By Beth Bloom, MS, LPC, C-DBT
Time machines are a fascinating idea, and it is amazing to think that it could someday happen.
But did you know that we travel through space and time on a pretty regular basis?
You are traveling through time when you are sitting in the classroom trying to listen to the professor but are worried about your next week’s exam. When you are doing laundry but are thinking about how your boss let you down last year by not giving you that promotion, you are also traveling through time.
These seem like valid concerns and worries, but they are also barriers to many things.
In the first example, it may be a barrier to hear information that may be on your test. In the second example,
you may miss that wonderful scent that comes from freshly laundered clothes. The more time thinking
about what could be or what has already happened is putting yourself in a time machine and traveling
to someplace that is not allowing you to be fully present and involved in what is currently happening
In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a concept called Radical Acceptance encourages you to
accept what you cannot change. It seems like it should be easy, everyone says well, it is what it is, but it is
far from easy. We all have regrets about the past, and we all have worries about the future, but we cannot
let these things interfere with our appreciation of what is happening today, in this moment.
When we focus on dreams of what could have been or what might happen, we fight against reality. We
are creating suffering for ourselves for something that cannot happen. We cannot change things that
have already occurred, although many people wish they could do so. We cannot know what will
happen in the future, and we must wait to actually experience it. We need to attend to what is happening
Many of you are sitting in a chair or on a sofa, but have you ever really taken a moment to close your
eyes and feel the chair? Is it soft, is it hard, is it warm, is it comfortable, is it rough or smooth? What is
the temperature in the room? What are the sounds you are hearing? Take a moment to really listen and
feel. Be fully present in the moment, let yourself get wrapped in what is happening, and you may find
being present can actually feel quite good.
Read Beth’s Blog Have You Ever Asked Yourself Why?