Stand up straight and hold your arms out to your sides, like you are making a “T”. Now, imagine that the past is on your left hand side. Clutch your hand tight to symbolize the stronghold you keep on the past. Now, imagine that the future is on your right hand side. Clutch your right hand tight to symbolize the stronghold you have on the future. If the present moment were all around you and was suddenly going to throw something your way, how would you receive it? It would take some pretty interesting contortion and well rehearsed skill among other body parts to be able to take the impact of, and hold onto, whatever life had to throw your way- metaphorically speaking, of course. When we live with our minds tightly attached to the past or the future, we don’t create the space for the present moment to flow through us.
Release your left hand. Imagine living day to day in a manner which was not defined by the past. Your thought patterns, your behaviors, and your daily decisions were rooted in the present moment, inspired by and educated by the events of your past.
Release your right hand. Imagine living day to day in a manner which was not defined by the future. Your thought patterns, your behaviors, and your daily decisions were rooted in the present moment, inspired by the hope and acceptance of the future.
How do you feel?
Likely, you feel a little bit uncomfortable because living in the present moment is exceptionally challenging to do. You may also feel somewhat relieved. If you’ve never thought about how living free of the burdens of the past as well as free from the anxieties of the future could be, you’re just now getting a glimpse of what living in the present moment is like. The question to ask yourself is this: Do I want to be defined by my past, my future, or the present moment? The truth to understand is this: the past is gone with every second, the future is happening with every second, and the present is every second as it comes. All we can be, when we allow ourselves to be, is present. How do we want to be right now?
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon is a men’s addiction treatment center that teaches our clients how to roll with life’s punches and use the tools they’ve learned throughout the treatment process to stay on top of anything life throws at them. Call (503) 850-2474to see how we can help you today.