It is often said that keeping focus on the past or the future makes it impossible to see what’s right in front of you. That keeping your eyes fixed upon the distance, puts you in danger of tripping over whatever obstacle may be in your immediate path. Or, in danger of falling into whatever chasm may be at your feet.
The reverse can also be true.
Focusing only on the present, whether it be marked by joy or sorrow, can be so all consuming – that it’s hard to see other possibilities. It’s hard to truly honor what was, or to remember that paths can indeed change; that new paths can appear or be carved into the landscapes that lie ahead.
It can be hard to take in the fact that you have, and never will, walk alone.
And so, we do the best we can – shifting focus from past to present to future and back again, most often without even being conscious of that fact – except for a vague sense that there’s always more to be seen!
Even so, there are many ways to bring intentionality to the process of focus and refocus. To try to see “the what is” with greater clarity and depth.
Meditation is one such way, in which we encourage our eyes, ears or minds to “rest” on an object, a sound, an idea. And notice, without judgment, what that feels like. That’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. It takes a great deal of practice and patience.
Another way to bring intentionality to the process of focus and refocus, is to put words to whatever it is we see – to articulate our memories, our thoughts and feelings, and our visions for the future.
Those words can be written down, they can be sung or spoken. They can be played with, moved around, and replaced, as way to discover nuances of meaning to the “what is”. Sharing them with people we trust, opens up the possibility of even greater vision.
If ever there was a reason for beloved community, it is this: to help one another bring intentionality to the process of focus and refocus, to help one another see with clarity and depth the “what is”, and, the landscape of the “what could yet be”.
We do not walk alone.