Did you know that the present moment is all you'll ever have, and all you'll ever know?
You may think you know the past, or the future, but that knowing is happening in the present. In fact, your entire life only ever happens right now, in the current moment unfolding in front of you. It simply cannot be otherwise.
So that begs the question:
If I only ever know the present moment, then what's my relationship to it? How should I interact with the reality of life that keeps manifesting before me?
Do I fight it? Resist it? Use it as a stepping stone?
Or do I embrace it? Harmonize with it? Participate in it?
To answer these questions, we first need to know two things.
What is the nature of your being that has a relationship with the world around you?
You're the one in there looking out - the witness consciousness. You are not your mind, your body, your emotions, or your experiences. You are the indwelling being inside that's aware of all those things. You are the one that knows you have a body.
Think about it. The same you that looked at your 6-year-old body in the mirror, now looks at your body today in the mirror, however old you are. Your body has changed. Your experiences have changed. So have your beliefs, opinions, and relationships. But you in there, the conscious being looking out, are the same.
What is the nature of the reality of the world outside of you?
The moment unfolding in front of you is the result of 13.8 billion years landing on your doorstep. The world belongs to science, to God, to evolution, to cause and effect. You and I didn't make the world. We have nothing to do with it!
If you teleported to a village in China right now, you'd see that moment. But if you're not there, that moment is still going on. Just because you see it doesn't mean it's special. It's just what you see. The universe expresses itself everywhere, and you just happen to be there seeing one moment passing by.
A wise person realizes this is true of every moment. Moments don't belong to you, or me. They belong to themselves, to God, to science. But we have the gift of experiencing them.
So when you realize that you're the one looking out at a world that has nothing to do with you, you then ask:
If the world unfolding in front of me doesn't belong to me, then what's my relationship to it?
One way to answer this question is to state what your relationship should not be (which is how most people live).
If you're out of balance, greedy, insecure, or fearful, then when you step into the present moment, you need something from it to help you feel better. This makes your relationship one of taking. You need to take something from the moment because you have disharmony in some aspect of your being. This is how most people live, and it's why there are problems in the world.
People are uncomfortable, then step into the moment to take things so they can feel better.
This is why it's so important to work on ourselves from the inside out, and to live the Substance Over Style lifestyle that this entire blog is about.
We need to work on ourselves to feel balance between our bodies, our hearts, and our minds, so that when we step into the present moment, we don't need to use it to solve our inner problems. Instead, we can be in awe of it and serve it. After all, it took 13.8 billion years to meet us where we are. Is that not remarkable?
Right now is all you'll ever have, and all you'll ever know.
Nothing can happen in the past. Nothing can happen in the future. Things can only happen in the present moment.
When your mind thinks about the past, you're seeing a memory of the past in the present moment. And when your mind plans, dreams, or fears the future, you're watching that happen in the present moment. The past and the future never happen. Only the present moment can happen.
Now is all you'll ever have. Use now to your advantage.
Most people only use the present moment as a stepping stone to get somewhere, missing the entire journey along the way. Soon they realize they've spent their lives clinging to the past and longing for the future, all while missing the only thing they ever had - the present moment.
What a tragedy. But how liberating it is to know that it's never too late to turn things around. We always have now. We only have now.
Let's change our relationship to it into one of acceptance and love, rather than a stepping stone or something to resist.
Befriend the present moment. It's all you'll ever have. It's all you'll ever know.
Live with substance!