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When do you live?

This may seem to be an odd question, but it is a very real one. When do you live? Some of us seem to spend a part of their life either living in the past or living in the future. This seems to be a human trait that very few of us get to escape. If this occurs from time to time, there is no issue. Memories are part of what makes us remain close to loved ones. Without them we would not bond to our families and friends. Having dreams about a possible future is what can give us direction and purpose, things most people are rather fond of. However, when our interest in the past or the future becomes too big, it is very likely we are placing our happiness away from the present. This creates a reality gap and in some cases even a reality slap. We are projecting our happiness away from the present, which effectively can result in discontentment, cynicism, and outbursts of anger amongst other things. The propensity of our brain to focus and enlarge those things we perceive as unpleasant or unwanted in our present can lead to a rewriting of the past into a happier place, or a projection of the future where we imagine ourselves happy with things we are lacking in the present. So why does this happen and what is the deal with wanting to escape this reality we live in?

Ever since we grew up we have been hearing that if we were different / in a different state our parent(s) would be happier, teaching us that there is a truth in it. They and the world taught us that we could be the reason for somebody’s happiness, sadness or anger. The truth is a little less clear cut. In reality we can mostly only see ourselves, even if we think we are seeing something separate from ourselves. What we experience as the source of our happiness, sadness or anger is not outside of us, it is inside of us. It is our view on a situation, state or person that influences our minds and hearts. What we perceive as outside is actually inside. The same can be said about what is inside us. By believing that we can influence and control the state of others, we also become easily influenced and controlled by those outside of us. We make our happiness dependent on others, states, material goods or our career. I will address other consequences of this misinterpretation of influence in “Misplacing your power”.

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© 2015 by Sarah Ketel.