Would you like to let go of worries and anxieties? It is difficult to imagine anyone answering “no” to that question.
Yet worry and anxiety is the place where so many of us seem to live. If only letting go were as easy as letting go the steering wheel of a parked car.
Meditation and mindfulness are two practices which aim to bring us into the “parked car” of the present moment. However, even within those practices, stress-inducing-thoughts can still flourish out of our control.
Lacking control over our thoughts can be a frustrating experience. We have the goal of being present which can sometimes seem impossible to actually achieve. And that is the problem: Being present is not a goal, it is the place we already are whether or not we recognize it to be the case. There is nothing to be achieved because it has already been achieved for us.
Being present is the hardest place to be for a mind that has been trained to always be striving for something in the future or regretful of something in the past. Thus, we seek others to find the answers. We seek meditation teachers and gurus, hoping they will have the key that will unlock a sense of deep peace and contentment within us.
There is nothing wrong with searching for peace from others. Every great adventure or quest is a search to find something new. And the characters we meet along our path are also our teachers, helping us learn who we are.
Yet as is true with many stories, in the end, we find that we had the power and worthiness within us all along. What we began our journey pursuing from a sense of lack is something we realize we always had. We realize that we are present, and it is the only place we could possibly ever be.
The realization of present presence is not something one can have simply by going to a store and purchasing it from a shelf. It is a gift from experiencing life to the fullest. This speaks to something which is not spoken of enough in meditation circles: The necessity of Grace.
Grace empowers us to experience the present. The more in tune we are with grace, the more we can let go of our own striving and attempts to fill what we feel we lack.