Thursday

Memories, the past, the future and true freedom



Living in the past can be defined as continuously re-playing memories and striving to cling to them as present reality. This would usually be caused by the constant fear of what the future might bring (the basic fear of the unknown) as well as by some inability to properly cope with the present situation. 

This inability might be a result of some deep longing, unresolved situations or an irrational wish that the present conditions would be completely different (the inability to find satisfaction in anything related to the here and now while wishing things would be different). It's a personal mental construct that creates freedom within the cages of past experience, while feeling completely and unwillingly trapped in the unsatisfying present.

This can only result in poor judgment, or, to say the least, clouded judgment. In order to vanquish the pressure caused by this type of discomfort, the path of lesser resistance is pursued - isolation, taking of refuge in denial of dealing with the current events.  In short term, this might be satisfactory to some extent, while in the long run, it might raise real issues: first, the obvious facing of the consequences of latter acts, then realizing that the  here and now are to be dealt with from a realistic perspective (if this ever occurs). The same thing can be asserted about living for the future.


Living in the present is so difficult because we are use to own things. At the same time, we own the memories and we own our fears and it's really easy to cling to them as opposed to letting ourselves cease the day.

Freedom is possible the moment we let go and stop overthinking the future and re-running the past.

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Monday

Freedom and happiness - hope and fear


I asked a few people who appeared to be struggling what would make them happy, or at least what is their vision regarding a happy life. The answers startled my as to how how locked up people are in their current living conditions: jobs, relationships, the everyday life. Meaning that most answers did come in a negative form, i. e. "If I could have less stress at the office", "If I could have more time for myself", "I could stop arguing with my spouse", "If I could cease to procrastinate" and so on.

Very few individuals were able to express an affirmative vision of happiness: "Be my own boss", "Retreat to a quiet place in the nature", "Be with my loved one".

The next questions I asked was about the actions they might want to take in order to achieve happiness. Only a couple of my subjects had a plan or at acted in order to change their current life conditions in order to be happier. The others simply replied that either didn't think about it, or they couldn't do anything due to various reasons, or simply stated that it would only be a goal which would complicate their lives even more.

To sum it up, the core reason people refused to do some change in order to live a better life, to be happier, was quite disturbing, yet basic and predictable at the same time: fear. 

On the side, they all managed to recollect happier times in their lives, times they obviously missed and held dear to themselves. As a result, I noticed that, although they weren't happy with their current lives, they either took refuge in the past or fantasized about some sort of alternate reality, while doing little to nothing to alter their current, distressed situation; they only hoped for the better.

Hope and fear, future and past - these came to notice as the main co-ordinate some live their lives by while, paradoxically, being deeply anchored in the present which overwhelms them.

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