Do you know where you are right now? Silly question. Staring at a screen right? But your mind, your heart, the bulk of your focus.
I can’t speak for everyone here, but I can speak for myself when I say that being fully present is difficult. Even being partially present really. I find a tremendous amount of comfort and excitement in fantasies of the future, in planning, in having a whole world that exists outside of right now that I am living into.
I’ve always been urgent and even somewhat intense. (Those who know me well might get a chuckle out of the somewhat bit.)
This one life. Time tumbling by faster and faster. Must do something with it.
There’s an explosive ache that wants to make something in this world. Make art, love, a difference. Be of service. Sometimes it’s productive. Other times its desperate.
A number of years ago I was doing the dishes and talking to a friend on the phone, rambling on about some kind of existential angst. Exasperated I said “Lisa, what am I doing?” Her response was calm, humorous. “You’re doing the dishes Che, you’re doing the dishes.”
I don’t think I speak for myself when I say that we want to be further along than we are. People want. People want more money, security, love, admiration. We want to be further along in our healing or our relationship or our business plan or our diet. It doesn’t matter what it is, dissatisfaction festers. Knowing where we are and being able to rest in the ordinary-ness of it is both a skill and a gift.
For parents, wanting to be elsewhere might look like “I can’t wait until this teething is over” or “Once she’s out of diapers this will be easier.”
For the entrepreneur “Once we make our target for the quarter” or “If only we had an extra 50K buffer” or “Once this position is filled with the right person”
“Thank God it’s Friday” “Once this debt is gone” “When these hours let up” “If he talked about his feelings more” “This traffic is awful, can’t wait to be home” “Once I crack that beer and light a smoke” “When the cleaning is done” “If I had more time to myself” “Once I fit back into those jeans” “When this and that then this that and the other.”
What about now? What’s available here? What’s happening right now that was once a someday? When will we know that we have arrived if we’re not here enough to notice? There will always be more to do or acquire or experience or contribute. These things may seem more glamorous or exciting than this plain old ordinary moment with its messes and imperfections and incompletion’s and pain. But that’s just an illusion.
The most painful illusion there is.