Notes on the Journey

Monday, March 25, 2013

Refocused Yearning

My last post was about yearning, triggered by hearing a talk by an author at a local bookstore.  But, since that post, I've had more thoughts about the whole concept of yearning.

Being in the moment is more challenging than one might imagine.  Life has so many wonderful distractions that take us out of the moment.  I saw a wonderful short video on Facebook this morning, which I've shared on my page, of a 109-year-old holocaust survivor giving the most wonderful, wise advice.  "What's your secret?" she's asked.  And, she replies, "Optimism."  I'm paraphrasing now, but she says there are bad things in life, but you give your attention to the beautiful things.  There is beauty all around us, she says.  Yes.  I've heard this.  I've said this!  I've had moments of the awareness of this.  Why is it so easy to forget?

If one is yearning for anything, one is not in the moment.  Yearning for something means we think we don't have something that is really important to us.  But, that means that we forget that we have everything we need.  That means that we've gone into a consciousness of lack.  And, as long as we're yearning for something, or concentrating on what we don't have, we'll continue to create that lack.  When we're really present and in the moment with whatever is going on, we're not thinking about anything.  We might be processing incoming information through our mind, but we're with the situation, not thinking about the situation.  Presence requires awareness, not thought.

When we're really present, the past holds no sway over us.  When we're really present, we're not thinking about some concept we have about the future.  When we're really present, we're not yearning for something we think we need but don't have.  When we're really present, we're simply with whatever is revealing itself.  The thing that might be revealing itself could be love, beauty, connection, pleasure, anger, hunger, thirst, aggression, fierceness, tenderness...the list is endless.  But, if we're present, we're able to take in and receive whatever is being revealed.  We're able to respond instead of react.  We're not thinking, we're processing.  We're being aware.

I think part of being human is to yearn for things, dream for things, imagine things the way they could be, the way we want them to be.  It's not a bad thing to give our imaginations full leeway.  It's through our imaginations that creativity makes it's way into the world.  But, there's a balance to be struck between imagination and presence.  Yearning should not be focused on the thing we don't think we have, but on the feeling sense of what it would be like to have it.  In that way, our feeling sense of it is actually bringing it into being.  As we're present with our dreams and imaginings, they become our reality, but it requires a feeling sense of them.  And, as with whatever we're being present with, it is a visceral, living experience.  How to bring Life into everything is to be present with it.  We animate things by our very presence.  When we bring Life into our dreams and our yearnings, when we live them in our imaginations, they have no choice but to become our reality.

I'm continually amazed by how much repetition it takes for a concept to make its way into my consciousness and be integrated.  And, even once the concept is integrated, how much focus and presence it takes to really embody it.  But, such is the way of Life.  And, the unrelenting patience of Life is so touching it makes we weep.  And, as I weep my heart opens and I'm flooded with waves of unlimited love.  And, I feel full.  And, the yearning goes away.  And, I am grateful. 

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