Safe in this moment.

September 16, 2018 § 4 Comments

You are safe in this moment.

If you weren’t you wouldn’t be reading my blog post.

Everything is fine. Neither fight, nor flight needs to be called in. No action is required.

So, take a conscious breath…and let it out slowly.

But maybe you are only fleetingly in this moment, the words on your screen registering intermittently because much of your brain is occupied with scouting ahead, scanning the future for that gray speck you just know will be trouble when it gets here.

Your body, which has a hard time distinguishing between present and future danger, responds, not to the words you are reading, but to what you are imagining. Muscles tense, your heart gallops.

When that looming threat fails to materialize, you will probably convince yourself you’ve robbed that bad thing of its power by calling it out, by naming it.

This mirrors the magical thinking that assured you, looking under your childhood bed was what turned monsters into shoes and dust balls.

Chances are, you had nothing to do with containing the perceived threat, which was probably not a threat at all, but just a blot on the horizon as random and transient as a cloud shadow.

Things do happen, bad things. But most moments are safe. Like this one. Safe is our steady state–if threats lived up to our expectations we’d all be dead by now.

But the mind won’t let us believe that. It keeps piling on the, yeah, buts…

Yeah, but, what about the past? There’s proof positive bad stuff happens. See, it’s all here, archived in memory!

The mind doesn’t really want to forget, not badly enough to stop picking at the past like a scab that would heal if only we would leave it alone.

Too bad the safe, ordinary moments are so easily forgotten. Moments like this one.

The past, good or bad; the future, good or bad; neither exists anywhere but in our minds.

How many of our nows are fraught with distress and peril? So, so few. And yet we ruin the calm of now imagining and remembering, when we could be experiencing.

Instead of living, we relive, or anticipate. But the metabolism of life is active only in this moment.

Take a deep breath and look around at the way the light falls through that window, smell the air, feel the tick of life in your body.

Stretch in the luxury of this commodious now, and relax.

You are safe in this moment.

Note: I write this as an expert at losing my grip on the moment. This is a lesson I strive to learn and only achieve intermittently. It is one of the hardest things for me to do; take my own advice.

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