How often are you caught in time? You know, when your thoughts are somewhere in the past or future, and you're not even aware of it? This happens to me quite frequently. If I had to guess, I'd say it happens to you too.
Why is this? Why are we so caught in time? Is it wrong to be caught in time? How do we get "uncaught?"
The answers lie somewhere within us. But not in our minds.
You see, time is only useful for practical matters. Otherwise, it just causes us to suffer.
Of course we need time to be able to show up to work, schedule our days, learn from past mistakes, and plan for the future. In all of these cases, time is very useful.
But the truth is, this isn't how we're using time most often. What's more common is that time uses us. Our minds continually cloud our present moment by conjuring up images of the past and future. This type of "time" is not useful in any way. In fact, it's quite destructive. We're so busy looking at the thoughts that our minds constantly feed us about the past and future, that it's virtually impossible to just be in the present moment. I'm sure you're quite familiar with this predicament.
There is a way out, but before I tell you that, take note of the following pitfall.
A common mistake people make is to try to think their way out of time and into presence. This cannot be done.
Thinking just adds more harmful time to the mix, making you more caught. The way out of thinking, out of time, and into the eternal present, is not by thinking, but by being.
Simply paying attention to your thoughts is one way to enter the present moment.
When you pay attention, it doesn't mean you judge your thoughts, or add more thoughts to the mix. If that happens, you notice that. As long as you're noticing, non-judgmentally, you're present, not caught by time.
The truth is, being present isn't a complex matter. It just means you're in there, conscious, intentionally watching what's happening inside of you, without judging. Now, present, you're free from the tangles of time.
It's very simple, yet quite difficult to do this. But it's also very difficult to suffer every waking minute of our lives because we're caught in time.
There's a way out, and it's by going within. Specifically, by paying attention to what's happening within, without trying to change anything that already is.
If your thoughts are bothering you, notice the thoughts, and the fact that they're bothering you. Don't try to change the thoughts, or blame them for bothering you. Just see that you're being bothered.
You could even ask yourself, who am I that's being bothered by my thoughts? If I'm not the one thinking the thoughts, are they really my thoughts?
What's here is here. What is, is. It simply cannot be otherwise.
As soon as we can accept this moment, we can enter the present moment with new, fresh, and wise eyes, ultimately allowing us to make a positive change going forward. But that positive change won't come from trying to change what is. It will only come through acceptance of what is.
If you're feeling caught in time, the good thing is, you're aware of it. That's your ticket into the timeless.
Live with substance!