“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” ~ Abraham Maslow
Nothing knocks the present moment out from under us faster than memory or dreams. While it’s wonderful to have fond memories and lovely visions of the future too often we skim over the happy energising images and get tangled in remorse, regret, blame, sorrow of the past and anxiety, worry and doubt about the future. Why do we cling to negative emotions rather than the positive? Part of it is primal – evolution’s warning signals for survival. But we are intellectually evolved, so why does this mode persist. Can’t we choose? Well, yes and no.
We can choose to be in the present moment, engaged, with the delight of a past and future that is rich and fulfilling. However, unconscious inner scripts that do not accurately reflect who we are, run our thoughts and perceptions. These are not hardwired but have been learned since we were born. The imprint is not in our genes but in our minds. In order to thrive we must choose to override our unexamined scripts, overcome the past, and be present to what is before us in any given moment. This focussed presence allows us to make sense of past experience for the assurance of a fulfilling future.