Heal and Love … Here and Now
“The only place that you can love or heal or awaken is here and now, the eternal present.” —Jack Kornfield
I’ve read books and deep-and-meaningful quotes along these lines many times, but it has only been recently that it has really settled on me. Or rather, it has settled into me.
When I am thinking (i.e. intellectually vacating my present experience), I cannot heal. When I am worrying (i.e. thinking about painful, fictional events that have not happened), I cannot be awake. When I am mired down in my shame (and avoiding feeling it by using distraction or another emotion like anger to cover it), I cannot love.
Anything that takes me away from here-now inhibits my ability to love and heal, and if there is anything that I want to do in this life, it is to love and heal.
It’s not that remembering the past or dreaming about the future is wrong, because feeling overwhelming gratitude in the present for something that happened in the past is a really heart-opening experience.
The key there is that you are feeling gratitude in the present, really feeling that here and now.
Similarly, feeling the guilt in the here and now for something said or done in the past is healing. The problem is that when we avoid feeling the current experience, we lose the opportunity to connect and heal and love.
Leaving the present experience using avoidance strategies (including substances, sex & porn, gambling, social media, workaholism, compulsive caretaking, overintellectualising, anxiety, depression, or validation seeking) means that you are not experiencing what is happening now, here.
It means that time is going by but you are not really experiencing it.
It means that you are burning daylight with your eyes closed.
If you want to live your richest, deepest, most joyful life, that starts with being here and now.
For a long time, I didn’t really understand what that meant, because I thought that thinking about things would eventually resolve my problems, but I could not have been more wrong about that. The more present I am, the better my life gets.
Do you have a mindfulness or meditation practice? If not, why not? That’s a really important question: why not?