I write these words on my youngest child's birthday and I find myself enveloped in a cloud of memory, milestones, and previous versions of myself who couldn’t quite picture who she would become at this age after facing a series of challenging health issues.
There’s nothing quite like a birthday to make you consider the passage of time and be reminded of the impermanence of things.
How quickly events that once seemed interminable pass, how futile our attempts to cling the moments we prize, and how efficiently the stream of time carries us out to the ever-changing sea.
This month, in Laura’s essay about distraction, I see so clearly the ways in which those little day to day distractions we engage in prevent us from really being present in our own lives. How time seems even more fleeting when we cannot account for or are not present to the moment-to-moment events that ultimately comprise our lives.
Laura so beautifully invites us into inquiry without judgement so that we can take an honest look at the ways in which we engage in “unintentional self-regulation” when the present moment becomes too aversive.
Avoiding discomfort is a natural human reaction, of course, but I have found surprising value in the few moments when I have been able to stay present to the aversity, the pain, and the fear as well. There is a deepening, an unexpected appreciation if you will, of the profundity of each of those difficult moments that gives shape and context to the whole experience.
I have never loved so deeply as when I recognized that that moment was impermanent. I only truly became aware of the power of that force when I acknowledged its fleeting nature. Such a challenge for the heart that is trying to protect itself from loss!
We are prone to defining “living” as including only the enjoyable parts of life, the highs, and the social media worthy moments. But it is our presence in all the unexpected nooks and crannies of life that invite us into an understanding that darkness and light travel together, inform, and deepen one another.
If we can work to stay present to both, then we are truly alive.
Blessings on your journey,
Louisa has always enjoyed writing and is thrilled that she now has a way to share her musings with a larger community of like-minded seekers. Her writing is often an extension and exploration of the struggles she faces in integrating her own spirituality, scholarly study, life experience, and nuggets of brilliance from her teachers in the hopes that it might alchemically transform itself into something approximating wisdom.