I’ve been thinking about the time when I used to lock my keys in my car at least once a week and not be able to find things I was “absolutely 100% certain” (in my imagination) that I had put in a particular place. I know that my mind at the time was definitely anywhere but here. It had a constant flow of anxious thoughts running through it, worrying about the future, unable to be present.
There is a lot of talk about being present and its benefits. At times it seems an intangible, magical place in its peacefulness, especially while going through a tragic event such as being victim to a crime or natural disaster. How could one possibly find such an experience calming? However, even then there are countless examples of people in terrible situations transcending the chaos and experiencing that feeling of calmness.
But then are they really present in that moment? Haven’t they just transported themselves in their minds to another more pleasant place? Or are they observing and acknowledging whatever is unfolding at that moment without anticipating the future or becoming attached to the past?
Whatever the case, it seems to me that it is leaving behind the desire/need to control and manage what is happening at that moment. The present is experienced for what it is. No preconceived ideas can be brought upon the present.
It is letting go.
Being present is not about nothing being wrong or perfection.
Being present and trying to be perfect don’t go together. They are opposites that don’t attract. Trying to create perfection in an imperfect system with imperfect people results in anxiety and tension.
Being present, on the other hand, is about observing and acknowledging the now which results in being calm and relaxed.
That got me thinking about the “present perfect tense”. You know, that thing most of us have forgotten we once knew something about in English class at school.
I found it an interesting coincidence that these words that were brushing up against each other in my mind had been in a relationship for a long time already and I was now seeing them in a whole new light.
The present isn’t perfect.
Because perfect is tense.
And you can’t be tense if you are truly present.
I saw them in a cycle of relating like this:
Feel free to let me know what your relaxed and imperfectly present thoughts are on this subject.
I promise to observe and acknowledge them.