Writer: Lamia Gamil
Editor: Ahmed Ashry
Artist: Davide Bonazzi
Designer: Maram Mohammed
A wise Chinese philosopher once said,
If you are depressed; you are living in the past…
If you are anxious; you are living in the future…
If you are at peace; you are living in the present.Lao Tzu
At some point in life, we, living beings, feel disappointed or discouraged when we encounter change, because we feel that we lose control over things that we want to have control over along the journey of life. Humans tend to feel this more because humans’ brains do function differently. We tend to overthink, and what happens when we overthink? We sink!
We, as humans, have a strong perpetuated urge to want to control everything in our lives; relationships, events, our past, our future, circumstances, wealth, health, and the list goes on. As a matter of fact, change is inevitable, and those things are often beyond our control. We are constantly living in an overwhelming fear of what’s to come in the future, and to what extent our past will keep haunting us. The future was never granted to any, in the first place, and the past is nowhere to be found today.
We sink and drown in an endless train of doubtful thoughts to the point that many events might leave us paralyzed, confused, and lost. It’s all because we want to exercise control and keep the status quo. There is a downside and a good one concerning that urge.
The good side is that control was never a thing. It is a man-made theory that was invented when men got introduced to the concept of accumulation and stockpiling. We cannot own what we don’t have or have never been granted. Humans were never granted the power to control anything, we were never promised that either. We were granted countless blessings not to control, but to make use of them, enjoy them, and take good care of them while they last and that is all. So, we don’t need to exert any effort in trying to control anything or race over anything to stay in control. No worries here, no one did and no one will ever do. So, let’s enjoy our cup of coffee and brush this burden off. The downside of control, on the other hand, is a desire that needs to be tamed and redirected whenever it manifests itself. In this manner, we know that it will pop up quite often, and we need to be prepared for that. Again, the good news is practice makes perfect.
The constant desire to control everything in our lives leaves us with the feeling of a heavy chest, stomach knots, insomnia, irregular heartbeats, and mood swings. All these physical symptoms; which have a direct correlation to our emotional vulnerability has become the modern pandemic that is silently killing humans.
This urge occupies our minds giving us little space and energy to enjoy the present moment. I have come to reckon that we are always rushing things because of this urge; achieving success in a short period, getting into rushed relationships, having kids when we are not ready to care for, and many other fear manipulated decisions are what feed this urge. However, our continued urge to haste in making such irrational decisions to convince ourselves that we are fully in control of our lives spoils the essence of our present moments. It diminishes our contentment and kills our joy.
Living in the moment is probably one of the hardest things we can learn to achieve throughout our lives; it requires a lot of patience, practice, consciousness, wisdom, and faith, however, when we reach this point, we find ourselves at ease and life begins to untangle itself. It’s not that we are going to be granted a life free of challenges and difficulties, but at that point these challenges and difficulties become part of the game. We get to understand the “big « why” and ”why me” that people scream out when life tosses it’s hardships and tests. At that very moment, we will get to know that we were granted a power that is much more valuable than control. It’s the power of letting go and acceptance.
Staying in the moment is, definitely, one of the most serene moments we will get to experience in life. It’s the moment where we get to appreciate the little blessings that we often overlook in our life. It’s the time where we breathe in all of our blessings and breath out all the toxicity we hold. It’s the moment where we learn the true value of things and decipher and accept the idea of impermanence. Most importantly, it’s the time where we let go and leave God to plan things out for us.
You get what you get in life; it’s what you do with it that truly matters. Everything in life takes time and patience. Take the good and the bad and breath! Everything that happens in our lives has a purpose. Accepting things as they are, breathing in and catching the blessings in our lives, and breathing out and releasing the toxicity is the gateway to genuine happiness, mindfulness and inner peace.