In the Now

“The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment, in the now. All the great religious traditions insist upon this simple but difficult truth.”
– Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope, pg. 12

The present moment. The now. That’s where I need to be if I want to live spiritually. Today. Right now as I type in these words on my keyboard. That’s the spiritual. The not spiritual is the thought that comes so swiftly, the thought that enters in about who will read what I’m typing – or will anyone read it. UGH! Why does the non-spiritual enter my mind so quickly?

This living in the present moment is probably one of the most difficult tasks to ever be laid down before me. I have spent my entire life in one of two ways: 1) projecting the horrors that will occur if/when the world around me doesn’t behave the way I think they should – or, creating fantasies about how I’m going to “get back at the world” for treating me so horribly, or 2) delving into my past and blaming those who have harmed me. Those places have always been easy for me to dwell. In the future, where I’ll show you, or in the past where I am the sad victim. But the now. When I am just a middle-aged married woman who has a job and goes to school part-time – how the heck do I dwell there?

I think it is human nature to review the past and look into the future. It is part of the slow growth process we all experience in life to have a balance of these. What is not part of the growth process is to take up residence in these places. Spiritually speaking, my best and most fulfilling moments have been when I was completely in the now – when I was recognizing every single thing around me and completely conscious of what was happening. One great example is my wedding day. Throughout that day, I wasn’t wishing for the next thing to happen or sadly reviewing my past. I was present as each part of the day happened; and, today, it is the one day that I would live over exactly as it happened if I were given the opportunity to do so.

So, how do I recreate that type of attitude to serve me in each moment of my life? That’s just it – I don’t! I need to take the “I” out of the equation and allow the process of life to unfold around me. When “I” step aside and let go of the hold I have on the outcome of anything, then “I” release worry and fear and just live in acceptance of what comes. In that, I am able to appreciate each moment, each person, each word as it is occurring. The joy of that – placing my attention on what is right in front of me – comes only when I let go of all my wants and wishes and attempts to control. And, in order to do that, I pray.

Help me, God, to let go of my attachments
to yesterday and tomorrow;
help me to stay in each moment of today
with You.

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