Inspired and Blessed by Bob Acebedo
Inspired & Blessed

Finding meaning is living in the present moment

Jul 7, 2021, 12:30 AM
Bob Acebedo

Bob Acebedo

Columnist

Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, but it also robs you of truly living.

The following fascinating quote from an anonymous source says it rightly:

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

Truthfully, the key to a meaningful life is living in the present moment, neither grieving over the past nor being anxious about the future. This is because life unfolds in the present.

Living in the present moment – which others prefer to call “mindfulness” – is a state of active, open, intentional, and (most importantly) nonjudgmental attention or awareness of the present.

But more often than not, we let the present slip away, as we worry about the future and ruminate about what’s past. How many of us find ourselves fantasizing about being on vacation while we are at work; and while on vacation we worry about the work piling up on our desks? We dwell on intrusive memories of the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future.

Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, but it also robs you of truly living.

Best-selling author Eckhart Tolle cannot be more apt in his observation and exhortation:

“In order to feel more secure, we try to control life as much as we can, by constantly trying to fit the future to our expectations. Yet, the only thing we ultimately achieve by doing so is to put ourselves in a constant state of anxiety that prevents us from savouring the present moment. To overcome anxiety is but to embrace uncertainty. We need to let go of our desire to control every event; factor the unexpected into our plans, embrace uncertainty, and flow with the wild current of life – trusting that it will take us to new and exciting places. By relaxing the right fist of clinging to an expected end-result, we are able to focus on the here and now, and thus make the most out of every second of our lives as well as find gratitude in what we have, without taking anything for granted.”

But, how do we go about living in the present moment? Here are some tips.

1. Appreciate and savour the moments of today. Relish or luxuriate the real aspects of today – the sights, the sounds, the emotions, the triumph, and the sorrow.

2. Forgive past hurts. Acknowledge what happened. Let go of any grudge or resentment for your “own sake”, and move on.

3. Love your job or appreciate what you’re doing regularly. With your job – be it at your home or your workplace, if you feel just having “survived” the workweek by just waiting for the next weekend to come, you’re probably wasting some 70% (5/7 days) of your life. If you don’t find yourself in your work or in what you’re doing, you’re but missing your “presence” in the moment.

4. Stop worrying about the future, work hard and enjoy today. Don’t be anxious about the future, it will come according to how you handle the present. Work hard, enjoy, and make the most of the present – because a successful tomorrow is a well-done and happily-spent today.

But wait, there are those who are still wont to complain: “How can we live in or savour the present when it is the present that is problematic, undeniably filled with pain, anxiety or uncertainty?

Here’s a wise advice: If something unpleasant is bothering you in the present, move toward it rather than away from it.

The mind’s natural tendency when faced with pain is to attempt to avoid it. But in many cases, negative feelings and situations can’t be avoided – and resisting them only magnifies the pain.

The solution, hence, in trying to live in a painful present is acceptance – that is, being open to the way things are in the moment without trying to manipulate or change the experience – without judging it, clinging to it, or pushing it away.

Acceptance of the present moment is neither solving nor taking away the problem, but it relieves you of needless extra-suffering. Acceptance of an unpleasant moment is not giving up on your goals or dreams. It is just accepting the present loss or drawback, but it should not deter you from trying again or continue pursuing your dream.

In sum, living in the present is embracing both the joys and sorrows of the moment – and continue learning, growing, and experiencing one moment at a time. Just live in the present and make it beautiful, because a meaningful life is a well-spent every moment.

Tags: #commentary, #columns, #InspiredandBlessed, #livinginthemoment


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