Life is a gift, a beautiful and continuous stream of moments that carry the possibility of anything and everything that we can imagine. The best part about it is that it’s not the kind of gift that we only get to open once or that we can quickly get bored of and forget about. No, this is a gift that we can continue to enjoy and savor over and over again. The way to do that is by cherishing the uniqueness of every moment, right here, right now. What does that mean? It means understanding and appreciating the fact that no two moments are alike. It means allowing each experience to unfold without trying to make it more like some other experience or forcing it to meet some preconceived expectation of how we want it to be. You see, there’s a certain graciousness involved in accepting a gift and that lies in being grateful regardless of what’s underneath the wrapping paper.
Honoring the present moment also means letting go of yesterday’s mistakes or upsets, not worrying about tomorrow or even later today. It means bringing all of our attention and energy to whatever we’re doing at this exact moment in our lives and realizing that that is the greatest gift of all. This applies whether we’re doing something life-altering like climbing Mt. Everest or something more trivial like folding our laundry. The fact is, we’re here and we’re alive and that’s something to celebrate in and of itself. This is it, this is our life and it’s up to us to enjoy and appreciate every little bit of it.
But often in life, we treat the present moment as a means to an end. We forgo this moment in favor of some future one. We overwork ourselves now for the promise of tomorrow’s reward. We deprive ourselves of food and sleep to meet a deadline. We put off having an important conversation because it’s not the perfect moment. We don’t make our art and share it with others because we don’t think we’re good enough yet. We don’t take action towards our dreams because we haven’t saved up enough money. And the list goes on.
When we approach life with this mentality, we miss the whole point. We miss out on the gift that was meant for us to enjoy RIGHT NOW. That’s why the here and now is called “the present”. It’s the greatest gift of life and it’s ours to discover again and again.
Written for The Daily Love (Nov. 20th, 2011)