The problem with mindfulness

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I love the idea of mindfulness.

The past and future are merely thought forms and the only thing that actually exists is the moment.

When in recovery from anxiety and depression it is a concept that helps. Depression comes from dwelling on the problems, mistakes, and pain of the past while anxiety comes from fear and the need for control of the future.

By staying present you can focus solely on what needs to be done right now.

Practicing this has been great. Those close to me have noticed dramatic changes in my personality from this time last year—obviously for the better. I don’t “hate” my life anymore. My daughter is no longer the only thing keeping me from harming myself. Yes, I was in that dark of a place when I felt like my world was falling apart.

Mindfulness saved my life.

This post is not all roses and puppies, however. For me, practicing mindfulness has come with consequences—sacrifices of health, wealth, and time. I do take personal responsibility for said consequences, because everything is ultimately a choice.

Another idea is that the actions of your past influence the probability of your future, and those actions of the past take place in the present.

For example, people I have hurt in the past may still hold a grudge in the moment effecting the probability of reconciliation tomorrow. Eating too much fast food for the past few months has led to weight gain today, and if I don’t increase my exercise my health will deteriorate tomorrow. Bills need to be paid this month for goods and services but without generating income, problems will arise.

It is so easy to want to stay in the moment, to live the seemingly calm life of the Buddhist monk after decades of internal struggle.

The only moment that actually exists may be right now with now guarantee of the next, but without a clear vision of what you want to experience in this life, you are setting yourself up for the probability of too many undesirable consequences.

A clear vision—maybe that is what I have been lacking?

P.

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