Why Are We Rushing?

As a former New Yorker, I understand the drive to rush. New Yorkers are always in a hurry.  And they walk fast.  I considered myself a successful New Yorker because I could outwalk almost anyone next to me.  I could cross the street faster, get to the bus stop quicker, dodge my way through a subway crowd and be the first to slide into an empty seat. Like most New Yorkers, I was always in a hurry because I had so much to do. Now that I am far removed from New York, both in years and miles, I wonder what all that rushing was for?  Did I 'achieve' more because I rushed?  I don't think so. I probably crammed more into a day than most, but to what end?  I do not know.  Whatever seemed important at the time, no longer seems important now.

One thing I have come to realize  is that behind all that rushing is fear.  Not an obvious fear, but fear, nonetheless.  We  become driven by the myth that there is some destination point, some arrival point that we must hurry up and get to. We  rush through our lives because we are afraid that we may 'miss out', 'arrive too late', or not get to that magical destination point.  Having rushed all my life, I can tell you there is no such thing as a destination point.  We never 'arrive'; there will always be a further destination point that our mind will trick us into believing exists just up ahead.  At some point we begin to realize that it's all about the process, the present process, and that the  journey is never-ending.

In reality, our very rushing causes us to miss out on the essences that we most want in life.  Life is a feeling experience, and we can only feel in the now moment.  The feeling experiences that we want out of life can only be experienced in the present.  Yet somehow, our mind has tricked us into believing it's all 'up ahead'.  We get so focused on that future destination point that we miss completely the life that is happening in front of our eyes.  If we stop for a moment, we may see that at least some of what we most want is already here, hiding in some small corner of the present moment, waiting for us to water it with our attention so that it can grow bigger.

It's not easy to take your foot off fourth gear if you're a rush-aholic. You have to re-configure your priorities.  What really are you here to achieve?  What's the fear that's driving you? It takes a lot of  soul-searching, clarity and discipline to give up all that hurrying toward future-based fantasies and that mythical, magical arrival point.  Whatever causes you to stop rushing, be grateful for it. Sometimes your worn out, exhausted body may be the one to put on the brakes. You're forced to stop. You can no longer rush. You'll find yourself in a strange environment; you might even experience culture shock.  Such is what it is like for a rush-aholic to finally arrive in the present.

The present moment--aahh, could this be the arrival point you were always seeking?  As you move toward becoming a recovering rush-aholic, you'll find the future will begin to drop away. Don't be alarmed... no, you are not dying.  There is something up ahead, but you no longer try to live there.  You can take your time.  You understand that you can feel only in the present, so what's the rush?

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