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Don’t Get Crushed Between the Anvil of the Past and the Hammer of the Future

Don’t get crushed between your regrets of the past
and your fears of the future


All emotional pain is caused by psychic time travel – little mental out-of-body experiences. You conscious mind being in a different time zone or zip code, or both, than the current location of your physical body.

Anger, guilt, grief, shame, regret, remorse – these painful emotions are all rooted in the past. They are caused by you carrying around the dead weight of yesterday.

Anxiety, fear, worry, dread, doubt, uncertainty – these painful emotions are all rooted in the future. They are caused by you anticipating eventualities that might or might not ever actually come to pass.

The best way to avoid being squashed between the hammer of tomorrow’s fears and the anvil of yesterday’s regrets is to mindfully keep your attention in today’s present.

What Buddhists call “the miracle of mindfulness” and what Christians call “the peace of God that passes all understanding” is the gift that you give to yourself when you close the doors on past and future and, to quote the title of the book by Ram Dass, to be here now.

This weekend try giving yourself one completely uninterruptible hour away from distractions, away from technology, and away from people to devote to your own here and now.

Don’t worry about all those regrets and fears, they’ll still be there when the hour is up. But they might be a bit smaller than they were before.

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