“The secret lies in how we handle today,
not yesterday or tomorrow.
Today… that special block of time holding the key that locks out yesterday’s nightmares and unlocks tomorrow’s dreams.”
Charles Swindoll – Clergyman and Author
One of the most uncomfortable feelings that we can face in life is the feeling of powerlessness. There is plenty of things happening in the world at present that can leave you with the question of “what hope have we got?”, but closer to home there are everyday pressures that make you feel like life is a series of out of control events that you are forced to respond to in the hope of simply getting through the day. The more that you experience this, the more that you feel a sock in a washing machine, going through the spin cycle.
The events of the past can leave you feeling that things will never work out for you. Your present circumstances confirm that you are not where you want to be. The future is a prediction based on your past and your present circumstances. If you have worked hard at achieving your dreams but you never seem to get there, then it is no wonder that you feel powerless.
There are 3 stages of time: – the past, the present and the future. The past is behind us and cannot be changed. The present moment is constantly changing as time marches on i.e. this point in time quickly becomes the past. The future does not yet exist. As time marches on what was our future becomes the present moment and then becomes the past.
Let me illustrate this. If I walk into a room, I do that in the present moment, but quickly the action of walking into that room becomes something that happened in the past. I may not have intended to walk into that room, but I did and I cannot change that fact that I did because it is in the past.
Because I am now where I did not intend to be, I am presented with some choices.
- I could get very upset about the fact that I am in the wrong place and lament my actions that brought me to this place.
- I could beat myself up about making such a stupid mistake.
- I could try to figure out who is responsible for causing me to make this mistake and assign blame to them.
- I could lament how my current situation will affect my future and predict continuing doom and gloom.
- I could simply take action in the present moment and change my circumstances by turning around and moving towards the door.
The present point in time, is the only time that you can exercise your power to make changes and effect your future. By exercising power I am not talking about an explosion of power that like magic will change everything. What I am talking about is making a change however minute to get you moving in the right direction and then following that with another small change and so on.
We become stuck because we depower ourselves by focusing on the past which we cannot change or worrying about the future which has not happened yet. Yet the only way that you can exercise power is make a change in the present moment.
To exit the room in my illustration the first small change would be to turn around and face the door, followed by starting to move towards the door. This can only be done in the present moment.
If you look at your current situation, what small change can you make in the present moment that will start to move you in the right direction to achieve what you want in life?
(c) Tracey Janke – StartPoint Counselling 2015