Presence: 12 Signs You Aren’t Here

Crazy people are all there and never here.

“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” Abraham Maslow

Presence is paying attention to what’s in front of you. You are a gift to others, but you devalue others and yourself when you’re somewhere else.

You’re a by-stander in your own life when you live in the past or the future.

Presence is paying attention to what's in front of you. Image of a couple hugging and looking at their phones.

Presence: 12 signs you aren’t here:

It felt good when I answered, “Present,” during rollcall in elementary school. I’m here. But how do you know when you’re absent?

  1. Guilt, resentment, and regret point to living in the past.
  2. Worry, anxiety, and stress are symptoms of living in the future. (Typo corrected on 2/4/2023. Previous to correction the sentence ended with “present.” Thanks to readers for pointing this out.)
  3. Multitasking.
  4. Fixing people while they are talking.
  5. Judging. You can dislike something without judging it. Tomatoes aren’t bad even if you don’t like them on peanut butter sandwiches.  
  6. Mind wandering.
  7. Racing thoughts at night.
  8. Needing to be liked. You can’t be present and need approval at the same time.
  9. The hoped-for life condemns this life. Don’t let aspiration insult perspiration. You never arrive. Keep working anyway.
  10. Gulping food.
  11. Everything is drudgery. Fun left the building.
  12. Avoiding. Anytime you avoid someone they control you.

The world that isn’t here:

A wandering mind lands in places that don’t exist. What might be doesn’t exist. What happened isn’t here. When you hang out in the world that isn’t here garbage clings to you, worry or regret for example.

Life stinks when you’re not in it.

“Remember then: there is only one time that is important—now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.” Leo Tolstoy

What lets you know you’re absent?

How are you learning to be present?

Multitasking Makes you Stupid: Single-Tasking is Smarter

9 Signs You’re Not Fully Present In Your Life