The more experience I gather in this journey called life, the more I fully understand the concept that life is, and always will be, lived now … this very moment. When we begin our journey, everything is new to us, and we have no experience that we can call past. Thus now and yet to be become somewhat intertwined, for we have no expectations based on how we have already shaped ourselves and our perceptions. We tend to be more focused on the yet to be for that is where the excitement lies. It is the new; the undiscovered. As we move further along the paths of our journey, we gather experiences, shaping our expectations and thus building the habits that define who we evolve into.
At first, this gathering and shaping may be a mostly unconscious act, thus the people we believe ourselves to be are really a reflection of how others perceive us combined with how self aware we are. If we do not grow in self awareness, the shape that manifests will become more and more fixed as the gathering and shaping becomes defined by comfort. This form can be heavily influenced by others in our lives, as we develop habits that are the “norm” for the environment we are raised in. Eventually, the shape becomes rigid, and yesterday defines tomorrow. Essentially our now becomes an extension of the past, and the yet to be loses its newness. The future shifts from the free realm of possibility to the rather closed land of expectation.
For some, this is enough. This kind of living is safe; comfortable. No need to change what seems to work, even if others define the limits of life for us. We do not need to face fears, because we already know what to expect. No need to question; no need to seek alternatives that may shift our defined shape into something more pleasing and desirable for ourselves. I am comfortable with the way things are. If others are not, clearly they are not doing things right. If they just emulate my shape, they too will be comfortable.
This way leads to stagnation. Essentially, the future ceases to exist.
Life is DEFINED by change. A life affirming future REQUIRES change. But this can only happen by choice. If any part of us wants to improve our future, we must first step out of the past and learn to appreciate NOW. The past has happened. We cannot change that. But we CAN change how much we let it influence the shape of ourselves. Do we want to be a fixed piece, nothing more than a statue ultimately shaped by past efforts? Or do we want to be a constantly evolving work of art, growing in strength and beauty, returning the yet to be to one of surprise and wonder?
Living now allows this to happen. CHOOSING how we live TODAY means the past does not decide today OR tomorrow. Now decides tomorrow. And tomorrow we get to choose again. This is how we return the future to the realm of possibility.
Appreciate the past. Learn from the past. But let the past go and live now. Choose who we are today and tomorrow we have created a new past to appreciate and learn from. In the process, we open up the possibilities for tomorrow. The future become an ongoing choice based on now, instead of a forgone conclusion based on yesterday.
Choose your future.