Self-Reliance is one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most famous essays.
This quote, taken from the essay, holds within it a very stoic presence. How often do we become wrapped up in what others say? What others do? How often do we look to the future to see what lie ahead? Or turn to the past to see the mistreatment of our lives?
We must learn to always be present, in this moment, for that is all we have.
Emerson later goes on to say:
“But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.”
We must stay present. In the moment that is before us. We must remember that what we have to our left and right, in this moment, is all we have. The previous moment is gone. The next moment is unpredictable. Therefore, we have nothing but right now.
Keep your eyes and heart on the now.
Let your pains of the past go.
And leave your worries of the future for another time.
Be here now.
Self-Reliance: And Other Essays – Ralph Waldo Emerson