Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 20 November 2009

Enjoying the Moment

Matt’s facebook status today contained this shared gem:

“You need to enjoy the good experiences in life before, during, and after.”

I’m awed by the simplicity and beauty of this advice.  I can (and likely will) ruminate on this for quite some time. But my immediate impression is first on what a wonderful map to living this short statement provides and second how closely this ties into the idea of enjoying the moment/being present.

That little word “after” is the kicker. How do we enjoy the good experiences after? Sometimes it’s easy – reminiscing about a night spent with friends, looking through photographs of a trip, remembering a loved one.  But there are the good experiences that are hard to enjoy later – I think of the ones that haunt me: a best friend who is no longer in my life but who I dream about frequently and love dearly, the homes that I’ve lost, the man who I want to honor and love and who I can’t let go of in my heart. This last is the one I do the best with right now (shockingly enough), but the good experiences of all these situations are colored (at least in this moment) with the sorrow of self-judgment and attachment.

A friend of mine has gone through a long and difficult experience this year. In discussing some aspects of it, he said that he didn’t like the person he was throughout.  I told him that I think sometimes you only know who you want to be by seeing in yourself who you don’t want to be.

These ideas are related in my head – perhaps because of their proximity in being articulated in my life. But the good experiences that I have a hard time enjoying after are the ones where I see myself not being who I want to be, which manifests in all sorts of ways. I am stubborn, defensive, scared. And all of these experiences boil down to the same thing in the end: a failure to overcome my own shortcomings and love with the honesty of my heart.

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