If you’re like me, you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time in the here and now. I know that I spend most of my time lingering on the past and agonizing over the future. I try to stay present, stay mindful, and stay in the moment, but it seems there’s always something pulling me away – something dragging my focus off of “the now.” I replay past failings over and over again; I invent disastrous future scenarios out of what-ifs; I ruminate on unhealthy feelings, like sorrow, guilt, shame, anxiety, and anger. But none of that is really relevant, is it? None of it is really occurring in the here and now; it either was or might be, but it isn’t right now. If I was able to push away the past and the future, I’d be able to make some space for the current moment.
Easier said than done, right? What is the current moment, really? I find it hard to measure. Is it a day? An hour? A minute? This very millisecond? And if I’m literally living moment to moment, how can I plan? How can I learn? Rather than rejecting the past and the future, I think the best thing is to accept it (after all, it’s part of my life) but not allow past failures and future anxieties to rule or ruin the present. This meditation by Father Flann has been such a great tool to help me let go a little bit. At times, I have allowed my past to dictate my present, and this exercise has helped me to forgive and move forward. This is a fresh moment – it is not the past, and it is not the future – and I choose to look at it with fresh eyes!