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Living in the Present

I was reading a book called "The Shack" about a father who suffers a family tragedy and then, in search of answers, meets three special beings who help him in the process of finding himself and reconciling with his past. In one part of the book, when Mack, the protagonist, was near a lake talking with one of the special beings, he was asked the following question, which I quote below:

But now tell me: where do you spend most of your time in your mind, in your imagination: in the present, the past or the future?

Mack thought for a moment before answering: "I suppose I would have to say that I spend very little time in the present. I spend a lot of it in the past, though almost all the remaining time I try to imagine the future."

"Like most people..."

I felt particularly identified with Mack's feelings. It made me wonder if my concerns and expectations are due to the fact that, in my mind, I spend a lot of time in the past or the future. This made me reflect that I am not the only one who thinks this way. Then it came to my mind, how different would things be if I focused more on the present? If I trusted the future a little more and... Learned from, but did not live in the past.

Mack was a very troubled man, whose sad past haunted him and did not allow him to find happiness. Thinking about his past and those things he could not change caused him Great sadness. In addition to this, the uncertainty of things to come did not allow him to enjoy the present as he perhaps could.

How many of us find ourselves in this situation? Personally, I find myself in that state many times and I know you do too. Haven't you ever thought that many of the thoughts that cause anxiety, fear, stress and uncertainty can be caused by thinking about realities that have not happened and may not happen? I feel that living in the present, focusing on those things that we can actually handle, could help us to better deal with our lives and face the future on a better footing. Thinking less about tomorrow and solving today can end up being much more effective and a better investment of our time.

In reality the future does not yet exist and we do not know if we will be there, however, we are in this moment, alive, in the present. There is much of the present that requires our attention and dedication to waste time on things we cannot change or that have not happened.

I hope that the advice given to Mack to live in the present and have more confidence in the future will be of help to each of us and allow us to lead fuller lives.