Past is Not the Best

Now

(Essay)

The past is always tense, the future perfect — Zadie Smith

It is easy to get stuck in the past. We think of our childhood, a time without responsibilities when the future stretched ahead filled with unlimited potential. But does living in the past, or failing to imagine a better future, stop us from living in the here and now?

Why can’t we just be more satisfied with what we have now?

If living the present makes up happiest, why do we struggle with it so much? We are so ground down by itsy-bitsy daily trifles, we often feel that we will only be truly happy when “the next big thing” happens. This might be a new job, a new ‘cher ami’ or a new apertment perhaps. We think that only when this big change occurs, we will be truly happy and will start enjoying the moment of life. But that is never really the case. We might be happy for a few weeks after we get a new job or new relationship, but if our general state we feel discontent that the blissful state of happiness is so short. More often than not, these life events simply serve as distractions.

Our ghostly past has a certain peculiarity – blurred phantoms follow us and lure into an endless circle of the same.  And once you succumb to the temptation and lend a hand to him, in the hope that everything will be different, as it captures us for a long time.  The illusion of what used to be better does not leave our thoughts in moments of despair or sadness / bad luck in the present.  This pushes us to go back, behind the “earlier”, which seems to us not to be dangerous at all.

Rake, rake, rake.  I stepped on them four times until the moment when the bright brainstorm flashed in my mind.  Indeed, in unpleasant moments, we are always manipulated by emotions, which indicate the false path to the past.  And we, naively hoping that everything will not be as before, and sometimes “well, it’s still better than now” we take a thousand steps back.  If you a couch potato and don’t want to think for a long time and deal with a deep analysis of what is happening, then just distract yourself with something, and you will forget at all what was “then”.

Returning to the “earlier”, we ignore the “now” and thus do not give any chance to ourselves to improve our present.  And having achieved its past, the past begins an endless roundabout called “the same thing” and no matter how we try to stop it, nothing changes.  And maybe even get worse.  And our “now” rests on its laurels without a single opportunity to change everything for the better.  Give it a shot the past in some cases, without abuse.  If you are constantly dilly dally, then you will not budge towards the future!  And it will be epic fail for you.

And only the understanding that “before” is no longer there and in the past nothing tempting that cannot be changed can lead us on the true path to a better life.  Though the past, as if zealously pulled us, is a deceptive illusion of good intentions.  Only the present moment can really be put in the right direction.  Forgetting everything as if you were erased … “It’s a piece of cake” – they say, it’s actually difficult, but possible.  If you are very drawn to past times and you can not start all from scratch, it makes sense to burn bridges.

And remember: your every step towards “earlier” diligently alienates you from improving “now.”  Do not fall into the clutches of the past ready to imprison you till the end of your life.  Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty! After Paris, there will be Berlin, and New York! And after New York, once again, there will be Berlin and Paris!

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