I just found a letter from an ex-boyfriend, tucked away in a little box covered in cartoon reindeers dressed as christmas elves. My goodness. Isn’t it the most amazing thing— to find little pieces of the past that take you right back in time, and ask you to dive into certain memories and feel them all over again.
In the letter, my boyfriend of the time had mentioned that he’d just watched the movie When Harry Met Sally, and he marvelled at how similar my personality was to Meg Ryan’s character. How funny! Only recently I was told that very same thing by a friend who knows the now version of me. I mustn’t have changed all that much in fifteen or so years, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. We’ll just go with: it totally is, okay guys.
It’s interesting. Only yesterday, coming down the mountain, I mulled over the idea of living in the present moment; thinking of the benefits, but also thinking of the fact that this now moment also restricts the human experience in certain ways. The memories, for instance. Beautiful memories that play in the mind like a movie, and play in the heart like the sweetest song.
The past does not exist in the present moment. Nor does the future. And yet such colour can be found in the times and places that once lived a moment of their own, moments that now only exist if a person chooses to allow them to resurface as conscious thought.
There’s also the matter of daydreaming— every dreamer’s staple diet. To live in the present moment is surely to rob those that identify as ‘a dreamer’ of a major part of their core essence, meaning, I suppose, that ‘a dreamer’ really would no longer identify as ‘a dreamer’ at all (omg, say it isn’t soooo!)
I guess the question I’m asking is: is the elimination of ego and identity entirely necessary, in order to live a happy, enlightened-ish life. Is it? I don’t know, I’d be interested in hearing some of your perspectives on this because I’m still a little on the fence.
Anyway, I’ve waffled on a bit there, haven’t I. I just think it’s kind of a fascinating idea, living in the moment. There is no denying that there really is such power in living for the now. Every piece of a person’s soul is present and available to be used, whereas, living in the past or future kind of scatters a person’s soul, causing it to technically be somewhere else (back then, or, someday.)
Have I absolutely confused you with all the existential rambling? Probably, and I hope not. I just think it’s an area of spirituality and mindfulness that’s a little bit restrictive to the human experience, depending on which way you look at it. It’s an idea I’ve been pondering of late, so I thought I’d share it with you guys and see what you think.
To live in the moment, or not to live in the moment. That is the question.
My answer is: ‘Umm…I dunno.’
7 replies on “Living In The Now”
Definitely not. I think you need both to live a happy life to some extent. Enlightened? I am not sure specifically what you are driving at there.
Ego is different than egotism. Ego is about having a self-confidence in your identity. Without an identity then you have no sense of purpose in anything you are doing. I think to be happy you need both identity and ego. You need to know who you are (presently), where you are from (an understanding and reckoning of your past), and where you are headed and why (what are your plans for the future). To me, ego is about trusting that your circumstances and what you’ve been through has equipped you for what is to come. You don’t have to curl up in a ball and “give up.” You will probably not be ready for everything, but you also can have confidence that where you go, you belong, and you can succeed there.
I wouldn’t assume to be as “existential” as you are, so I may have missed your point, but those are my thoughts. Take them or leave them 😉
Thanks for your input Jason! Yes, what I’m angling at is basically the ‘view’ the blanket spiritual movement seems to have on reaching enlightenment (living fully in your authentic soul truth, or God truth- which is ultimately a peaceful state- is my take on what they mean by enlightenment.) They say that ‘ego’ is an identity constructed based on the ‘stories’ of the culture and the environment we have been brought up believing are ‘right’ from childhood. We are told ‘this is the way that it is, based on the cultural rules that have previously been established’ and so, based on the ‘truths’ that others teach us about how we should be in the world (as opposed to who we authentically would be if we were to let our soul do the living for us, with no external rules, influences etc)…our ego is born. They say that duality, the idea that there is a right or a wrong, or a good or a bad is what causes a lot of the war and suffering in the world (true) and without ego, we would feel much more connected and at peace as a collective (because our egos are all different and so divide us, often in ways that hurt us). In the ‘now moment’ of consciousness we are safe, too. Because in ‘the moment’, what that horrible man at the supermarket said to me two weeks ago has no ability to disturb my peace because remaining conscious in the moment doesn’t allow for the memory to return in order to upset me. My point is: I do want some memories to return because they make me happy. So I guess I’m a bit torn here about to what extent I believe living in the moment should govern our lives. Hope that makes sense. Lol. Its all a total mind bender, I will say that much. 😂 I’m still trying to get my head around the way I feel about it all, and integrating my spiritual side (the soft girl) with my ego side (who I’ve become based on where I’ve come from). Fingers crossed I get my head around it soon so I can relax and just go eat a burger or something. 😉☺️x
I am not ignoring this Brooke… just trying to “digest” it a bit and offer my take. I am actually reading a very good book on contemplative prayer right now about letting go and living in the now from the Christian perspective. So I should have some (hopefully) useful and pertinent opinion to share shortly. 😉
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It’s a tough one to chew on, I’ll give you that much. 😉☺️Looking forward to hearing your perspective after you read the book. I had a classic example of living in the moment this morn: an anxiety that arose from my uncertainty about the future completely disappeared when I brought myself back to the moment. Quite powerful. Still. I’m being quite selective about when I stay in the moment so…not sure I’m still entirely on board yet. Ha ha ha. x
Haha… good for you. Baby steps right?
In counseling this week I was feeling overwhelmed about lots of stuff going on and I sent my feelings on vacation to the beach. They are still there riding the waves. I don’t think I will go get them anytime soon.
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Ha ha ha! I love that SO much! Although, I’d much rather leave my thoughts at home and Me be the one to go to the beach! 😂☺️x
Haha… if there was a beach here in the mountains I would be there!