So much of our effort goes into trying to gain happiness! All the struggle after money, relationships, career, shopping and on and on is really a struggle after things that we think will lead to our happiness. Whether we are trying to reconcile an unhappy past, or achieve a distant happier future, our attempts to gain happiness influence all our activities and actions in the present moment where we really live.
Don’t you find that at the bottom of all your desires there is the belief that the thing you are striving for will make you happy? Isn’t that why all of us want what we want? We’ve constructed a sequence of reasoning that says things like: “I’m not happy; I don’t have money or a relationship. If I got them, then I’d be happy.” That’s the future oriented way of struggling for happiness.
On the other hand, we sometimes say: “I’m not happy. I had a terrible childhood (or a bad first marriage, or got fired from my first job, or had a bad accident); if I could just reconcile THAT, then I’d be happy.” That’s the past oriented way of struggling for happiness.
Both of these ways put our attention outside the Present Moment. We are either focused on something that happened in the past that we need years of therapy to “work through”, or we are focused on something in the future that we need to acquire. Either way, our focus is outside the Present, which is the only time we really ever have. Just think about it: can we ever go back and get into any past moment with our direct perceptions? Can we project ourselves ahead and experience something from the future? No. Our entire experience is contained in this single Present Moment, the only moment of true experience we ever have. We carry this Moment with us through our lives, like a bubble of reality surrounded by a constantly changing sea of Past and Future. Within this Present Moment is our only real experience. When we spend our lives longing for or regretting the past, or striving for a future that never comes, we ignore the one point of personal power that is all we ever have: Right Now. Living in or for the past or future is like living with our face pressed up against the surface of the bubble, like a child looking into a toy store. We ignore the immense creative power and potential experience that exists in the bubble of our Now.
Try an experiment: see if you can, just for a while, drop the past and the future, even yesterday and tomorrow. Even this morning and tonight. Just drop everything except this very moment that you are alive in, the moment where your power to feel anything you like lives and thrives. If all you were responsible for was this one Present Moment, what would it take to make you happy in it?
Leave out anything that is future oriented: the money is about being safe or luxurious “from now on”. The relationship is about being loved and having companionship “from now on”. Even health is about having a reliable and secure physical basis to work from, “from now on”. If you really look at the one Present Moment, you’ll see that none of those things is about the Present, but about the future-even if that future is as close as this afternoon, it’s still not Now.
Also, leave out anything that is past oriented: if your mother had loved you more, or you had gone to a better school, or your spouse had not cheated, or you hadn’t had that accident-those are all qualifiers that live in the past. For just a moment leave them out of the equation and try to feel the immediacy of this one precious instant of time, which is all we ever have.
And then ask yourself, “What would it take to make me happy in this one Present Moment?”
The astonishing thing about this is that quite often, if you can drop the future and the past and just inhabit the Now, happiness comes in on its own. What it takes to make us happy in the Now is quite achievable. It’s just awareness. It’s just acknowledgment of the moment and of our existence in it. The power of the Present Moment is all we need. Once we claim it we can bring that power to the next present moment and the next and the next. Our happiness grows, and our ability to create things that reflect that state grows along with it. When we look to the past and the future for our happiness, it’s always out of reach. When we look to the Present Moment, it’s right there with us.
Margie Waters is a writer and discussion forum coach for the [http://www.universeofpower.com/]Universe Of Power – a website devoted to teaching people how to find inner peace, happiness, prosperity and creative satisfaction using the Law of Attraction. We also teach these powerful life-changing principles through the [http://www.universeofpower.net]The Quintessential Guide to Conscious Creation Course – which is a step-by-step self-empowerment program that takes only 15-30 minutes a day. Through this program, you’ll discover that genuine happiness (no matter what!) was within you all along…and how to access your own immense power to attract and create the life you’ve always desired.
We invite you to come to the [http://www.universeofpower.com/]Universe Of Power where you’ll discover Who You Really Are, explore your intelligent Universe, and you’ll find an amazing community of like-minded seekers.