Freedom happens now, not later
Hey- I wrote this 11 years ago. I found it on a hard drive while I was looking for another file. It is a bit simplistic but it has some ideas that are quite powerful if you actually follow up on them. ~~ Cliff
When I think about my work as a psychotherapist and counselor, I often wonder why sometimes it works quite well for some and fails miserably for others. One of the conclusions I have come to is that people who get better are able to release the past and the future in order to focus simply on the present.
Those of us who have trouble releasing the past and the future have trouble being joyful in the present. Often our lives are not really that bad but our tendency to cling to the past or to anticipate a fearsome future immobilizes us to the point that we cannot live. When we are thus trapped we are prisoners of our minds.
In order to be truly free, we have to learn the fine art of letting go of the past, releasing the future, and abiding in the present moment.
To dwell in the future by pursuing anxieties, fantasies, and analytical mind games is a waste of the present moment. To dwell in the past, rehashing old events and micro analyzing our past activities is a waste of the present moment as well.
Looking deeply at life as it is, simply in this moment, we will rest in stability and freedom. If we are diligent today we will not miss opportunities when they are present.
Often people cannot release due to intense emotional bonds that tie them to their images of past and future. For example, if we have been severely injured emotionally by someone, we may have to work diligently to remove the grip of that experience on our perceptions. If our perceptions remain controlled by pains from the past then we are living according to our past.
Likewise, our fear of re-experiencing some sort of trauma may create fearful anxiety in our minds. We can create complex strategies to avoid re-experiencing these events to the point of being painted into a corner by our own anxious minds.
Thus, counseling, when it works, helps people release their grief over the past. It helps persons who are anxious release their attachments to their fears. When counseling works, then, we become more free, more relaxed, and less of a prisoner of the past.
If you are a prisoner of your own mind, please choose to do what it takes for yourself to become free from memories and anxieties. The present is precious. Enjoy the moment you are experiencing now.
Do not wait. Freedom happens now, not later.