Living in the Present
I write as I just returned from a funeral of a friend, and it reminds me how precious every day of our lives is. So, for the New Year focus on enjoying each and every day by focusing on the present. When you look at the past, you often focus on suffering from unpleasant experiences.
Do not focus on regret for what might have been. What is past, is already gone and there is no value in complaining about it.
If you focus on the future, you will never be happy. Mishle says, “Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day might bring.” You cannot be happy if you are preoccupied with the future. You will be concerned over what lies ahead, yet you know you cannot guarantee your own future’s course in your life. At best, your vision is limited and when the future occurs, it almost always is different from what you expected.
The answer is to live in the present. To do that, you must give up regretting the past and stop worrying about the future. If you can really feel joy in the present, it will go beyond worrying about the future. You will avoid needless emotional pain and not miss anything. Think every day that you are crossing a stream on a narrow board, and the thought of falling might cause you to actually fall. What will you be focused on at that very moment? Stay focused in the present.
Every moment of time is too precious to waste. Once your life is over, you cannot plead for another chance. After you die, you cannot ask for more time. It is your royal duty to be ready for whatever occurs. If you reflect that, your entire lifetime is a continuous travel toward the ultimate judgment you will not sin.
Rabbi Yechezkail Abramsky suggests that you, “View each day as a page in your autobiography.” Only in the present do you have the opportunity to author a masterpiece of your life.
May this coming year be your best year ever!
Allen H. Lipis is a contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.