“Only the present can free you of the past more time cannot free you of time“
The Power of Now Journal Eckhart Tolle
It was a few years back, on reading James Ellen, Wallace Wattles, Neville Goddard, and ET; I realized the importance of understanding the element of time and its proper perspective. I saw that mention of time in the sense of the calendar was not referring to the space in which I am to live my life, but instead, as a reference to the events in my life.
There is a scripture that says, “Do not remember the past events; pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. Wild animals jackals and ostriches — will honour me, because I provide water in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people.”
Isaiah 43 verse 18 to 20.
God is saying, don’t look backwards, open your eyes to what I am doing at this moment… My interpretation to the bible’s reference to time is simply regarding activities, events in a sense of calendar. And not in terms of the space in which I live my life.
Regardless of what happened to me yesterday or may happen to me tomorrow; I must live my life in this moment now! None of us can live any other way than today from a physical point of view. (Once time travel becomes a reality – who knows what we can expect!) So then, we live today to the fullest without wasting our precious moments in fear and regret for tomorrow and yesterday.
Now holds the power for my life, not yesterday (about which I can change nothing) or tomorrow (about which I can do nothing except wait until tomorrow becomes today, or now)
Someone raised a question to me about the responsibilities we have for preparing things which we will have to do today for events tomorrow. Or the value of certain experiences we had in the past, of which we have fond memories. What if you are a historian writing a paper? You will need to explore past events and possibly places to obtain information for your paper.
Living without having guilt, regret, worry, or any negative emotions about our past or future, conducting our daily lives with all due responsibility but putting our entire focus on what we are doing in any specific moment, is what living in the now is all about. It is not about abrogating our responsibilities or giving up on our dreams; no, most certainly not. It’s performing our activities, whatever they may be, with our complete focus and not focusing on yesterday or tomorrow. (both terms of which are calendar references.)
The state I’m in, meaning the space in which I am, what I am doing now – managing my thoughts and habits is all that can liberate me from the illusionary prison of time. Time, no matter how much I have, cannot do this for me.
To my understanding, accessing the power of the now begins in accepting that effective management of my thoughts will result in a more conscious awareness of living in the moment.
In my case, it appears that it is too easy to think about yesterday. Especially thoughts of regret, what I could have done for my betterment rather than what I did do.
It is easy for me to have anxiety about what may happen tomorrow. Or even a fear of what tomorrow may bring. So, if I spend time now on these issues rather than what I should be doing – and that to the best of my ability with complete focus, then I am wasting my moment now.
It seems to be a lot more difficult, and takes more concentrated effort, to focus exclusively on the moment in which I am living now. This conflicts with my reasoning, which acknowledges the sensibility in focusing on the moment in which I am living now but takes extreme focus and concentration on my part. I do agree that now is the only place in which to live but how do I maintain focus on this truth?
You know the saying, ‘it’s easier said than done.’ True, but unless we try to DO, it will never be DONE. What do we have to do to accomplish focusing on the now moment?
The answer to this question would take up pages. For starters let us recognize that most of our daily activities stem from habits. This means that if it is my habit to have regrets for the past or have anxiety for the future, this is a habit I must change. How do I change this habit? I have to begin changing my thoughts about the matter. Why? You rightfully ask.
Bluntly, it goes like this; Thoughts raise emotions, emotions create habits. Let’s look at an example: I left a new overcoat in my car after parking it in a busy street and forgot to lock the car. When I returned to my car, my new overcoat had disappeared. How careless of me, I should have put my coat in the boot and locked the car! What sort of creep steals clothes from a car? I think to myself. I am now mad at myself for being careless and angry at the thief. Because I’m always rushing, I don’t stop and check that I have not left an invitation to passing thieves by leaving items in my car. (Bad habit) Because I’m always rushing, I walk away forgetting to lock my car. (Another bad habit) I mutter to myself.
At that moment, I resolve to create a new habit of not leaving anything exposed in my car, and I continuously check to see if I have locked the vehicle. Every time I go to my car, I ensure I have not left anything inside that would offer an invitation to thieves. I make sure I check to see that the vehicle is locked. The result – no more unnecessary loss of my possessions and the gain of two positive habits.
It’s plain for me to see; I don’t need more time; I need to live much more in the present.