“Dear friends! Don’t postpone any songs, any exams, or your dentist appointment,
and above all, don’t postpone love.
Don’t tell it – “come tomorrow, or the day after, I don’t have time for you today”.
Because it may happen, you’ll open the door
and you’ll see this frozen old lady saying –
“I’m sorry, I must have confused the address…”
And just like that, the spark is gone.”
This is a translation of the quote by one of my favorite Polish poets and writers – Agnieszka Osiecka.
And it really is as simple as that – although it’s not easy at all.
We all wait for something. To finish high school, get to college, get this dream job, and get married. To finally have a child, then for them to finally start talking, and later to stop. We wait for the weekend, for Monday, and for the summer to start. We wait to lose weight and till the time is right. We wait forever, and for what?
Even though we do that – most of us deal with life anyway. Even if it is a little bit on a surface. We may procrastinate, we may occasionally lie to ourselves, but better or worse – we do it. At least some of it.
Sometimes, when the anxiety level is high, it might be quite scary to focus on the present. Instead, people choose to live in their dreams – in a comfortable – ‘what could be’ scenarios, or in the past, that they keep ruminating about. What’s then left for the “here and now” is pure automatic – almost mechanic execution of tasks without any deeper purpose or intention.
What you may often associate with this kind of ‘fear of present’ is anxiety, procrastination, or depression. The first two – in short – usually have a lot to do with the fear of failure – and sometimes – more often than you’d think – the underlying fear of success. The latter – often means feeling stuck in either the past or the paralyzing fear of what could happen. Both are intertwined as different kinds of fruit of the same tree. Both have an underlying fear: “if I make a mistake, I will prove I’m worthless/ I will be criticized and rejected, which feels only right because that’s exactly what I deserve”.
As a result – the feeling of being stuck and the growing guilt appears. And this is precisely why some of us are not getting any closer to realizing, planning, and executing the plan for our future.
The truth is – because of this constant run from what’s scary or sad or disappointing, there’s not much time left to experience what’s happening NOW. You will never be younger than today, your child will never go back to the phase that’s happening now… There will never be another sunset like this, and the project you’ve been dreaming of – happening now – might most likely not be back in this shape or form – when/if you’re finally ready.
When you think about it – there’s no time like now. Whatever happens – be it a success or a failure – we learn from it – and only then can we actually go on. The failures especially have this tendency to shape us enormously. It’s an experience like no other; based on all those mistakes, whenever we make it through, we become wiser.
On the other hand – when we wait for the next week, next year, for the “soon” to finally happen – we lose all this time is in between that we can never get back. And often – come Monday – we suddenly change our minds and wait for another one. Once again, the anxiety got the better of us. Isn’t that right?
It’s not a planned ad for the psychotherapy process, although it really could be when I think about it;) It’s actually a call for mindful consideration. If you feel stuck, if you think you let your life pass in front of your eyes, if you think you live below your potential – often due to fear – consider talking to someone about what might be blocking you.
The time really is now!