Worry, Fear, Stress and the Now Moment
Have you ever imagined how it is that people can suffer from a condition that is not really recognized as a medical condition. According to the following site,
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20104, stress is defined thus:
"Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension"
In essence therefore we have to understand what it is that we are dealing with when we talk about stress. We are really talking about a factor or factors given rise to by worry and fear. Worry and fear, are themselves, states of mind and not medical conditions. Next time you think you are "suffering" from stress do yourself a favour that will cost you nothing but a bit of time; do a personal "stock take", are you really suffering from a medical condition or simply experiencing bodily or mental tension created by being worried and/or fearful.
The reality is that worry steals your "now moment", it robs you of the opportunity to live life to the full. The thing about life is that you can neither live in the past nor the future. The past is gone; the past does not exist, and no matter how we much we try, besides in our minds, we can never re-live it, even something that just happened a mili-second ago is now confined to the past, it is history and can never ever be experienced again, unless we choose to do so in our thoughts.
The future, just like the past, does not and cannot exist in the "now moment". The future is still to come, no matter how hard we try, besides in our minds, we can never experience it before or during the present, it has to wait for it's "now moment" for it to become a reality and therefore a lived encounter. Even that which is a mili-second away is still not yet there; the future therefore can only exist in our minds, only our thoughts can get into the future.
In as much worry and fear, just like the past and the future, only exist in our minds, the major difference is that, these two impostors, in as far as experience is concerned, actually exist in the present. The net result of entertaining them is here and now. They impact upon our lives, if we allow them to, in the "now moment" and therefore lead to or cause stress, in the present, creating conditions which may translate to medical conditions, with stress itself not being the medical condition.
What we need to take heed of therefore is that:
Worry steals our ability to live life to the full, in the "now moment". No matter how much energy we invest in it, if indeed it is an investment, worry will change neither the past nor the future, all it does is that it changes positivity to negativity, in the present, thus distorting the future.
Fear is born of worry. Dwelling on fear has no impact whatsoever on the past, on the contrary it negatively impacts upon the present and the future. The more we dwell on fear the more our worldview, of our present circumstances and hence the future gets distorted.
Stress then, is a factor that emanates from worry and fear and may, where the primary cause is mentally related, be avoided by living in the "now moment" and not trying to re-live the negative past or anticipating the future in negative terms.
Life, not lived in the "now moment" is wasted in many ways. This does not mean we cannot revisit some of the good aspects of the past. It does not mean we should not anticipate a good future. Of utmost importance is the realization that we should not seek to dwell in either the past or the future, we should always stay in the present as we move into the future.
Just develop a thought in your mind where you are embarking upon a trip. As you travel, you are always where you are physically, a certain number of kilometers from the point of departure and a certain number of kilometers to the intended destination. You are no longer where you set off from, neither are you already where you are heading.
Ma-Afrika, in more ways than many can imagine, we have been brutalized, we have been traumatized and our land has been deliberately stolen from us and vandalized. As a collective we have every reason to reflect on a past that has informed our current realities in a negative manner, but we should not dwell in that past, we have to use that past to inform our future. It is most essential that we do not waste time and energy worrying about and being fearful of uncertainties of our future. We have to influence the future in the "now moment". The collective stress that is informed by the horrific past is negatively impacting upon the present and therefore our perception of the future.
The past never existed in the past per se, it was a "now moment" when it existed. The future does not exist either, it's existence will only come to when it becomes a "now moment". Effectively, the "now moment" is the exist out of the past and simultaneously the gateway into the future. The "now moment" is the only one capable of being lived and experienced, hence the reason why the past and future, through worry, fear and/or stress should not be allowed to rob us of living life in abundance, now.
Let it be our everyday endeavor to live each day, each hour, each minute, each mili-second to the full; worry, fear and stress should not be part of who we are. As we take control of the impact of the past, we take control of the present and therefore take control of our future.