“Carpe diem” is more than a convenient motto to those who want to indulge their hedonistic tendencies; it is a direct invitation to live in the moment.
The past cannnot be regained and the future lives only in our imaginations. So to “seize the day” would be to take this very moment, this time, this space and actually live in the present, for that is all that is real. The experience you are having now, reading this, is the only real thing.
We cling to the past because we enjoy suffering, the suffering feeds our egos and sets us apart from others, building a wall of separation so that we can feel validated by our pain for past mistakes, we can continue to punish ourselves for things we should or should not have done or said or thought. The past exists in our imaginations, and is like a movie we want to play over and over again because we believe we need to be punished or forgiven, and we do this so well that we end up needing therapy so that others can tell us that it is okay to feel this way!
We can stop this addiction to regret, suffering and the cycle of punishing ourselves by letting go and freeing ourselves of our limited vision of who and what we are. See the ego for what it is: a part of the human experience that has a powerful voice in our heads. This is not the “voice of God”, it is our own self-judgement and addiction to suffering that we constantly feed on to validate our separation from each other.
Likewise, the future exists in a dream we concoct in our minds for in doing so we can escape the reality of now. If we can only realize that living in the moment is the only moment we will ever have, each moment, a million times over, we can free ourselves from the illusions that we have created and actually be happy and content.
Learn to see that the expectations of others are their dreams for you, and that you need not be a part of that dream. No one has the power to make you suffer except yourself. Stop clinging to the belief that someone can make your life better; only you can do that by relinquishing your cherished beliefs of who and what you think you are.
The Buddha said, suffering is what we seek to end, but it is our desires that make us suffer. What does that mean? It means that because we live in the future or in the past, we live in a dream of our own making. Let go of this, and you can stop suffering…