Living in the Present Moment

Time is an incredible phenomenon. Many philosophers, naturalists, theologians, and physicists tried to find an adequate answer to the question what time is. Each of them found an answer for himself, but it did not satisfy the others. While they were thinking and learning, time went by. New researchers came and continued the mission of their predecessors. This process started centuries ago and did not stop yet. Everyone is trying to explain what time is and how to use it effectively.

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However, the evident fact and the problem itself is that the majority of us fail to give the definition of time, feel its fluctuation, and say that we are comfortable with this permanent flow of minutes and days. Only after some years, we come to the thought that we regret about something that must have been done or said but was not. We also regret that we worried about something unimportant while the best days of our lives were passing by. We harrowed, planned, hoped, analyzed previous words, deeds, situations, but did not enjoy the life in its full beauty. The reason is that we did not take the phenomenon of time seriously and did not reflect on its role and value in our life.

Everyone knows three kinds of time: past, present, and future. It is a general distinction that is passed from generation to generation. It helps to express our thoughts in a clear way, separating events that have already happened to the past and the events that are going to happen – to the future. Yet, the present time is always lost somewhere between past and future. It is a current moment of life – now and here. Present is elusive, because it turns from the future into the past. Sometimes, people even forget that it exists because of particular reasons, and it leads to the permanent life in illusory past or faraway future.

When I turn back and look at my previous way of living, I can confidently say that I was not an exception to the rule. Only my childhood was a careless, happy period of time when I enjoyed every day playing, talking, learning, and discovering things. The teenage period brought into the light the problem of losing the present moment. In general, teenagers start thinking about their relationships with friends and relatives, appearance and behavior trying to find who they are and what they want to be in the society. It is a period of the first love and disappointment, friends gaining and friends losing, conflicts and reconciliations, etc.

As I was a teenager, too many events came into my life, making me think and analyze everything that happened. I remember how I was coming back from school, spending time in my room, listening to the music and reflecting on the events that happened when I was with my friends. I was worrying about my self-value, because my self-esteem was not high enough. I doubted if I look good enough to be liked by the person I liked. All these thoughts were rushing in my head making me mentally stay in the past.

I did not realize that I have a problem with it. I was more concentrated on the school gossip, my own twinges of conscience about not being good enough for something, and the analysis of various dialogues between me and my friends or me and the object of my love. Sometimes, parents asked me why I was silent and did not talk to them a lot. The reason was not the lack of the desire to talk but my immersion into the reflection on the past.

Years have passed, and I grew up out of the teenage doubts about myself. However, the habit to think about the possible better solutions for past situations did not leave me. My aspiration for idealism did not give a chance to say “What happened, that happened. You cannot change anything. Just accept it and enjoy what you have now”. Apart from this, I realized that I was not a teenager anymore but a grown individual who can make plans and implement them into reality. In general, my typical way of thinking and living looked like: 1) doing something, 2) analyzing my past actions, 3) possibly disappointing because I did not do my best, 4) starting planning what to do in the same situation in the future to make it ideal. With time, I understood that it was senseless because fox is not taken twice in the same snare.

As a result, I was totally lost in my life. I had everything to be satisfied but was not because of the lack of the ability to keep myself away from past and future, being simply happy in the present. One evening, I was reading a book and caught myself on a thought that it should not be like that. I had so much stuff in my head that I could not concentrate on reading, having to reread the same paragraph for three times. I realized that I do not want to live in the past that does not let me to live normally here and now. I felt the necessity to let everything go.

Since that day, I started to watch various videos about forgiving and letting past feelings go and read articles that presented the advices how to live in the present moment. Nothing helped me because all these advices from psychological videos and articles were accepted by my intellect, not my feelings. Rationally, I understood what to do, but I could not do it practically. I was ready to give up.

Maybe, some supernatural power heard about my sufferings and decided to help me, and I received my personal revelation soon after I got stuck in despair. On a random day, I was looking for some information needed for one of my lessons. Then, I saw a link to another site's article that was called something like “How to Measure Your Life”. I opened it and saw the so-called table of life. I do not remember the author of that article, but it consisted of a large number of empty checks, where each check was equal to one week of the human life. In general, it was a table of 70 years that is an approximate duration of life. There was also a second table, which showed life of an average American citizen, i.e. hatched checks of childhood, school, college, university, work, marriage, etc. Looking at this table, I realized that human life is so short, and all my problems seemed absolutely unimportant on a global scale of life. The last phrase on this page was: “Where are you now? Which check?” That moment became decisive for me.

I printed out the empty table and turned off the computer. Then, I took a pencil and draw a plump dot in the check that related to that moment (week) of my life. I hatched all checks that I spent for senseless reflections and sufferings without any serious reason. The feeling of a deep gratitude lightened my heart. It cannot be described now because there is no words to describe true feelings. It was happiness in silence and full harmony with my inner essence. I could not sit or stay on the same place, so I decided to go for a walk.

As I have already mentioned, it was a random day when everyone works, studies, takes their dogs for a walk, feeds birds, plays in the park, and so on. It became a special day for me though. I was walking along the street, passing various people, houses, cafes, and shops and thinking that I must be such a happy human being. All my worries and disappointments from the past have just vanished away. I almost started to cry thinking about the time I spent “eating” myself from inside instead of caring of my happiness and sharing it with others. I had the sheet with a table in the pocket and was only wondering how this piece of paper changed my life view. I looked at the sky, grass, trees and felt the colors bright and vibrant. Everything in the natural world coexisted in harmony and peace, whereas I used to stuck in my past dreaming to change things, which can never be changed. I felt alive at the moment of pure satisfaction from the world and myself. I have let my past go.

Looking at myself from the current day, I can claim that it was one of the most essential lessons in my life. I think that everyone has to learn such a lesson, but the problem is that some people learn it too late. Time flies, and the moment called “Now” should be the best moment of our lives. That is how we are able to make the whole life look the way we want. Regrets should be left in the past, whereas hopes for future should be a motivation for action in the present. The Internet table made me realize that I want to hatch each check of it with a feeling of satisfaction from every week of my life. This feeling can be obtained only if we enjoy the present moment, and that is what I am doing right now.


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