For many years (and on occasion, still) I ran from pain and conflict. Not always a literal running away, though usually, but my figurative escape in booze, drugs, extreme emotions, risky experience. All this did was dull the pain or avoid the conflict momentarily. Later, once my legs grew weary of running, I felt the same or worse. Much worse. The point? I couldn’t avoid myself. Wherever I went, there I was. The present moment can be easy …so very easy…to overlook. I am forever worrying about the future or remembering my past. This is no use to me today. I recently visited the library and here’s a list of books I checked out: Transcendence, Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation; Sacred Contracts; Awakening your Divine Potential; Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind; and Mindfulness at Work , How to Deal with Annoying People. Ha. ha. The theme? Grabbing the present moment by the balls. Actually, living in the present, focusing on here and now. Here’s a secret I’ve learned, It takes practice. We humans don’t release our problem-solving mind very readily. At least, for me, my intellect, my rational brain, fights to the death this desire to stay in the NOW. Therefore, I must notice when I am enjoying it. Carefully notice. For instance, creative projects and reading do this for me. I am not, in those instances, thinking about future or past. I’m just here. And it’s bliss.
I learned through my own hard experience that bliss cannot be found in running away. It’s no where but right now. Even as I type these words I’m thinking “What are my kids doing?” “I need to clean the house” …you see, it’s difficult. However what was more difficult, more of a struggle, the consequences of my desperation to avoid myself. What mindfulness can do if you give yourself, surrender, to the now, is bring you closer to an understanding and compassion of self. For in it, I find I am not alone. I am a universe. I am you. and you are me. The human experience is shared, time is an illusion as is past and future. There is only today, this moment right now. Powerful and humbling but to live in it, move through space and time, is bliss. Shutting off the animal brain, the ego, the self-preservation instincts of fight or flight,, is the only way to get there. I can’t run anymore. I’m tired of fighting and flying.