The past is before you.
The future is behind you.
Let it catch up.
In historical Chinese culture, it is the past that is in front of you. You can see all of your mistakes and all of your accomplishments. If you look, and will see, there it is. That is the part you know. The task is to accept what you see and know and learn everything you can from this past that is right there in front of you.
No digging required.
Interestingly, it is the future that is behind you, trying to catch up with how fast your are running after it. Can you get this picture of chasing success, purpose, meaning, security, and the well-lived life while it is all the time trying to catch up with you? What longing wants to catch up with you?
Here is a clue of how to get there and orient yourself to what this longing is. Here is a way to stop and grab it. Do an Avalanche of Gratitude. List 400 things you’re grateful for. Then be still with yourself. What speaks? How does the future talk to you about your longings?
Future-mindedness is one of the top five strengths of the happiest of happy people. We have the solid research evidence that shows us the importance of “future-thinking.” This is not “fortune-telling” and expecting the worst, but rather a zest and excitement for the future that draws us forward to be a part of what is yet to be revealed and created.
It is the left frontal lobe that is particularly engaged in “visioning.” It is busy sorting and making sense of the data collected by the right frontal lobe. It is the spinning wheel of the yarn and stuff of life that we assimilate, distributing the fabric of initial meaning-making to the rest of the brain for a billion neuropathways to form new structures of reasoning –all future-oriented.
“Going-here, going-here, next stop” is its constant call as the booster engine of enlarging the ever-growing, ever inter-connecting network of neuropathways of the brain, building vast canopies of intricate reasoning that form the rainforest of the Mind.
It is a wonderful metaphor and true. The future wants to take us along, pull us forward, and beckon us to wish, hope and desire. We can think that we are so much in charge of the future while we believe that the past is this baggage on our back to be worked through in order to deserve to live with vision and what captivates us.
Little wonder that we have such little sense of potential, of adventure, and the yet to be explored. On the one hand we don’t believe that we can simply look at the past, accept it, learn, and go on without having to pay anymore debt than that. On the other hand we have difficulty wanting, just simply “wanting” what we want.
Longing has become an almost dirty word.
What do you “long” for?
What is your heart’s desire?
What’s your next stop, next thought, next idea, next lusciously interesting encounter with unfolding creation?
© Dr. William K. Larkin