Reflect on the Past, Live in the Present, and Look forward to the Future

Through the ins and outs of parenting, it is easy to get caught up in thinking about our life as a child or our experiences in school or our memories from our past.  It is good to reflect on the past (both the positive and the negative from it), but once we have done that, then it’s important to return to the present so that we can live now, in this moment.  It’s also easy to get caught up in thinking about all the things in the future that we have yet to encounter.  At some point, after we have reasonably anticipated and planned for the future (regarding both the positives and the negatives), it’s important to let go and return again to this present moment where our lives currently are.  Have you noticed that spending too much time focusing on the past (whether positive or negative aspects of it) leads to depression and that spending too much time focusing on the future (whether positive or negative aspects of it) leads to anxiety?  If we would just focus the majority of our time and effort and energy and attention on the present (the closest thing to heaven that we have), aiming to pull out all the stops now instead of waiting for a condition to be met or waiting for someone else to take the initiative (with whatever it is—but in parenting, being “all here” is critical enough by itself without waiting for a catastrophe to happen before we show up to this job or instead of waiting for a past wrong to be made right by someone, like a parent or a friend, who has since long left our lives), then we would find that the sweetest of joy lives there–here.  And that joy would be our joy.  We no longer have to observe it from the outside or wish that circumstances were different in order for us to have it.  It could be ours now.  If only we step into this present before us.

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