In the past I have been a big advocate of journaling and have used the practice and found it very helpful. My students have been journaling for this counseling class and I intended to also but can’t seem to get motivated. I feel like most of the journaling is about the past and I feel I don’t want to spend time there. Spending time in the past is not where I want to be and here is why.
Looking over the past is often used to review what went wrong and if we take that review and make changes that can be valuable. If we use the past to beat ourselves up what we should have done then spending time with our past has no value unless we like feeling lousy about ourselves.
The past is no longer so why spent time there. Living in what was, makes little sense because then we are just living in memories and not living in the reality of the present. Being in the past makes me miss the present. How can we possibly create a successful life if we are not in the present?
Let’s do some exploration here:
When was the last time you paid attention to where your thoughts take you? Have you ever?
Do you spend most of your day in the present?
Is most of your day revisiting the past?
Do you live for the future in hope that it will be better?
If you are rehearsing for an upcoming interaction are you in
the now or in the future?
Do you feel the past is where all the good of life resides and what keeps the now from being better?
Does planning for the future every create results in the future or are those results in the now?
Can we truly get better by understanding the past?
Are we a collection of experiences made up of the past or are we who we are in the moment?
Where is joy and happiness, the past, present or future?
Are negative emotions the product of the past, the present or the future?
Do you ever miss out on what is going on in your life by being focused on what was or what you hope will happen?
If you live today for tomorrow could you miss the beauty of the moment?
If you have doubts about yourself aren’t they from you remaining in the past or projecting into the future?
There are many questions to be asked about being in the present and why that matters so keep on asking them of yourself. Be Here Now is the title of an enlightening book by Ram Dass and if you get a chance to read this book I highly recommend you will gain appreciation for why it is so expansive to live in the now.