Rule 7: Confused People Live in the Past or the Future
Confused People are never present.
The Phoenix Perspective:
Real life is only lived in the here and now.
Ever notice how much time you spend being distracted? When you are distracted, off in la la land, you are mostly doing one of two things. You are either reviewing the past or planning the future.
Now, what’s wrong with that? Nothing, in moderation. It’s when your focus is mostly in the past or mostly in the future that the trouble starts. Why? Because you are not here, and here is where the action and the juice is.
Perhaps you’ve noticed a pattern to your life. You notice that you seem to play at life, rather than passionately engaging it. In order to be passionate, you have to be present. Being present is about living in the moment, paying attention and sharing who you are.
To come into the moment is to realize that you are who you are right now. You don’t have to spend your life bemoaning your past or continually reliving it. You may choose to, but you don’t have to.
In other words: The details of your life cannot be changed. What you do with the details of your life is your choice.
Most people choose to hide behind masks, trying to be “safe.” We do this to ourselves to protect ourselves from being exposed and vulnerable. The end result, however, is relationships that are thin and shallow.
Most of us will make a case that our roles (our masks) are our identity. We’ve hidden so long “in role” that it’s hard to even consider letting go of them, let alone actually doing it. So, be clear: it’s not about giving up your identity. It’s about stepping out of the places where we hide – the past, the future, behind our degrees, titles, job description or accomplishments. It’s about living in the moment, and in that moment re-discovering who you are, in this moment.
If you are feeling lost, alone, purposeless or incapable of a deep and meaningful relationship, the issue to be confronted is how you are choosing to live life – and where you are living your life It’s about recognizing that you are not at peace. You are not content. Your life lacks meaning. Simply put, you are stuck in a groove, where you repeat past, ineffective behaviours and understandings. And the paradox is that you have locked yourself into a familiar place, and you fear leaving it. Yet, to be whole, leave it you must.
You leave it by entering into the fear and anxiety of being authentically yourself. You thoroughly disengage your energy and support from everything that does not lead you in a direction you wish to go. You find people to be completely open and honest with. You do away with living in the past or fearing the future, and choose to embrace today.
Your seventh exercise: Where do you live, mostly? In the present?
Good for you! In the past or future? What good are you doing yourself, living there?