The Tao de Ching says to ‘move in harmony with the present moment, always knowing the truth of just what to do.’
When I think of the most awkward, embarassing and painful moments of my life, I can see they have one thing in common. In each one I was not fully in the present moment but was caught up in trying to hold on to the past or feeling fearful of an imagined future.
For example, one time many years ago I was at a party dancing – I love to dance and my husband Will doesn’t – and I discovered that a friend of ours was a great dance partner. We danced for a long time in perfect sync. It was wonderful to find someone who was on the same wave length in that way.
The next time I saw him in a totally different situation – a quiet dinner party, definitely not a dance – I felt the pull of that past experience and wanted to recreate it. I tried to get him to dance with me and was gently but firmly rebuffed. I was hurt, but not by him. He was present in the moment enjoying conversation with friends. I was hurt by my unwillingness to let go of a past pleasurable experience, to allow for the possibility that this moment might have its own charms. It was a lesson for me then, and I try to accept the lesson without punishing myself for being oh so very human, wanting to repeat a pleasurable experience.
Take a moment to allow a past experience to come into your awareness, and see if the pain you experienced was either caused or amplified by your not being fully present in the moment. Is there a lesson in there for you too?