I started reading Eckhart Tolle, author of the The Power of Now, several years ago and was very intrigued with his concept of ACCEPTING THE PRESENT MOMENT.
This seemed to me to be a difficult but powerful practice.
And I tried it. Many times.
I got so far as to let myself feel the whispers of the breeze, the sun shining on my face, the children playing and laughing behind me, the scent of the blooming flowers.
Yes, everything felt fine for me in the present moment. As long as I was happy.
But, when the moments came when all was not well…when I was upset or hurt or angry... I could not do it. I could not feel the acceptance.
It seemed to me that I was being asked to pretend that what I felt wasn’t really there. And no way could I do that. So my progress with the process hit a wall.
Until the last few days.
In his book Tolle talks about the pain body, the pain we carry from our past. I believe that any pain we have not released is because our Spirit has been protecting us from feeling something too oppressive and burdensome for us and when the pain does come up and make itself known, it is because we have learned the tools and the resources we need to deal with this gift.
According to this theory, then, my store of resources and tools had enough in it to invite the pain body to make itself known. And it did. . And it did not “go gently into that good night”.
It shook my world and took me over. I began having mega-reactions to things I thought I had gotten “under control”. (There’s a good cosmic joke there, I think.)
When things get really bad and the watchwords of the day are turmoil and tumult, it seems we are often ready to look a little further for some help.
At this point I remembered that Tolle had talked about the pain body. So I brought out my copy of the abbreviated and more-easy-to-understand Practicing the Power of Now and began to read again about how to deal with it.
There it was…the same great guidance as before. Accept what is…what you are feeling…what the other person is doing and feeling…but there was still something missing for me... and I had to find the missing piece.
And that missing piece was the answer to the question of WHY…Why is it so important to not go with the feeling of hurt or anger? Why shouldn’t I let myself feel what I obviously feel? Oh yes, my ever active mind wanted something to wrap my brain around that made sense of it for me.
And then I was blessed with the realization of something I already knew but which had been fluttering in the background…the fact that we are all on different paths…and in our own “time and space zones” about how those paths unfold.
I knew that ALL paths are to be honored. And it now made sense to me that the intermingling of these paths and the resulting messiness of the intermingling are inevitable and, not only that, but also the fact that this process is an essential and inherent part of the equation.
We are here to do our work and to support the work of others.
Now, armed with this realization, I took a look at the equation and here is what I got.
If something occurs that has affected us in a negative way, we should pause and give ourselves over to a knowingness of that fact. Not a judgment…but an awareness of what is going on. Including what we are feeling and experiencing…the fact that we are hurt or agitated or angry and the fact that the other person is doing what he is doing which is…acting perfectly in accord with the drama of his life.
According to Tolle, if we hold that knowingness as a quiet space surrounding the feeling of our agitation, the holding of that knowingness will transmute the non-peace we feel into peace.
The reason I was now willing to hold the knowingness of what I felt rather than react to it is because of my remembering of the need we all have to unfold, manifest and, yes, intermingle our paths,,,with the resulting beauty, joy and sometimes conflict and chaos that this process produces.
Now I was excited to try this new approach. And I have…several times. And it’s working.
It takes time to reorient myself and choose to do this rather than act from the default button. But the results have been wonderful. There is a distinct feeling of release and peace.
I’m just a newbie at this process. But it feels so promising. And helpful. And I will keep practicing it and feeling grateful to have found my missing piece and have so much JOY added to my life.