How the Ego Distorts Time: Where There is Love, There is Always Time
Have you ever wondered why when you are doing something that you love to do, that time goes by swiftly as if it didn’t exist at all, but that when you are doing something you are dreading, that the clock is at a standstill?
Or even worse why do we think that something that we are dreading doing is going to take so long, when often it only takes a short time? And how is it that we can manage to put off things that are good for us while at the same spending an inordinate amount of time being a workaholic for someone else?
So, for instance, suppose that you get a message from your boss that she wants to meet with you or worse yet when your spouse says, “We need to talk?” For many of us a message from a higher authority fills us with fear and then every moment before the meeting is like an eternity because you just know it is going to bad, which it usually is. What distorts the time is the fear. The sun is still traveling around the earth at the same speed and tomorrow there will beh a sunrise just as today, but it just seems like the clock has gone into a freeze.
So how does fear do it? How is it able to take over the realm of time and allow its miserable self to be felt in an excruciating manner? To answer this question it is good to know that your fear has a purpose, which is almost always to protect you. So when your boss gives you the notice of a meeting, your mind goes to all of the worst possibilities and then you spend an eternity going over how to respond. Should you fight? Should you flee? Should you get ill and miss the meeting hoping that your boss will forget you? These are attempts of the ego (the fear) to protect you in some way from harm.
The question then becomes how do you get from endless goings on of the mind that robs you of your time to feeling love and joy in what you are doing in the moment. The first part of the answer is that the distortion of time always happens because of what you fear from someone else. Like if you put off homework or taxes, it is the fear of what is going to happen to you by others. If you really want to paint, but you are putting it off, then someone’s else reaction to your painting is what is distorting your time.
As soon we allow others behavior such as judgmental behavior to evoke a negative reaction in us, then time gets distorted and does all kinds of strange things. If you were able to just not have the fear, then there would be love and joy for the activity and you could keep doing it and time would be as if you were living in the present tense. Fear often makes you live out into the negative future to try to change something beyond your control.
One of the things that I have learned, for instance, is that if you are going to get fired, then you are going to get fired and there is not much you can do about it, but how you deal with the actual firing makes all of the difference. It is possible to see being fired as a great opportunity, a new door opening which it almost always is.
I have a good friend who works for an organization that goes into the worst places in the world and gives service to the people in the affected area. In fact sometimes we joke when we read about a disaster because we know that our friend will be there. In the face of overwhelming conditions, she is extremely present and joyful in her work, and because of it the people in the disaster areas are always much better off than before she came. It is a simple thing she does, which is that she does not allow the negative conditions and behavior of those around her to affect her internal state. She can remain extremely resourceful and love her work despite what is happening.
So the key to having undistorted time or time in a positive way is to find the love no matter in what situation you are in and to disregard the negative behavior of others as being that important. Where there is love, time becomes eternal in a positive way.
So if you aren’t going to go on that run, or spend time with the person you love, ask yourself this question. Who am iIallowing to control my emotion?