At its simplest level, our bodies are miracles. Thousands of intricate functions take place without our even thinking about them. One of the most fundamental of these functions is respiration. We breathe in life giving oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and waste products. The failure of either of these functions would in short order endanger our lives.
On a spiritual level one can say that breathing represents something much deeper. When we inhale, we are taking in the future. When we exhale, we are giving up the past. As a simple body function, these two processes usually work flawlessly. As a spiritual concept, it’s not always so. Many of us were extremely afraid of the future. Our fear of the unknown held us back from personal growth and change. As we worked our program we began to see that the future could be accepted as easily as an in breath. The same held true for the past. Either the past was romanticized or we were stuck in guilt and shame about our prior actions. As we began to let go of our former life, we became open to both the present moment and future possibilities as well.
Personal Reflection: Do I still fear the future or regret the past?
Sometimes a question can be answered on different levels. Take for instance the question, “where do you spend most of your time?” The simple interpretation of this question is that it is referring to place. Thus a person might answer, “the office”, “on the road”, “at school” or “at home.” This question can also be answered as it applies to time. In that case, we can either be in the past, the present or the future.
In the program, we strive to spend most of our time in the present. Yes, it is pleasant sometimes to wax nostalgic about the past or dream about the future. These both have their place in how we spend our time. However, when we get lost in obsessing about the past or ruminating about the future, we are essentially wasting our time. We can not undo what occurred in the past, and we are essentially wasting our time when we attempt to do so. The same holds true for the future. We really have no control as to how the future will turn out. If you think differently talk to people who bet on horse races. The only thing which we can hope to influence is the present. That’s where we need to concentrate our efforts.
Personal Reflection: Where do I spend most of my time?