We are trained from birth by our parents, conditioned in school and taught by society that we must provide for our future. On another level, we feel a subtle and sometimes dominant dissatisfaction with life in this moment. Because of this we look to the future for ‘more’. And on yet another level we are advertised to that getting ‘this’, owning ‘that’ and being ‘there’ will make us happy. A new relationship, a new car, a new house will make our life better. This all relates to the future and this causes us to become attached to outcomes and grasp for something better in the future. It also causes anxiety that we will not be able to provide enough money, be healthy enough, the relationship will not survive in the future or life will generally implode. All of this is future tripping.
How can we be happy if we are caught up in future tripping? We are never living, but always projecting into the future, worrying about the future and anticipating the future. We have lost NOW.
Some future tripping can be healthy as long as it is centered in the NOW. Not eating that second candy bar is a rational, healthy choice in the present to avoid future problems. Deciding to exercise NOW is a healthy choice to create a healthy future.
It is when future tripping takes our awareness out of the present moment that we suffer. We miss living. The present becomes something that is not important, not good enough or unwanted and something to move on from as soon as possible. It is filled with aversion. What we do and where we want to go need to merge in the NOW. In the NOW there is expansion, the ability to see deeply and understand, the moment to be compassionate, the time for separation to end and interdependence to be realized. Being NOW, taking one deep breath, allows presence to be experienced. Only in the NOW is there meaning.
Only in the now is there power.
When we future trip we have a tendency to live in reactive, habitual mode. When we are not present, we fail to respond consciously. Living consciously can only happen NOW. When we feel our emotions, look deeply at our emotions and integrate them, we can move on in a healthy way. When we avoid them or distract ourselves from them by living in an illusory future, we carry that dissatisfaction into the next moment and the next moment.
When we consciously bring our awareness back to the present moment we are able to see and feel others; their fear, joy, love and sorrow. We are able to authentically relate to them and expand compassion.