In our culture we have a bias for things that last over things that end. We will even say of a relationship that ends that we wasted our time or that it wasn’t real. But if that’s the case then nothing is real, and life is a waste of time. This bias causes us to hold onto things we are better off letting go of, we stay in relationships that harm us, we stay in jobs that no longer suit us, we engage in activities that we stopped enjoying long ago.
This bias also means we fail to appreciate connections and experiences that are fleeting. We trample the joy of a brief love because we were looking for a spouse. We miss the glorious moment of the sun breaking through the clouds because we focused instead on the rain that covered the rest of the day.
This focus on the lasting keeps our attention on our memories of the past and our fantasies of the future, because it is in those times of the mind that lasting things exist. Present time is fleeting and you only find the fleeting beauties and joys if you are present now. Only if you are attending the present moment will you notice that something you have been holding onto is no longer right for you. Only in the present can you realize that who you pretend to be, is not who you are now.