Does health have to do with just the present, or does it also involve sediments of the past or future? This may sound like a strange question because the future hasn't happened yet, so how can you experience any effects from it today? But many of us think about the past and the future as if both these time periods share equal space with the present on a metaphoric couch of life.
This blog post, however, is not about mindfulness meditation or practicing awareness at all times so that you can stay in the present. For better or for worse, we are human beings and our thoughts linger on the past and also project into the future to different extents. "What should I have done differently? How will those decisions impact my future, and what should I do in the coming days weeks months and years?"
So this happens, and maybe our companion dogs and cats don't ponder these topics, but we do. That's why you may feel a slight twinge when you see your cat or dog scratching themselves in the sun like life couldn't get any better. One of the topics our human minds focus on the most is that of dreams, past present and future.
A dream, aka what each individual wants to shoot for in life, can be an element that brings the spark of health and activity into our lives, but it can also bring twinges of fear, regret, guardedness, and other tricky feelings. What if you wanted to be a rock star as a teenager and it didn't happen? You still love music, though, and don't want to give it up.
Maybe you loved drawing more than anything growing up, but it was challenging to channel that talent into a career. You don't want to stop growing in your art and who you are as an artist. Perhaps you found the career you always wanted, but there are still talents you feel have been left unexpressed and lingering, waiting for an outlet. That dream is on your back-burner, but maybe you've wondered if it's better left burned instead.
Don't burn it. It's okay to let go of past persuasions of doing this or that, but it's not necessary to kick the actual dream to the curb. What does this mean? A past persuasion is something we felt certain we should do or believe, based on our expectations or those of others. Be a basketball star, be a lawyer, be a rock star, be a college professor, be a doctor or engineer, be a politician.
The Be's may be deeply embedded in the past now, and whether they came true or not, they aren't the full story of our real dreams. A dream often involves expressing your true talent in whatever way you can. We can get hung up on the be's and the regrets we have surrounding them, so much so that we dismiss the dreams and talents that are still alive and kicking. These regrets can often affect our health, how we take care of ourselves, and how much credit and respect we show ourselves.
A dream doesn't have to be constrained by time. Channel it anyway, in the face of all the be's and the past persuasions that may have long gone by now. Maybe you didn't get a chance to follow the exact avenues you envisioned for yourself growing up, but that's okay. Look at yourself today, and ask, "What do I want to do, and what can I do, with the talents and dreams that I have?"
You can't get back the time that has already flowed by, or control the time that is about to flow from tomorrow onward. But today you have potential for both your dreams and your health.