Living in the Present is Hard – The Past & Future Keep Harassing Us

It is hard to live in the present. The past and the future keep harassing us. The past with guilt, the future with worries.

So many things have happened in our lives about which we feel uneasy, regretful, angry, confused, or, at least, ambivalent. And these feelings are often colored by guilt. Guilt that says: “You ought to have done something other than what you did; you ought to have said something other than what you said.” These “oughts” keep us feeling guilty about the past and prevent us from being fully present to the moment.

Worse, however, than our guilt are our worries. Our worries fill our lives with “What ifs”:  “What if I lose my job, what if my father dies, what if there is not enough money, what if the economy goes down, what if a war breaks out?” These many “ifs” can so fill our mind that we become blind to the flowers in the garden and the smiling children on the streets, or deaf to the grateful voice of a friend.

The real enemies of our life are the “oughts” and the “ifs.” They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and the now.

Here and Now by Henri Nouwen
Here and Now: Living in the Spirit
Henri Nouwen

 

 


Henri Nouwen
Henri Nouwen
1932-1996

Background on Henri Nouwen

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.