Photo by Santiago Martin on Unsplash
Being present offers a secret gift.
Being present is something we are increasingly exhorted to be – something that identifies us as a good person.
It\’s a shame because being present has the capacity to offer us so much more.
What Does It Mean To Be Present?
Being present is the source of all potential goodness in our lives:
- being present means that we are not living in our heads. Our heads have a way of taking over and running our lives with ideas about life rather than life itself.
- being present means that this moment is enough.
- being present means that we are fully awake to everything in our lives.
- being present means accepting our humanity with all its faults and imperfections and the same in others.
- being present means also accepting our limitations.
Another way to say it is that when we are present, we are grounded.
So why bother? It is a mentally organized world with lots of different ideas about life that seem to have the upper hand in making decisions about our lives for us, isn’t it?
Being present can mean seeing, hearing, and feeling the world’s judgments and negativity, which can be painful, especially for highly sensitive people.
Who wants to drown in all of the injustice and meanness? I know I don\’t. A part of us wants to remove ourselves out of self-preservation to a place with less conflict, meanness, and pain. I expect that we all have that desire.
Being Present Isn’t A Time
Being present is often treated as a form of time but it is really more a type of space. The past and future really do not exist. They are fictions of our minds. They occupy mental space but they do not occupy real space. They can sideline us from the needs and demands of the present.
All of life is energy and space. What the past and future do is lay claim to our energy and divert it from the present. Usually this occurs because our memories become attached to the pain of negative judgments and we want to heal them. We are seeking away out of our pain. We are also losing the opportunity to live our lives when we allow the past and future to take over our attention.
What Being Present Offers Us
The past and the future are containers for fear and pain. They could even be considered distractions.
The present, on the other hand, is more of a door. It opens us to space and possibility.
The present is where all creativity lies. It is also the home of all generosity which it is one of the reasons it is so valuable:
- in the present we can decide to give ourselves a break
- in the present we can take better care of ourselves
- in the present we can be kind
- in the present we can create something
- in the present we can let go of the part
- in the present we can be mindful about our words and develop of skill at speaking and writing
- in the present we can chose a new direction
- in the present we can love
- in the present we can offer a helping hand.
The present is where all positive actions take place. It is where we start over each moment in the creation of our lives. Each moment has to be met with our best intention, which is how we extend to ourselves the same generosity that we extend toward others.
That is what makes the present the best place on earth.