What Is Happening Right Now?

By Greg Baer M.D.

February 21, 2014

Elaine called me and began to complain about how people were always offending her and never giving her what she needed. She had done this a number of times before, so she was obviously stuck in a repetition of the same complaints, with no discernible benefit to her.

I interrupted and said, “Every time I talk to you, you complain about what has happened in the PAST, and you obsess about your fears of what will keep happening to you in the FUTURE. But the past is over—it’s gone, nothing we can do about it—and the future is entirely out of our control. The only choice you can make—the only joy you can feel—is RIGHT NOW.

“Emotionally speaking, you are standing in the middle of the desert, alone. You’re screaming that you’re dying of thirst. I walk up to you and hand you a glass of water, but you throw it down on the sand and scream, ‘I’m dying of thirst! I’m in pain! Nobody will help me!’

“You are actually getting exactly what you need, but you are so crazy with pain that you can’t see or feel what is happening right now. Your response is understandable, but it’s also quite insane. The complete solution to your problem is right in front of you, but you won’t take it. You just keep restating the problem, over and over again. You detail the pain of the past and perseverate over your fears of what might happen in the future.

“You are absolutely stuck in the past and present. Stuck to death. Solution? Focus on what I’m giving you RIGHT NOW. Focus on what other people can give you right now. If you’ll do that—if you’ll drink the water you’re being given now—the past will disappear, and you’ll create a spectacular future without even thinking about it.”

We have all done what Elaine did. The solution is not in the past or future. We can take steps right now to eliminate our pain and experience the joy we want.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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