of what they where saying. Started to se people for who they are, not their role they are playing. Started to feel a balance within me, a beginning sense of calmness deep inside.
Gradually I learnt to handle the past in a more fruitful way. A way that kept my self in control over the feelings from past events. Learnt to pick out the real important things from the past that could be useful in my present life. All the rest accepted and left as they are.Things in the past that should not be allowed to have any further impact.
My behaviour of the tendency to spend much time in my head and in the future has also been trained and transformed into a slightly different pattern. I still think a lot of possible futures, but from a completely new angle, or position. Now it is based on what I consider as my development goal of my real I. A goal in harmony with my self, my family and my surroundings. A goal of inspiration instead of a goal ”if I only achieve or get this or that” my life would be much better.
Putting my focus on being in the present moment has helped me to gain balance within. Helped me to see unnecessary patterns in my life. Patterns that I gradually have left behind me, but still finding new ones that need to be abandoned. It also have helped me to get to know my self in a much better way. Actually helped me to find who I really am. A fabulous thing.
During the process, a still ongoing one, and a lifelong, I was afraid that I would lose the meaning of looking forward, towards the future. But this has turned out to be completely wrong. I can, and I do, still think and plan for the future, but from a new perspective. I can do it without the purpose of the thoughts that everything will be better in the future. The joy of life will happen in the future has been removed from my thought pattern. Life happens right now, in the present moment. It is here where you find joy in your life. Here and now, not in the future or in the past.
Another insight has become clear to me and that is by putting my focus on here and now I actually becomes conscious about my self, my thoughts, my beliefs. Becoming conscious and connected with my inner I. For me being here and now equals with consciousness of and connection with my inner I.