Time is not your enemy ⏰ the way you perceive time is simply a reflection of your own mind.
Of course, it is no surprise that we see life as a race against time. From the moment we are born, we are – consciously and unconsciously – imprinted with certain rules about the way we are supposed to live. Often times, this blueprint comes with ‘milestones’ to be achieved by certain ages, with approved and prohibited behaviours allotted to phases of our lives and with the overarching imperative to enjoy everything when we are young because ‘life only gets harder’. In a way, the steps in the blueprint, such as employment, marriage, mortgage, are trying to protect us from the unknown. The result, however, is often an extremely strained relationship with the concept of time, filled with fear and anxiety.
So we run. To the perfect education, job, partner, house – we run to escape time, but we forget ourselves in the process. We get to the ‘finish line’ without having truly lived, without allowing time to figure out who we are: what matters to us, which values do we hold, what makes us happy. Our identity does not lie in our education, job, partner or the roof above our head. This way of hurrying through life, without regard for our true selves, judging ourselves for straying from our artificially constructed path, often lies at the basis of mental ilness and profound unhappiness.
This way of hurrying through life, without regard for our true selves, and judging ourselves for straying from the path that we have artificially constructed, lies at the basis of many mental ilnesses and profound unhappiness. If we want to change the way we approach and experience life, we have to change the way we interact with the notion of time. Time is a necessary – even beautiful – part of life, and the only one who decides how and when to fill it, is you. Nothing is ever too late. Whatever you want to do, whenever you decide to do it is the exact right time.
Myself, I have a terrible relationship with time, in general but particularly at the moment. From the minute I wake up I am shrouded in a cloud (which we have baptised ‘Nubi’ – nube being Spanish for cloud 🙃☁️) of panic and sadness about the future, about ‘not having time’, having done things wrong in the past, having ‘failed’ in my life and even about feeling guilty about these feelings, which then leaves me paralysed and not able to do anything at all. At a minimum, I am aware that I am doing this and where it comes from. Step by step, I am un-learning the constructions of my mind and letting go of my relationship to time. Because all that matters is now.
text : An Cuypers
photos: Lorenzo Melissari