As if the present moment does not contain enough beauty of its own, we so often engage in mental time travel. We travel back in time, at least our mind’s best effort to reconstruct the past. It like looking in the rear view mirror. The problem with living life through the rear view mirror is that objects (and memories) appear larger than they really are. Situations that were challenging in the past might not be so challenging now that you have more courage and wisdom. Your fear that the hurts of the past will repeat is disproportionate compared to your ever expanding ability to deal with life as it emerges. Stop judging yourself for who you used to be or expecting yourself to be ten years wiser than you are now.
We also travel forward in time, at least our mind’s best attempt to guess the future. It’s the same problem. You think about the future from the level of wisdom and courage you have now, forgetting that you will be different, wiser and stronger by the time the future arrives. Mental time travel leads to such a distorted sense of identity, and so much unnecessary suffering.
Of course, it’s important to do some mental time traveling. That’s how you learn from the past and anticipate the future. It’s right to reflect on the past and plan ahead. Just don’t dwell there. The point here is, “live your life in the present.” When you do, it tends NOT to be tense. You lack nothing in this moment. You need nothing in this moment. All is perfect right now.