When I am anxious, it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed, it is because I am living in the past.
We are urged by experts to live properly in the present. There can be definite traps in living too much in past or present, as the above saying suggests. But how much time we must stay in the present, I think is different for everyone. I have seen exact figures on how much time a normal person should be I the present. I think such exactitude is nonsense. First of all, who wants to be normal? Then there can be a great variance in how must time people spend in the present, people who are all functioning very well in the real world.
If we do not spend time in the past, we will not learn from our past. If we do not spend time in the future, we cannot have dreams, and then we are really in trouble. Dreams are worth the anxiety.
Where we mentally live our lifetime wise, is not chiseled in stone. We can adjust. A drive in a blinding snowstorm is not the time to dream, better stay in the present. If we are getting depresses, we might better get out of our past and start dreaming. If I am scared, I might try to stay out of the future and dream some other time.
We all have a clock in our head, a consciousness clock. We can adjust our consciousness in a wise way. We can live properly in our past, our future and our present. Then we may not be normal, but we will be wise.
Fr. James O'Leary