Cross-posted on Huffington Post here
Here's the thing about this saying, attributed to Lao Tzu (just below, in quotes), and others like it, which are very popular on the interwebs: It's (unintentionally) blaming people with anxiety or depression for their own anxiety or depression, and it's ignoring the importance of the body in experience.
"If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present."
Unless there's something I'm not getting, the gist is that if a person is depressed or anxious, their problem is they are not living in the present moment, that their thoughts are in the past or the future, and, therefore, it follows, their depression or anxiety would disappear if they would just bring their thoughts into the present.
So what's wrong with that? . . . Click here to read the rest of this esssay on Margaret's Huffington Post Blog!
Margaret Howard, MFA, LCSW
I am a psychotherapist, gardener, writer, mother, grandmother, and dreamer.
Cover image: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Queen of the Night, from the stage set for Mozart's Magic Flute