How much time in your life have you spent worrying and ruminating about the future or the past? Not only is it hard not to do this but many of us think it’s actually responsible to. If there was a net benefit to worry, then it might not be such a bad thing. But worry produces nothing besides anxiety and more worry. It doesn’t help up prepare for anything because worry, in and of itself, is irrational.
If we think we are going to do something tomorrow or know we have an appointment or anything else we have to attend to, we can plan for it while still knowing that the future doesn’t exist. It leaves open the likelihood that what tomorrow may bring cannot be what we conceive in our worried minds because if the future doesn’t exist, there’s nothing there.
Thousands of years ago, our primitive ancestors were always on the lookout for danger. Because danger would have been everywhere. Every rustle of a bush or sound breaking the silence of night was potentially a deadly animal waiting to kill them. Fast forward to today and here are, anxious about what may be; the many dangers lurking in that mysterious place called tomorrow. And perhaps being prepared, we think, mitigates the pain and misery resulting from that fear coming to fruition.
Likewise, the past is immaterial as well. It isn’t what we think it is….or was. Because the further we move from the past, the less objective we can think about it. What’s left sometimes are just those raw emotions associated with experiences we endured. But the past is really over. We’ve moved on, except for when we haven’t allowed aspects of ourselves to.
The present moment, the here and now, is all there is. And it’s all there ever was. The sensory experience of being alive in this moment and existing in real time with what is creates a sense of peace and place. This is related to the concept of consciousness; the property of being that imbues the present. We cannot ruminate or worry about what we are experiencing because we are in the middle of it. We are unfolding as it is unfolding; evolving with everything around us. Meditation is of extraordinary help in keep ourselves grounded and in place.
Just a few minutes of sitting in silence, listening and feeling our bodies in real time, can begin to break down the need to worry and ruminate. It makes being conscious of this moment second nature. Worry will always happen to some extent because humans have been worrying for thousands of years. But we do have the power to step out of this toxic behavior by devoting our attention to NOW.