Not Enough Present

“There are only two days in a year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow.” -The Dalai Lama

All forms of guilt, regret, resentment, and bitterness are caused by too much past and not enough present.

All forms of anxiety, worry, stress, and fear are caused by too much future and not enough present.

If I seriously respect and inhabit the moment before I try to sort out or make sense of all other points on the time-space continuum, I won’t hurt as much.

How this spells out practically:

  1. Schedule daily reflection/meditation time.
  2. Deal ruthlessly with any of my wimpy objections or manic interruptions to this practice.
  3. Always stop, ground, and center before reacting to any unexpected or unwelcome circumstance.

Three Choices

There are always three choices:

1. Mourn the past (If only…)

2. Long for the future (When I finally…)

3. Make the most of the present (What is life asking of me right now?)

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For me, this starts with replacements:

1. A smile for a frown (Yes!)

2. A laugh for a tear (Whatever!)

3. A challenge for fear (Bring it on!)

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you have chosen it. Always work with it, not against it..this will miraculously transform your whole life.” – Eckhart Tolle

My Embarrassing Upheavals Are Up to Date

The moving Folsom Prison group-therapy documentary, The Work, was so worth watching and reminded me of my own weekend group-therapy experience.

Except…in my own group, I was kicked out for smiling too much.

The leaders thought I was hiding behind a fake smile, unwilling to be vulnerable (which is, admittedly, a commonly-used defense mechanism).

But I really was genuinely happy; happy because I wasn’t afraid anymore to be open about my pathetic errors, hidden pain, and less-than-admirable sub-conscious longings.

I was up to date with upheavals and confessions–an approach I highly recommend.

(Not to say that there haven’t been, or wouldn’t be, many more. When self-examination is a lifestyle, uncomfortable revelations abound, but that weekend, everything had already been excavated and divulged. I had done the work and it felt good.)

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Especially When Darkness is Winning

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It’s a strange place we inhabit.

Who’s to say what joy may come out of pain? What life may come out of death? What light out of darkness?

But, we all can say (from experience) that despairing in pain, in darkness, or in death only made matters worse.

Ain’t no one got time for that!

So, who’s to say that we cannot challenge the darkness…and win?

Our heroes have.

The Scariest Things (Encore)

The scariest thing about depression is how it feels like a permanent state.
The scariest thing about my life is how I almost gave in to that feeling.
The scariest thing about today is how much I would have missed if I had.

chaos

So glad I didn’t miss “the Second Act.”

The Second Act is where the scary, chaotic monster of “the First Act” transforms into an angel.
The scariest thing is how inexplicably it happens.

But, what really scares me the most…is that you won’t believe me.

Before Anything

Before I hand over my day to unknown demands

That may ask more of me than

I want, or am able to give

Before the centrifugal forces of survival

Throw me hard against the outer wall of my existence

I stand, empty handed, before You

The Universe

To hear the promise and assurance that I am…

Not just alive! But

Greater than or Equal to

Anything (and everything) that comes!

I stand here in this moment unashamed

To forgive myself for fear and weakness

And all others for the same

Bring it on.

For the Lovesick

Before deciding we can’t live without someone, this quote might be worth considering:

Why we want someone is a complicated matter.

So often I wanted a certain someone for what they did for my social status (ego), my biological needs (lust), or my lack in the maturity and character department (insecurity). This insightful quote by Simon Cowell shows a side I haven’t seen of him…and admittedly, of me (at times).

The best thing I ever did for myself was admit what it was I really wanted, enabling me to take the reins of my own happiness out of the hands of someone else.

Where Does Love Live?

Where does love live in my body?

In my eyes?

When they observe in gentleness

in no hurry to sneer or blink?

In my blood?

Rushing mile after mile, there and back

until every thirsty cell has its needed drink?

In my lungs?

Deeply breathing in the essential now

without thought for what comes next?

In my muscles?

Springing into action and relaxing

into benevolence?

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This poem was inspired by a meditation in the book, Practice You by Elena Brower.

(Thank you, Allison Graves, for the conduit of awareness.)

Feeling Unfairly Overlooked?

I spent years as a disgruntled employee, feeling unjustly slighted, before I even tiptoed close to the possibility that it might be my fault.

I now wish I had made sure I wasn’t part of the problem before I accused so many people of evil.

The same was true for the times I was dumped or I felt ignored in relationships.

There was more to the story.

There is always more to the story.

It’s called…their side.

Some of the reasons we don’t know their side are:

  • they are afraid to tell us

  • we don’t listen and respond well when they try to tell us

  • candor (with ourselves and others) is a very rare skill that few have mastered

So, instead of wasting my time retelling my sob story to myself and anyone who will listen, I started learning how to fix the parts that were my fault.

It’s pretty amazing how fast my life got better.

 

 

“Kindsight”

I’ve posted this quote from http://www.notsalmon.com before, but thought it might be time for a repeat.

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Stop the blame-and-shame-train with “What was I learning?”

Otherwise, it’s not just me that will suffer.

I will beat others up with my…

  • repetitive monologues

  • intolerance of others’ mistakes

  • destructive judgements and projections