Trapped in Fast Forward

It’s easy to get lost. Like fast forwarding a movie to your favorite parts, we live our lives faster and faster, trying to get to the good parts. It’s hard to sit still. It seems impossible, for one short moment, to just be. Where is there stillness in the torrent that is our lives? Is there an eye to this storm?

More information, more photos, more commitments, more notifications, more voices, all getting louder, pushing out the voice inside. Your voice. Your self. No longer are you the driving force, you’re surrendered to the ride. Why do we shut out the present to live in the future? Because the future doesn’t feel.

The depth of our being is equal to our resilience. The faster forward we travel the shallower we become. The thinner the commitments, the shallower the connections, till life turns transparent. And then when we fall it all comes shattering down like broken glass.

No wonder when we are forced to stop it hurts so bad. No wonder we can’t be present. Because we have left nothing for us in the present. We have built our home in the future where we can never live.

Ask yourself the last time you felt joy. How long did it last? What about peace or accomplishment? When was the last time you lost yourself in despair? When we stop feeling we stop living. 

It’s easy to fast forward. To become a voyeur of our own life, and the lives of those around us. But we are cheating ourselves. Like watching through windows, we feel less. We feel protected by the glass. We become numb. And when we feel threatened we feel forced to retaliate instead of internalizing why this affects us.

We’ve forgotten that the deeper we are in the present the more secure we are. The more grounded the less likely we are to be knocked down. Any pain in the present is survivable because there is always tomorrow. Yet we are crushed by the future when all it shows us is possible devastation.

I had this problem. To beat some very serious problems I started focusing on the future. In fact the only time I was present was when I was with clients. Otherwise it was fast forward all the way. But eventually all the racing toward a nonexistent finish-line came to a crashing end when my body couldn't keep up any longer. 

It was then that I realized I truly had nothing. I had squandered all the accomplishments, all the proud moments, all the joys. All of that was the past now. I'd check my social media accounts. Do I know these people? Because they vanish the minute I close the app, not to matter again until they reappear when I choose to open it again. Is that what friendships are made of now?

I floated in purgatory for a week or so till I found the ground again. I was ready to take off again. Roadrunner made flesh. But I was lying to myself. Really I was the coyote just trying to catch glimpses of what I was missing racing by so fast. 

I stopped myself. I took ownership of my life in the present. No more undoing, redoing, remarking, and responding. Instead I had a conversation with myself. Who knew. We really do have all the answers, when we stop, and look within.