Sunday, October 5, 2014

Living in the Moment vs. Living for the Moment

Just want to take a second to clarify exactly what it is that I'm an advocate for in all this talk of being present in the moment... Sometimes it's just as helpful to say what you're not saying as to say what you are saying.

Living for the moment is when time is your master. You throw caution to the wind and do whatever feels good now, without thought for tomorrow. You are fully engaged in the moment, your surroundings and your emotions, but you allow them to dictate to you how you act or react, no consideration for how you will feel tomorrow or things you could have learned from yesterday. Living for the moment makes you a slave to your circumstances. You live to feel good at this moment, whatever that takes. Your life is fractured and segmented, there is no consistency, no evaluation, no stability or compass from which you live and make your decisions. And that, my friends, is what I am most certainly NOT an advocate for.

Living in the moment means allowing yourself, or even intentionally choosing to force yourself, to become keenly aware of  your surroundings, your emotions, the current and present circumstances around you in order to fully engage yourself right where you are, but more than that, you do so with an awareness that the way you are currently living has an impact on your future, and with the mindfulness of having learned from mistakes you have made in the past. You view your life as a whole continuum, with the realization that the way you live now can either create those fond memories you one day look back on, or become a source of future regret. Growing as a person is a process, you get to choose who you become. The way you shape yourself is through continually refining the way you act and react in a given situation. You can only purposefully react in a positive way when you choose to intentionally be present in the moment, without losing sight of the way the past should be helping you grow, and the way the present affects your future. You are in charge of the way you respond to a situation, the situation or emotion does not tell you how to behave. And that is what I AM saying.

[This post is part of a 31 day series on being present in the moment]

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