(I wrote this on Jan the 24th 2017)
If life is just a blink of an eye, a sudden moment of celebrating existence, then we must be grossly wasting it; if we’re spending all of our time captive to our thoughts. Whether it’s our memories or expectations about the future, they’re all just thoughts. They’re not real. It seems like we are born, get lost in thought, and then, before we know it, die. What a waste!
Anyone can see this if they look carefully enough. Or at least that’s what some people claim. Those who emphasize the importance of living in the present moment. That a great deal of suffering can be eradicated just by paying very close attention; to nowhere farther than our own thoughts. That if we train ourselves to become aware of them, and to ground ourselves to the present, we can indeed be alive, even if it were for no more than a short-lived moment.
But what if the present moment is full of pain? What if we’re so hurt in this moment that we need to somehow escape it to make it to the next? Don’t we sometimes need to remember the good in our lives that managed to disappear without a trace? To reference previous victories to remind ourselves that we can, and will, win this new fight. To look forward to a green spring that always puts an end to a dead winter. To tell ourselves that this dark moment is not the end … it can’t be … we can’t let it be.
It’s true that listening patiently to our breathing serves as a good reminder that we are alive, right here right now; a rare experience which won’t last forever. And that is very important, especially when we’re lost in the faces of the people who hurt us and let go of us when we most needed someone, or in the words that broke our hearts and made us feel worthless and unworthy of existing.
But sometimes it’s just too loud to hear anything else other than how much it hurts, and how badly we want it to stop, once and for all. And there seems to be no escape, when it looks like that all the past, future, and present have conspired against you and stubbornly won’t let you be.
It seems to me that during moments like those, it doesn’t matter where you are (or when you are: past or present), as long as we manage to hang in there for a while. “Just a little bit longer. Just a little bit more. Just one more bit.”, we try to tell ourselves. And if we happen to be lucky enough, while hanging in on the inside, a light may come from outside, which, if you let it in, can make the unending unbearable wait tolerable. You know, that light that comes straight from someone’s heart?