One of the great Universal ideas of all time was the idea of all time being the present moment. It’s not just that there really isn’t any reality to the past at all; the past certainly feels real enough.
Like when you are bringing back those horrible feelings from the time in school when those kids were all making fun of you. Or all the times folks became angry with you for something you did, and you had only acted in good faith believing that what you were doing was the right thing to do.
Those feelings can come flooding back to you at the drop of a hat. Shoot fire, they can come flooding back for almost no reason at all, nobody even has to do anything so overt as to drop a hat. It is as if sometimes, your present world dims to obscurity and disappears, while you are reliving the ugly moments from your past.
The Past Sure Seems Real
The past indeed can seem real enough then, it’s just that the only person living in that particular past is you. Nobody else is feeling those things the way you do and nobody else is carrying all that junk around with them in the secret compartments of their heart, waiting for them to pop out at a moment’s notice. Living in the past does not help your life in the present so much. Most times, it doesn’t help it at all actually. We’re kind of disregarding ideas like remembering that the pan on the hot stove is going to burn you if you don’t use a holder to pick it up. Then remembering ideas like that from the past are pretty useful.
But most times, not so much.
It would be OK to leave bad memories from long ago back there in your past and live today in the reality that is right there in front of you. And interestingly, it’s kind of the same thing with good things form your past as well. .
But Good Memories Feel Better
Now, truth be told, good memories from your past are a lot more fun than icky memories are. You can feel good, you can bring back that feeling of pride you felt when you accomplished something cool for the first time. Maybe like when you rode a bike for the first time by yourself or won a contest in school or even the first time you spotted your beloved from across the room and your heart did one of those little flippety flop movements that you were sure was visible to every other person standing around you.
Those are good things to remember. But they are still not the same as living in your present moment. It is definitely OK to feel great love and happiness from things that happened to you in the past right now, but if the only way you feel good is to remember something from the past, that is not such a useful state of affairs.
We live in the present moment at any time, and it would be OK to feel good about something that is happening in the present moment as well. It is ever so much sweeter to have your experiences now than it is to live in the memories of the past, even if they were great. What those great memories help you to do is set the stage so you can have great experiences now too. But it’s not like there is any real need to live only in the past. Truth is, you really can’t.
Take A Glass, Any Glass
Let’s say you have a glass, a nice looking crystal goblet, and you are thirsty, so you want some water in your glass. No problem, but your glass will only hold a certain amount of water, about 16 ounces actually.
And no matter if you have a big ole’ 55 gallon drum full to the top with fresh spring water, your glass is still only going to hold 16 ounces of water. So you fill your glass up, and drink the water. Excellent. Now if you are still thirsty, you fill your glass again. You don’t keep pouring water into the glass until it is running down over the sides and onto the floor, getting your shoes all wet.
That is not going to help you if you are thirsty.
You need to fill your glass and drink the water. Then fill the glass and drink the water. Then if you are still thirsty you fill your glass and drink the water. It doesn’t matter if you filled the glass yesterday and drank it, you are thirsty now.
And you need some water now.
You need enough to fill your glass. Now. Not yesterday, not last week, not 25 years ago, you need some water now.
Filling Your Happiness Glass
Was it nice to have your life filled with happiness back when you were 8 years old? Sure. But if you want happiness now, you need to fill up your happiness glass in the present moment. Now the way the Universe works, you can fill your happiness glass as many times as you want and memories of happiness are good for letting you know that it is good to fill your glass again.
But you need to fill your glass now.
Right this minute.
That is what the present moment is for.
For you to fill up to the brim right now. You can’t store it up for tomorrow, or for next week or for the next 5 years. When those times come, it will be the present moment then, and you can fill your happiness glass then.
But right now, spend your time filling up your glass for this moment.
And the even cooler part, since there is no end to the amount of happiness in the Universe, you can have any size glass you want. As a matter of fact, if you want to fill up a big rig tanker truck with happiness right now, there’s a spot right over there on pump number 6.
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