12. Can You Look Forwards And Backwards?

Janus was the Roman God of beginnings, of transitions and change. He represents time because he simultaneously looks forward and backwards.

He was thought to be one of the most important of the Gods because he could see the shifts and changes of life and represented growth and development. His advantage is that he effectively lives in the now because he balances the past and the future.

Most people are not so well developed, perhaps they’re not Gods, and so find balancing the two directions challenging. They favour one direction or the other. Many get stuck in the past, constantly re-living what happened to them. Others are constantly looking forwards, planning what they are going to do. Neither seem to focus on ‘now’, the present moment. This the most important time.

If you ignore the now you may miss opportunities that could change your life.

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
(Alexander Graham Bell)

I am well into the second half of my life and yet I still look forward.

I have always focused on where I am going and what is going to happen. I plan and imagine and develop ideas. I look back occasionally but find I focus on it so little that I forget what happened, much to the annoyance of others in my family.

The problem, though, has been that I don’t focus enough on this moment, now. I have improved at this by concentrating, whenever I can, on the present moment, looking at what I need or can contribute now. This is a highly useful skill, particularly as one of the most important qualities of men is their presence, their ability to live now and focus on the person they’re with, exclusively.

There are times when I just stop and focus on what’s happening now and on my needs right now. I usually see that my current needs are few, releasing me to just honour the moment.

  • Think about what you focus on in life. Are you constantly looking at and talking about what has happened, or are you looking to what is going to happen?
  • How much do you focus on the present, this moment. How aware are you of what is going on around you?
  • Are you aware of the opportunities that are presented to you every day? How much do you miss what is staring you in the face?
  • Think about what you need right now. Is there anything you actually want in this moment? How applicable is that to every unique moment in your life?

Other Posts in the series 'Dealing With Chaos'

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