However, discussing our current feelings about the past is different than “living in the past.” Living in the past is a commitment to being stuck- locking in our negative perceptions of our partner or ourselves. Living in the present allows for new positive patterns to emerge. Living in the present allows us to have a fresh start and to reach our relationship potential. Forgiveness, for example, allows oneself to live in the present rather than the past. It frees up the “forgiver” so that more life energy can be used in the here and now rather than be expended on past experiences, habits and perceptions.
Also, living in the present allows for more healthy risk-taking in all areas of life including in one’s relationship. Living in the present allows one to “go out on a limb” and share a vulnerable part of oneself with a partner. It allows a person to do something new and exciting with a partner, plan a different kind of date, try a different sexual approach or behavior, etc. This would be quite different from the partner who is playing it safe because he doesn’t want to make a mistake, displease his partner or be rejected.
Living in the present allows us to have more spring in our step, to take more initiative and to be more alive. I play better softball when I am practicing living in the present. I go after balls more aggressively, enjoying the process, rather than holding back in case I make an error. It is far more fun to play with reckless abandon than to try to avoid failure. Whether it is relationships, play, work or life in general, it is far more fulfilling to live in the present. Living in the present alleviates anxiety and opens us up to being more “present” in our lives and with each other.
How do you live in the present in life, love or work? Share your advice in a comment below or on the Todd Creager Center for Successful Relationships Facebook Page!
Todd Creager is a Relationship Therapist in Orange County, CA , author of The Long Hot Marriage, and husband to a beautiful wife for 26 years. Visit his website at www.toddcreager.com to find out more on how you can improve your life and the life of your most important relationships.