“The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
We tend to think that there will be a point on the horizon that once we reach, we will have finally “arrived.”
But there is no such point out there on the horizon. The only point you ever have any power or control over is this moment. This moment, the one you’re in right now.
Instead, we make ourselves jump through hoops before we allow ourselves any satisfaction or self accolade. Because of this, we often put ourselves and our happiness off into the future.
My personal hang up has always been that when I meet my soulmate and get married, then I will be truly happy and fulfilled. I’d know my life has purpose and there was a reason for the longing even after all this time. But the truth is, I have known many soulmates in my life. My relationships have gotten progressively healthier and more rewarding, and all of them have taught me something about myself.
No matter what the destination or timing of our arrival, life always seems to have its challenges. Sometimes I see and feel so much suffering in those around me, I wish I could do something to take it away.
I’ve learned, however, that isn’t what’s best for us. In the long run, taking away someone else’s suffering will only create more suffering, for me, for you, and for them.
Perhaps this is the most important lesson one can learn.
We must learn to release our own suffering, for ourselves. There is only one person who can take your suffering away, and that one person is you.
It’s best to understand and embrace this about life as early on as possible. There will always be challenges. There will always be opportunity for growth and change. There will always be infinite possibilities and potentialities available to us in every moment. When you start living from this place of acceptance, life opens for in ways you could never have imagined.
There’s a quote by Alfred D. Souza that I think really sums up how some people feel about the life they’re leading: “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
Life is what’s going on right now. Are you happy now? If not now, then when? When you lose the 10 pounds, when you have the sculpted arms and impress people with your headstand in yoga class, when you get married, when you get divorced, when you write that book, when you beat that time, when you get that promotion, when you change your career, when you break six figures, when you retire, when you have that new car, when you buy that house, when you pay off your mortgage? Maybe Friday, maybe next summer, maybe this fall, when you sober up, when you have that drink, when you quit smoking, when you finally get over her, when you finally get him to notice you?
If not now, then when? When you feel better? When you’ve got more money? When you feel less tired. When you’re dead? When?
When we embrace true presence and grasp that this moment is the only place and time in which we have any influence or choice, we begin to experience that sense of inner peace that we’ve been chasing. Not sometime in the future, but now. Then it begins to seem as if each challenge adds to the suspense, the chaos, the possibilities, the romance, the adventure, the joy, and the mystery of life.
So stop looking. Instead, start living now.
Photo by Kadri Kurgun
Originally posted on Holstee’s Mindful Matter, the best place to read stories and tips on how to live life fully.
Chloë Rain is The Human Experience Artist, CEO and Founder of Explore Deeply™. To read more about how turning left instead of right can change everything, including how just being nice can get you far in life and in bed, and what to do when heartbreak doesn’t kill you, go to ExploreDeeply.com where Chloë shares stories on the search to find true love, life purpose, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. To read the original post about living in Paris and having a love affair go here. For more inspiration and to like Explore Deeply, go here.