“Love the moment and the energy of the moment will spread beyond all boundaries.” – Corita Kent
The ability to stay in the moment is a goal that many of us have. It’s distressing to think that our lives are passing us by without us noticing. We only get a short amount of time here on Earth and each moment that passes is gone forever.
Even though we still “tune out” when our moments are pleasant, it’s easier to stay in the moment when you are enjoying it or you have “positive” emotions. But what about when the moment you are having is filled with “negative” emotions? Even though these moments aren’t pleasant they are still worthy of our attention – if for no other reason than you will never have them again. Your experience in life is filled with both positive emotions and negative emotions, and ultimately staying in the moment for both will help you lead a fuller life.
Here’s how you can live in the moment… when it’s the last place you want to be.
Life Is Joy…And Pain
Being mindful of the moment involves accepting that all of your moments are not pleasant. If you only want to be present in the enjoyable moments and not in the difficult ones, than ultimately, you’re missing half of your life. And living in the moment means being present for all of it.
Avoiding the painful moments is like trying to convince yourself that the sun always shines and night never comes. If we want to live a full day, we have to accept both light and darkness. It may not seem like it at the time, but your most painful moments have a purpose. Missing out on a painful moment is still missing a moment, even though you would rather not deal with it.
Gifts Come From Your Painful Experiences
If you learn to stay in the moment even when it’s painful, you will be able to receive the gifts your pain brings you. For instance, if you are bored you can either distract yourself by tuning out or you can be creative in finding something engaging to do. So, boredom gives you creativity and problem solving, but if you can’t stay with that boredom, all you get is escape.
Likewise, anger gives you the desire to take action (notice, I did not say “revenge”) and sadness gives you the desire to reflect. These “negative” emotions, while still unpleasant, drive you to do certain things that you need to do. But you have to stay with them, even when you don’t want to.
You Can Only Receive Your Gifts When You Receive The Moment
Escaping the moment is tempting when it feels unpleasant – there are so many ways you can distract yourself. But, in addition to not receiving the gifts of the moment, you also end us escaping from a good portion of your life. No matter if the moment you are having right now is pleasant or unpleasant it is still YOUR EXPERIENCE. And choosing not to live it, is throwing away a part of your existence. Don’t escape from your moments – live them! And you will find that you have the strength to experience all of them, not only the enjoyable ones.
How do you stay in the moment when the moment is challenging? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.