Our concerns and cares change over time, don’t they? When I began blogging back in 2009 or so, so
much of my life was in chaos and I carried so many worries and concerns. I carried my hopes and dreams too and
actually managed to manifest a few. But
my concerns and worries have vastly changed.
Call it the wisdom of aging and experience maybe or finally learning what matters most in life, I guess. But then I think again, have my concerns and cares really changed or is it I who have changed? I’m pretty sure the latter heavily influenced the former. I think that is how it is – this life here on Earth. Some moments in time feel like an utter eternity, particularly during the most painful, bewildering and challenging moments. I remember a phrase so often heard throughout my years that stuck with me and has been reinforced over and over again to the point that even in my most excruciating moments I know to the heart and soul of me, “This too, shall pass.” Every happy moment, every sad and tragic moment, every fear, every moment of elation – This too, shall pass. We too shall pass.
I think this is why mindfulness grabbed a hold of me unconsciously at first. It resonated so deeply within me I didn’t recognize the truth of it - although I knew the present moment was all we had logically. It passes and quickly and we must then courageously face the next and the next moment for as long as our hearts are beating. How do we do that? It is literally one breath at a time. Even if the breaths come quick and ragged, one breath at a time. How do we get anywhere or achieve anything? One step at a time. We may wish with all of our might that we were anywhere but a current painful moment. But, if we were to rush past it without fully experiencing it, we would miss something important. A moment is fleeting, like a heartbeat, the blink of an eye…so quickly does life pass in a stream and sometimes seemingly, a rushing river.
I think the greatest gift I’ve been given in all of my life is trust in myself to manage the painful moments without shrinking back from them. That doesn’t mean my foolish mind doesn’t at times wish I could jump timelines or dimensions. It does. But I don’t seek that with sincerity. I stop, breathe in the moment whether I judge it good or bad - painful or joyful. I leave that moment and carry into the next the wisdom and trust to know I can face the next moment because I survived the last. Funny thoughts for a Sunday I suppose. The day escaped me so quickly. I could swear 5 minutes ago it was 5:15 am and my cat was meowing at my door to be fed.
But since that moment, I accomplished so many other things I set out to do and now here it is nearly 2:00 pm on a Sunday. My mind is very present appreciating the quality of the light as I notice Summer slowly readying itself to merge into Fall. There is just something about the light, the position of the sun, or the way that the shadows from the branches of my tree move that I begin to notice in earnest every year about this time. Something within shifts and I move from the hopeless heat of an unforgiving Arizona Summer into the hope of Fall and cooler nights soon to be followed by cooler days as the days slowly begin to exist shorter and shorter minute by minute.
Time is a funny thing in and of itself. It can reel you in or spin you out if you are not careful and grounded. I never expected to be this me at this point in time. But moment by moment, breath by breath, step by step, and heartbeat by heartbeat I got here to this moment. I am not unscathed by the moments that came before, but I remain grateful for this moment, well – all of my moments and I remain hopeful for the next and next. I do not wish to rush and I will not fight time’s passage by wishing it to slow. In mindfulness I have learned to appreciate what is as it is. That appreciation was and is hard won. It takes a long uphill battle to find that prize. I hope it remains ever in my grasp. Blessings for your precious realization of this moment, and courage for your next breath, step and heartbeat.
© 2022 J.L. Harter Photo and Words