When a major event is celebrated, such as Christmas, we often get into a state of anticipation, of waiting. It is as if we think something is going to be suddenly different in the future. Often we use the busyness of everyday work to mask what we really feel underneath. Then we look forward to the special day or to the vacation, thinking that it will somehow fix whatever out of balance in our lives. However, there is a danger in this, as we can fall into the trap of linking our happiness to some future moment, which only leads us to feel more discontent when we see that nothing has changed. This type of fantisizing about the future is normally a way of avoiding some difficulty about our life in the present. True contentment comes from working with our life as it as – from surrendering to what is – and not trying to escape from it.
Peace can only exist in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say “Wait until I finish this, then I’ll be free to live in peace”. What is “this”? A diploma, a job, a house, the payment of debt? If you think that way peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you’ll never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise there is only hope for peace “some day.”
Thich Nhat Hahn, The Sun my Heart