Living in the present

You cannot flourish until you’ve freed yourself from your mind.

Forwards, backwards, with nothing in-between.

It takes a particular man to be able to not only face life’s ups and downs, but to expect them, to chart his life through them, to be able to take a woman’s hand, care for her and guide her as well, a man willing and able to rise to the occasion of being a father and raise that child to be a better individual than he was. You cannot hope to be that man if you are racked by incessant dwelling upon past mistakes, failures and let-downs, or shaken to the core fearing known or unknown risks, obstacles or threats that loom in the future. Resisting these realities is the hallmark of suffering. The only way to prevent that is to firmly be living in the present, to acknowledge reality for what it is, rather than what you’d like it to be, to make room for that reality in your life and to deal with what is at hand and what you can control and affect, while at the same time letting go of everything that you cannot.

Fear and loathing

It is unfortunate that most people require a great deal of pain and suffering to relinquish their resistance to reality and acceptance of it. The pain, anger, remorse that you create that stems from this is always some form of non-acceptance and resistance to what is. The intensity of this pain and misery depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment and your emotional and ego connection to it within your mind that you are unwilling to let go of. These feelings are a symptom of your mind, not life. Life doesn’t suck, your state of mind does.

You cannot find yourself in the past… only the lessons.

It is highly common for people to spend a great deal of time reliving the past. Reliving the past often tends to create thoughts about how we could have done things differently, or better. While it is sometimes useful to review the past for the purpose of learning and improvements by conducting a self-analysis or a relationship autopsy, undue dwelling on the ‘if’s, and’s, should have’s and but’s often leads to a degenerative mental state that compounds natural and appropriate remorse, regret and dissatisfaction with a cancerous, soul-sucking state of depression.

You cannot create the future, but only make room for it.

Equally common is the pattern of behavior associated with excessive concern in anticipating the effects of the future. Doing so is results in a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety, which are precursors to outright fear. Constantly examining the ‘what if’s’ takes a tremendous emotional and energy toll with very little resulting yield in return. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t plan or understand the potential consequences of our actions, but that we shouldn’t be paralyzed in the analysis of them. To become so driven by fear that we ultimately live a life that is half lived and having missed out on what could have/should have been in the process.

Free yourself, free your mind.

Most of us are constantly looking to the past, or to the future to define our realities. The results are predictably severe anxiety, depression, stress and other negative emotional states that come to overwhelmingly affect the health and well-being of our lives in ways we often don’t anticipate. In many cases we become so focused and centered on either the past or the future that we become totally unaware of the moment and we are simply not present for our lives. We see this in men who are wrecked and are emotionally still carrying the burden of a failed relationship or the opposite, those that are making themselves physically sick over a relationship they don’t have, with women that are unavailable to them. We see this in men frozen in fear pondering the risk and responsibilities of being a man in this society, whether it’s in the form of approach anxiety, a lack of faith within themselves that leads to self sabotage or genuine fears of the SMP (sexual market place) and the dating environment that leads to relationship avoidance. When we are not living in the present we are rarely, if ever not only not accepting the world around us, but our own nobility and ability, which ultimately becomes your own personal narrative and proven case history. The result is remarkable suffering and a distorted perception of life in some form or another that will play out in every relationship we ever have.

Bring the hurt, the pain and betrayal…

In times of hurt, it is important to feel the hurt, experience the pain, release yourself to it and then let it go. You are not your feelings, but the conscious awareness behind them. In times of fear, let it wash past you without turning your aside knowing you are not defined by your fears, but your reaction to them. In times of betrayal realize that the broken promises, failed expectations and poor behavior choices were theirs, not yours and in no way reflects upon you. The actions of others say more to their values than it ever does yours. It is important to feel the feelings, learn the lessons and carry on. The past doesn’t demand that it be re-lived, only experienced and then remembered. Honor it that way.

Surrendering to the present

When one stops resisting reality, accepts it for what it is rather than what one would like, would have projected or tried to control, by letting reality in and making room for it by letting go of attachments and to truly accept what is, for what it is, one is surrendering to the present. It is at those times in which we are truly in the moment and living in the present. We are living without judgment or comparison to what we wish for and we are free from the twin tyrannies of depressions associated with the past and anxieties and fears surrounding the future. Doing so allows us to be liberated from the incessant dwelling of our mind and allows us to connect intensely to our current situation, without those debilitating distractions. It allows us to listen for the answers that a situation is really calling for that we normally would have never heard otherwise. In the acceptance of reality we are placing ultimate trust within ourselves. We do not need to seek the safety of a harbor when facing a storm. We learn to brave the seas, weather the gales and confidently sail for distance shores.