We all say we want to live in the present, and we really do. We really want to savor the moments and see the world around us and breathe in the instant yet we don’t. We want to notice the way the trees majestically rise to the sky and hear the soulful coo of the mourning dove and say a sincere thank you to the person who hands us our coffee and even look them in the eyes while doing it yet we don’t.
More often than not, we don’t.
Often we are plagued with burdens past or fears future and before you know it we forgot the present. We are pulled into the pain of then or the anxiety of next and meanwhile the possibility of now slips by. And we don’t see it, often, until it’s gone.
When your baby is done nursing for good, you try to think about the way he felt against your skin. It’s hard to remember, really, because you were there but not present, thinking about what to make for dinner or whether you would be on time to pick the other kids up. As you gaze at the road, you realize you don’t remember the last fifteen minutes of the trip and wonder what you were thinking about that was making you there but not present.
Is that one of the ways that HUSBAND was able to live a double life alongside our life? Because I was there but not present? I was thinking of things past and things to come and forgetting to live in now and now was where he was living another life? As I try to think about those days of known infidelity now, I try to imagine how I had no idea (one of the mind scourges of the betrayed), and not living in the present was real. I spent time focusing on past failures and wounds, trying to avoid a future of mistakes and injury and meanwhile missed the now. Just like the driving reality – I woke up and wondered where and how I had gotten there.
Because that’s how present is. It is here now and gone then. But not like we sometimes think about present. It is seriously here now and gone then. Individual moment by individual moment. To learn to be present is something that finding out HUSBAND was a betrayer has taught me. To learn to literally engage here, now, in this very present moment and the next very present moment and the next and so on. To learn to quiet the mental chatter that feeds me messages from the past or fears of the future and to focus on the person in front of me, his words, his actions now without interpretation, and to receive it. To see the food and smell the smells and taste the tastes now, without expectation or comparison. To walk into a new barre class and see the space and feel the floor against my feet and squeeze the ball between my legs and receive the next move without anticipation.
Present. It is so hard, and so different than the way I used to live. But so completely – freeing.
Such a dichotomy that it was my shattered past that led me to learn to live in the present. But for me, this is an enormous part of my healing. The shattering is what helped me have the courage to do so…you see…the shattering left me bloody and strewn out across all that I knew and exposed…but I survived. I lived on. I became strong and fierce and even though I may be stitched together in so many ways and have crazy scars across all parts of my being, I know that it’s a beautiful pattern. I learned that the One who went first had experienced all this – mockery and flogging and betrayal and abandonment – and He showed me the way to present. Through Him, the past has no hold over me, and the future is glorious.