Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Be. Here. Now."

“I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this

Right here, right now, there is no other place I wanna be
Right here, right now, watching the world wake up from history…”

Jesus Jones – Right Here, Right Now

I can’t sleep.  It’s about 4:00 in the morning.  Maybe I’m worried about Christmas.  Maybe I haven’t eaten enough. Maybe I’m worried about getting everything done.  Maybe I’m worried about visits I said I would make.  Maybe I’m worried about money.  Or maybe, just maybe, I’m not worried at all.  Maybe I just need to write.  Maybe I just miss my Muse.  I feel like I haven’t talked to her in days.  And if writing blogs is my way of talking to her, then I haven’t.  Maybe my Muse woke me up in the middle of the night because she misses me as much as I miss her.
Worrying doesn’t ever, ever help.  Worrying is based on the future, on the thought of what will (more accurately, “might”) happen.   What I think might happen is always imaginary even if does actually happen and only if it does happen.  And if or when it does, then I will have the strength to deal with it or get through it.  All I really need to do is be here now.
Be.  Here.  Now.  That’s it.  This is not an original idea.  Ram Dass wrote a book of the same title in 1973.  I’m sorry to say it’s on a long list of books I haven’t read (but will).  The idea is worth exploring independently.
Be.  Exist.  Live.  Breathe.  Be.  Just be.  There’s nothing I have to do.  In fact, St. Paul says there’s nothing I can do to make God love me any more than He loves me now.  I don’t have to do anything at all.  I could stay here and write.  Or I could give it up altogether.  I could work in my Purpose or I could do nothing at all.  On one level it wouldn’t matter.  Purpose is not really about doing anyway; it’s about being.  It’s about being who I really am.  The doing is just an expression of it.  But if I chose not to express it at all, it wouldn’t change my core.  It wouldn’t change my intrinsic value or worth. 
When I was born, I couldn’t do anything, but I was a miracle.  Even though my mother left me on a street corner, God knew me and rescued me.  My story is unique, but it’s not.  Anyone who is here and reading this is unique, too.  They, too, have been rescued.  We have all been rescued for a reason, for a purpose.  Part of that Purpose is to express who we really are, our being. 
Being and doing are inextricably linked.  You can’t have one without the other.  What confuses people is the idea that we must do to have value.  We do, not to have value, but to express the value we already have.  I write, not because I’m obligated, but because it’s my way of expressing the uniqueness of my being, of my essence, of my creation. 
Here.  This place.  This physical geographical place.  This city or country.  Even this period of time.  Something brought me to this place and time.  It too is linked to my Purpose.  There is nowhere else I’d rather be.  If there were, then I should go there.  But this here that I’m in is sufficient.  A friend reminded me the other day that, despite, my current financial struggles, I am not poor.  I have my health, a car, a job, and a place to live.  Maybe this isn’t my final here, but it’s the only here I have or need.
I often find myself trying to get to some other here.  I rush, and I curse and red lights and slow drivers.  If I’m in a line at the bank or store, my patience lasts about ten seconds before I start complaining about how I’m in a hurry to get somewhere different.  Then I get there and I wish I were somewhere else.  As Eckhart Tolle says, my here is never good enough. 
I see people nearly kill themselves rushing to jobs they don’t even like.  Almost no one ever drives the speed limit and God help the poor soul who wants to conserve gas by going 55 mph.  They are in for a barrage of cursing and dirty looks.  The oddest thing is to see people driving as fast as possible to get to a red light.  Then there’s my personal favorite – the drivers who won’t let you onto the next lane until they pass you – and then switch lanes once they’ve done so!  All of this happens because we’re in a hurry to be somewhere else, somewhere we may not even really want to be.
“I want to get home and relax,” is what I’ve often said.  But if I can’t relax, if I can’t be peaceful where I am, then I probably won’t be very relaxed at home either.
Now.  This may be the most important of the three words.  Of course, they all point to the same truth, but now, this moment, is the only one we have.  For many reasons, I find the need to practice this.  I’ve always needed to practice this, but now I’m ready.  When I don’t like my now, I find that it helps to just pay attention to that feeling, to recognize that I feel uncomfortable, sad, angry, tired, or stressed.  In this way I can be free of its hold on me. 
The Enemy is subtle and clever.  It tells me I shouldn’t feel that way, but that’s just another form of resistance.  That’s just another way to keep me unhappy.  I feel what I feel and when I can just admit that, I can get beyond negative emotions.  Sometimes, especially during times of great stress or sadness, I have to continue practicing this discipline for a while.  Sometimes I have to breathe for a while, slowly and calmly while focusing on my inner body.  Sometimes it helps to listen to my audio version of The Power of Now.  Sometimes it helps to pray or worship.  I’m grateful for whatever works.  I know when I’m present when I feel joy, love, peace, and acceptance.
I feel better now.  I was able to be and do at the same time.  I’m ready to Get Started and Keep Going…but I might take a little nap first.