From one of my favorite books “The Power of Now” by Ekhart Tolle:
A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. “I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger. Then he asked: “What’s that you are sitting on?” “Nothing,” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger. “No,” said the beggar. “What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.” “Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.
I am that stranger who has nothing to give you and who is telling you to look inside. Not inside any box, as in the parable, but somewhere even closer: inside yourself.
The “gift inside the box” is my own life and it can not be found in the past for what I recall of it is only partial fact spun with delusional memory of what happened. My life is not in the future for nothing there has yet happened and that time will materialize far differently than any way I imagine. My life is here and now in this very instant and no other place. The more I am able to experience each moment of my life as it happens the sweeter the taste will be and the grander the outcome will seem.
YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry.
Two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares,
Its faults and blunders, Its aches and pains.
Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.
We cannot undo a single act we performed.
We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow.
With its possible adversities, Its burdens,
Its large promise and poor performance.
Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow’s Sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds,
but it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
This just leaves only one day . . . Today.
Any person can fight the battles of just one day.
It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternity’s –
yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.
It is not the experience of today that drives people mad.
It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday
and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.
Let us therefore live but one day at a time.
An abstract way of looking at my life story is thinking of “today” as a comma. Grammatically a “period” denotes an end, but a “comma” indicates a transition. So each of my “today’s” is a transition and not an ending. Today is the only place where my life happens.
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. Today has little to do with the yesterday I keep in distorted view over my shoulder nor does today have a lot in common with what I anticipate about the tomorrow on my foggy and distant horizon. My life is all about today and today is found between my ears and in my heart. It is happening “Now” and I am grateful!
Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Eckhart Tolle