March 18, 2016

How to Realize Life is Pretty Awesome


I'm constantly trying to practice being at peace and learning new methods to do so. That's what this blog is about, more or less.

This week, I rediscovered an old friend. I reflected on a teaching as old as peace itself, and had some blissful and freeing realizations in the process.

The teaching, which you have probably heard a million times in a million different ways, is the following:

Be in the now.

Yes, sure, "Be in the now," great. We all know that's what we should be doing, but as I've experienced, hearing these one liners is not enough. We have to really understand them and see why they are actually good for us. I need to understand things before I can accept them, before I can implement them in my life. My guess is that you are the same way.

So let's get into being in the now. How does it solve all our problems?

Past and future are delusions.

The past already happened. We can't do anything about it. Honestly, it doesn't matter what happened in the past. In this moment, you can choose to be someone totally different than you were in the past. So can others.

Everything changes all the time. So defining anything by something that happened in the past will never be an accurate judgement. If you regret something that you did in the past, you can choose to be different in the present. That's all that matters--who you are now.

And what others did in the past--well, that's their problem, isn't it? Don't bring yourself down because of what others did in the past. It has nothing to do with you.

Our minds distort everything. We can't see the past clearly. We either see it as better or worse than it actually was. The best choice is to simply let it go and concentrate on what we can see--the now.

The future has not yet happened. It's even more distorted in our mind than the past. We can never know what will happen. How many times did your thoughts about the future actually come true? I think I know the answer to that question.

Thinking about the future or past makes us feel horrible, because we can't do anything about it in the present moment. We can't act in the past and we can't act in the future, so we just feel like helpless puppets.

What's great is that we don't need to act in the past or the future. Because they will never come. All there ever will be is the now.

Negative feelings don't make sense.

Oh, how horrible thinking about the past or future can make us feel . . . If you imagine yourself just sitting around, thinking, making yourself feel bad--it's a pretty funny picture. We're sitting around, feeling bad about something that's not even happening, something that's not even real. Insane.

Slowly but surely, being in the now is starting to seem like the only logical way to go about life, doesn't it?

The now is never that bad.

What's beautiful about this whole thing is that the now is never as bad as the past and future pictures in our head. What happens in the now is always manageable, we can always handle that. We can deal with the now.

On the other hand, what we imagine in our mind as the past or future, we can never seem to deal with. Those are horrible, out of control situations that are just tragic and despair-inducing.

But you know what's great? Those will never come. They'll never happen. Because the now is all there is. The always manageable now--it's all that ever will be.

The present is pretty awesome--and it's all there is.

Even thinking about something that happened a moment ago, or something that might happen a moment from now can cause us to feel pretty terrible.

Falling ill or losing someone we love are thoughts that none of us can think with a genuine smile. Until the moment we realize that they are just thoughts. And you know what? In the now, we are fine. In the now, our loved ones are around us. Realizing that is enough, at least for me, to cry tears of joy. Especially after thinking such thoughts.

Because in the now, those things are not real. In the now, all that you fear to lose, you have. In the now, if you want to change something, you can act. In the now, everything's perfect. And the now is all there will ever be. If that isn't the best thing ever, I don't know what is.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have." - Eckhart Tolle

8 comments:

  1. I love this so much. Thank you. You've opened my mind to a whole new perspective.

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    1. I'm glad, Christine:) Sending much love.

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  2. What about learning from experience? When you say
    And what others did in the past--well, that's their problem, isn't it? Don't bring yourself down because of what others did in the past. It has nothing to do with you." That's not exactly true. My soon to be ex husband is running up debt without a job despite an injunction that could very well bankrupt me in the next year. It's a fact, not a distortion or speculation. People can hurt other people. All of this "living in the now" is wonderful and easy when nothing's wrong.

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    1. I'm sorry about what you're going through.

      Living in the now does not mean we don't have problems. We all have problems. I have debt, myself, and family members who were less than kind to me throughout my life. But me being sad and angry about how they treated me will solve nothing, it will only ruin my present. And me thinking about how horrible everything could turn out will also solve nothing. It just makes life horrible for me.

      I have problems too. And I can only take steps to solve them in the now. And just to make things easier for myself, I choose not to carry grudges or anger with me on my way.

      Sending much love to you.

      Melinda

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  3. What about learning from experience? When you say
    And what others did in the past--well, that's their problem, isn't it? Don't bring yourself down because of what others did in the past. It has nothing to do with you." That's not exactly true. My soon to be ex husband is running up debt without a job despite an injunction that could very well bankrupt me in the next year. It's a fact, not a distortion or speculation. People can hurt other people. All of this "living in the now" is wonderful and easy when nothing's wrong.

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  4. Thankyou, this came at just the right time. I've been struggling with health anxiety for a few days, panicking over what might be and this is a perfect reminder that at the moment all is ok. xxx

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    1. I'm glad it helped. I get health anxiety too sometimes, and this mindset helps me as well:) Sending much love.

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  5. I was going to ask you how that advice works for the people starving to death in Ethiopia. Then I realized that death was worry about the future and they might discover they are breatharians before that. Now, while they are still alive they can look for a charity serving food.

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