A couple of nights ago, I lit a candle, put on a record, poured myself a glass of wine, and thought to myself “life is so good”. It truly has been good. I’ve been exercising more, eating better, meditating, enjoying being single, and learning a lot. It’s funny because there were times when I fully believed that life would never be good. Everything sucked. Life was pointless and suffering is inevitable. That very last part is still true… suffering is inevitable. The only thing that has changed between that dark time and this very moment is my mindset.
There will be moments in your life when everything sucks. Bad things WILL happen to you. You will lose your way, get knocked down, be stabbed in the back, and you will lose all of your strength. There also will be moments of joy. There will be love, there will be laughter, you will feel the sun shine down on your smiling face and you will feel orgasmic sensations of pure bliss down to your core. I’ve made the conscious decision to feel and soak in each moment as it comes and goes; good or bad, I am training my brain to be present and feel that moment in it’s entirety. I have bathed in sadness deep enough to drown me. I’ve experienced the feeling of my soul floating among the clouds in euphoric states of pure joy. I do this because I have realized that the only thing we need to learn and grow is this very moment. In those extreme lows, I am presented an opportunity to stop struggling and instead look in the mirror and gain clarity and insight. I can better understand myself, the people around me, and the funny ways in which the universe works. In the extreme highs, I can appreciate each taste, smell, sight, and feeling in it’s entirety, knowing damn well it will not last forever, but that it’s impermanence makes it even more special.
Being mindful allows us to experience life as it is. Stop worrying about the future, and stop poisoning yourself with the past. Pema Chodron in her book When Things Fall Apart, shares how “this very moment is the perfect teacher”. By staying mindful and focusing on each moment as it comes and goes, we find ourselves in a state of groundlessness. Chodron explains how it is uncomfortable and shaky at first, but when we settle into this groundlessness, our human experience becomes more vivid and real. This, if you ask me, is the kind of experience we should be going after; becoming one with each and every moment, good or bad, that passes by. The past is in the past, and the future is not guaranteed, so let’s exist only in this very moment… whatever moment that may be.