“The biggest cause of suffering is being here, and wishing you were somewhere else.” – Ajahn Brahm
We all spend a lot of time thinking about the past, and worrying about the future. Sometimes this can be helpful, if thinking about the past is helping us heal, and if worrying about the future is helping us plan for it. But more often than not, spending mental time in the past and future expends energy that would be better used in the now.
There may be things about your present situation that feel unbearable. But you have a deep well of strength, likely much deeper than you believe, and you can get through this. You can probably think of a few times when your life circumstances have been just as bad or even worse than they are now, and you survived those.
So do not fight what is outside of your control. Take stock of where you are right now. Observe your physical body – your body temperature, any aches or pains, any tension in your jaw or shoulders, any absence of aches or pains or tension, the rate and rhythm of your breath, the position of your body, the sensation of your clothing against your skin. Observe your environment – the sounds, the furniture, the objects, the shapes, the colors, the temperature in the room, the light and shadows. Try to withhold judgement about how clean or organized the room is – just notice it.
See if you can find any gratitude for exactly where you are and what you are doing right now. If you’re having difficulty, think of someone who may be in a far worse situation than yourself, and note what you have that that person may not, no matter how small. Here’s my example:
I am grateful for the fuzzy blanket on my arms, keeping me warm.
I am grateful to have a full belly.
I am grateful for clean water to drink.
I am grateful for my current health.
I am grateful to have had a full night’s sleep.
I am grateful to have an apartment where I can live.
What do you think about today’s quote? Comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.