A long time ago I had a friend who seemed to me to be lost. Each week her hair became a different color, her style of clothing changed radically and her beliefs were in constant flux! One week she was an agnostic, the next a dedicated Buddhist, the following week a Wiccan Witch! I often had the feeling she was trying on various lives like clothing to see which one fit best! In the meantime she didn’t pay bills and got evicted which resulted in imposing herself on friends’ couches! On impulse she would splurge on expensive autographed signatures that attracted her but then have no money for food! She seemed to be caught in a tug-of-war between excitement calling to her and the boring mundane demands of daily living! She seemed unable to find out who she really was, what direction she wanted for her life or how to be happy with wherever she found herself. For her, happiness was always somewhere off in the future.
We spend an awful lot of time and energy thinking about and yearning for the life that we will live in the future, the person we will be “tomorrow” and are then equally mystified by why happiness seems to elude us today! While having a dream can give one’s life direction the downside of it can be living inside your head in a not-yet-arrived-at future! By not being present to the Present such an approach to living carries within it the seeds of much unhappiness! If we do not know how to live today then when we get to tomorrow we will be equally stymied!
I have found that my life needs two elements: dreams I have for its future, and the ability to celebrate and be grateful for the day in which I am living. Sometimes I remember a saying by the Sufi mystic Rumi, “You suppose you are the trouble, but you are the cure. You suppose that you are the lock on the door, but you are the key that opens it. It’s too bad that you want to be someone else, you don’t see your own face, your own beauty. Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.” It all depends on how you look at it!