Misusing Time

Being anxious about the future; reliving the past; regretting old mistakes; reliving yesterday; anticipating tomorrow; racing against the clock; brooding over impermanence; resisting change.

When you misuse time, the problem isn’t at the level of time itself. Nothing has gone wrong with the clocks in the house of someone who loses five hours’ sleep worrying about the possibility of dying from cancer.

The misuse of time is only a symptom for misplaced attention. You can’t have a relationship with someone you don’t pay attention to, and in your relationship to the universe, attention is paid here and now, or not at all. In fact, there is no universe except the one you perceive right now. So to relate to the universe, you must focus on what lies in front of you. As one spiritual teacher said, “The wholeness of creation is needed to bring about the present moment.”

If you take this to heart, your attention will shift. Right now, every situation you are in is a mixture of past, present, and future. Imagine yourself applying for a job. As you offer yourself to the scrutiny of a stranger, trying to handle the stress and make a good impression, you aren’t actually in the now. “Will I get this job?” “How do I look?” “Were my recommendations good enough?” It seems as if you can’t help tumbling in the mix of past, present, and future. But the now can’t be a mixture of old and new. It must be clear and open; otherwise, there is no unfolding of yourself, which is the reason time exists.

The present moment is really an opening, so it has no duration – you are in the now when time ceases to exist. Perhaps the best way to gain such an experience is to realize that the word present is linked to the word presence. When the present moment becomes filled with a presence that is all-absorbing, completely at peace, and totally satisfying, you are in the now.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

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Julie F.
Julie F.2 years ago


Diane K.
Diane K.2 years ago


Hassan C.
Hassan C.2 years ago

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Patty B.
Patty B.2 years ago

When you are in the moment time flies and you feel energized .
Been there....not lately .

a             y m.
g d c.2 years ago


Jane R.
Jane R.2 years ago

This actually makes a lot of sense. I think I have too much of the past on my brain and too much of wondering about the future. I'll try to focus only on the present from now on. Thanks.

Ken W.
Ken W.2 years ago

Its to bad our Gov. can`t find time ----- LOL

James Fisher
James Fisher2 years ago

I once wrote a poem called time - I wish I could remember it and write it down for the world to see but it was many many many years ago (About fortty one and I was at secondary school. You'd love it, but the profundity of the verses is lost in the fog of time alas all I can remember is ; Cars race down the high street,
In time,
With the ticking,
of the grandfather clock,
in the hall

jn Jnm
jn Jnm2 years ago

My life is busy and full from the time I wake up to the time I sleep. I too find my expierence to be quite possitive by being focused at what lays at Hand, and present to the presense that occupies my space.
I find that life is not 100% predictable, I stay as open as I can to the future. Naturally there are moments I would like to last and last, but as Long as the earth turns and I am breathing in it, Change occures. Knowing that future moments are in my grasp and recognize them assures me that my time is well invested.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal2 years ago

Keep reminding us it is about being in the present moment.