I was listening to a presentation from life help teacher Byron Katie and she said something that sparked an old insight. Katie said that a sure way to feel terrified is to give yourself a future.
Was she saying that we should forget about our future? Yes, essentially she was.
This will be a hard bit of life advice for many people to grasp. How can we not have a future? Should we just go off somewhere and die?
The reality of the matter is, however, that none of us really have a future. This is because future is a construct that lives only within our mental outlook and nowhere else. You will never be in the future — you will only ever be in one place.
The present moment.
The future is imagination and assumption about what will be, and the assumption part is rarely entirely accurate. How often, really, has the so-called future played out (as the present moment) in the exact way we imagined it would? What does often happen is we imagine a harsh future — that eventually arrives as the present moment — and isn’t nearly as harsh as we imagined it would be.
Most of us have had this experience… again and again and again. Yet we continue to project a terrible future for ourselves.
We are embracing an illusion — something called the future — and a chronic inaccuracy — a belief that a present moment to be will be an awful thing — in one fell swoop. Why do we do this to ourselves?
There are a variety of reasons but, in my opinion, the primary reason for this sort of behavior is a core belief that we must prepare for future times in some way. Is this really true however? Consider what Jesus said:
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
As I said previously, Byron Katie’s reference to no future was not something new for me: I’d been aware of the notion of no future, and had accepted its basic truth and wisdom, for some time. But hearing Katie refer to it again was an important reminder.
Nearly all of our worries and troubles are found in a future world that exists only in our minds. If we lessened our consideration for this thing called future, or stopped considering it altogether, our worries and troubles would drop off so considerably it almost can’t be measured.
Keep your mental focus on the present moment and then tell me what your worries and troubles are. Invest your mental focus on something called future and your worries and troubles will be almost limitless, and will be with you in every moment.
So just stay present, in the moment, and that’s all there is to it then? Staying present in this way is not an easy thing to do, especially at the outset — it does get easier with practice however.
Learn more about staying present Here.