Our past has taught us valuable lessons and shaped who we have become. We can look back at mistakes we made and have the knowledge to take a different route. We can recall vivid memories of happy times when we learned to ride a bike or when we fell in love.
There are also times when we have to think ahead and decide how to save money for college or book a family vacation. Many of us make plans for the future by setting an intention, writing down goals, and envisioning an outcome.
Both the past and future do deserve some recognition, however problems arise when we live in either space. We choose to live in the past if we hold onto regrets, anger, disappointments, or even constant nostalgia of happy times gone. These things have already happened. We choose to live in the future if we worry, build anxiety, or create a variety of scenarios and outcomes in our head. The future has not yet arrived.
Eckhart Tolle states that the remedy to get over your past is forgiveness. “Forgiveness happens naturally as soon as you realize that the past cannot prevail against the power of Presence”. And, as far as the future goes, “You create a good future by creating a good present”. It always comes back to the Now. Do you think you are feeding all your energy to your past, forsaking the present? Are you obsessing about the future and hoping that your life will catch up to it? Maybe you don’t like your present circumstances and are re-living times that were better or creating fantasies about escaping into the future. How do you deal with a heartbreak, a job loss, an illness when it truly feels like your current reality?
You stay in the Now. In the most literal sense, you take each individual moment and become aware of it. For in that space, the present space, there is stillness in the midst of chaos. You can breathe here. And if you can string together many of these peaceful moments, you can free yourself from the bars of your past and the angst of the future. That is your balance point.