Today’s word is ‘Present’.
The English language is a true wonder so, not surprisingly, this word has several meanings. However, the one I am referring to means ‘today’, ‘now’, ‘in the moment’.
We all know the meaning of the word but do we action it? How many times a day do our minds wander back to the past (and stay there indefinitely)? How many of us think (or worry) about the future? How many of us look at and feel what is happening in our lives right now?
Nurturing our present lives does mean letting go of the past and stop worrying about the future. Whilst the positive and negative experiences have & do shape us into who we are today, we must remember that those experiences aren’t who we are they just happened to us at that moment in time. Some we can control, some we can’t.
Some of us may have one or two (or a whole suitcase full of) memories and experiences that linger around like an old pair of stinky rotting socks. If we don’t pick them up and throw them out, then they will sit there forever rotting out the room.
The same analogy can be applied to bad memories and experiences. If we don’t throw them away they will stink out our minds and souls and devoid us of fresh air and sunshine. Two elements of which will help to pave the journey towards Nirvana.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama defined Nirvana as the “state beyond sorrows”. Getting to the state of nirvana will mean letting go completely of all past experiences to ‘unbind’ the mind to bring you into an absolute state of existence – i.e. right now, to the present. This is a pretty exciting, energetic and existential mission and would require a lot of conscious & sub-conscious effort to reach it – but as Yoda would say, “Reach it, you may.”
We can reach any state of being if we want to. It’s a matter of putting our minds and souls to work. We know with a simple flick of the mind we can be happy or sad, grumpy or kind, frustrated or patient. We are all capable of becoming the people we want to become provided we keep our minds in the present and maintain awareness of the good that is happening around us.
I was walking down the street the other day and I overheard a boy speaking to his mum. He seemed quite sad about some things that were happening to him at school with his classmates. His mum told him that the most important thing to learn from that is how not to be – to lead by example. She suggested to him to always protect his heart & mind from becoming blackened by these bad things, for these are two of the most important facets of his being. She went on to suggest that if he ever felt like something bad was about to reach either one, then he was to pull it out of his ear, scrunch it up into a ball and throw it as far as he could throw – and watch it disappear into the air, poof and there it goes. So she suggested he try it out now as the feelings were present. The boy pulled the hurt out of his ear, scrunched it up and threw it as far as he could, he watched it disappear and promptly said, “All gone now mum!” and gave her a big hug. He looked visibly more relaxed and he was laughing as he was watching it disappear into the ether. Good going mum for teaching your son that these feelings are normal and will happen but not to hang on to them.
So we all have our ways of dealing with past hurts etc. but some of us hang on to them – for whatever reason (comfort? familiarity?) I can say (from a vast amount of experience of hanging on to total crap) that doing this is 100% unhealthy. It shrouds the mind and soul in darkness and prevents any sort of growth to take place. Imagine a pod of seeds trying to grow in a dark, airless room devoid of life. Stiffling to say the least and not to mention lonely and scary.
As a side note, and as a globally responsible human being, I have to say this. If you suffer from a medically diagnosed mental illness that requires medication, please talk to your Doctor about any changes you wish to make in your life. This post is not intended to present a ‘magical’ cure – these are simply my thoughts that I have pieced together along my journey of enlightenment.
Do you have some history you need to pull out of your ear, scrunch up and throw away as far as you can?
Until tomorrow ~ Live Life, Love Life