Being Present

One of my favorite authors, Richard Rohr, uses a 12 step term called being “present.” To be present is “to know what you need to know in the moment. To be present is to allow the moment, the person, the idea or the situation to change you.” It’s the concept of “simple, clear and uncluttered presence.”

Now that my kids are getting older, I’ve been realizing just how much I wasn’t ‘present’ years before. From traveling, busyness and speaking engagements to just being overwhelmed with pressures and life, I wasn’t present often times. I certainly wasn’t present for Samantha in the least bit once life took off. I sincerely tried to be, but we can be sincere, well meaning, and at the same time just plain distracted and self- absorbed.

Lately though, I’ve been remembering the need to be present, much like when we first set out at recovery. Obviously, if there is one season that will seek to steal from you any form of concentration, it will be the holidays. The temptation to allow confusion and distraction by hurt, raw need or fear continues to creep in. More and more I find myself wanting to enjoy life, even with all of its struggles, by just being present for others, and for me.

Rohr goes on to say “It takes major surgery to get head, heart, and body to put down their defenses, their false programs for happiness and their many forms of resistance to what is right in front of them.” I guess my question would be what is right in front of you today? For many it’s young kids who are in their own struggle and pain. Perhaps it’s older children who may or may not know what’s going on, but can sense something’s not right. It may be the numbness which comes from Christmas not seeming anywhere near normal this year. It may be an inordinate amount of hurt and pain that seems unrelenting. I know. But I’m convinced, part of the recipe to endure and still heal is to be present, that you may then make decisions based upon your whole presence, not a cluttered knee jerk reaction.

I love the quote by Rohr which says “When all of you is there, you will know. When all of you is present, the banquet will begin. That’s the rub of any conversion experience. You only know how much you needed it when you are on the other side. That’s why you need the tenacity of faith and hope to carry you across, to most transformational experiences.”

I’d like to encourage you today, to begin to drop your defenses and attempt to be present. Both for others and for yourself. For your own healing. Your own recovery. Your own memories that later in life will comfort you and encourage you. We’re always building memories friends, it’s just a matter of what kind of memories.

Try to be present today. For you. 

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