The present moment is available only to those who are ready to receive it.
It may only be wholly met when we have decided that we have suffered enough—when we have realized that the conditioned mind (conceptualized identity, ego, negative thought patterns, and so on) is no longer serving us.
It is here that we can begin to wake up—awaken to the truth of who we really are.
It is almost as if we must suffer in order to realize our deeper nature—so that we can find our way back to the present moment. This has been my experience. The further removed I am from the present—from the immediacy of felt experience, the “now”—the more I suffer.
Having dealt with a severe chronic illness for the better part of the past few years, it has been necessary for me to meet the present moment directly, rather than endlessly dwelling in the field of my own thoughts. The pain of this experience has forced me to accept things as they are, to have a more direct relationship with what is happening in the now, instead of attempting to go somewhere else in my head. The suffering I have faced has cracked the shell of my ego and opened my heart in ways I couldn’t have possibly imagined.
Suffering acts as a kind of message from the universe, one that tells us that we are living wrongly in some way and helping us a map out where this is taking place in our lives. It is a sign that something is wrong, but not that something is wrong with us. It is not personal.
In this case, there is something for us to discover about how we look at life and move through the world that causes us suffering. It is our responsibility to find out how to face our own suffering in a way that allows us to go on loving.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Ian Dooley/Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Catherine Monkman