Being Present Sucks. It’s beautiful and real, but it sucks.

Being Present Sucks. It’s beautiful and real, but it sucks.

I used to search, seek, search, seek. I was on this path to discover something to find something.

What I didn’t see, is that what I was doing was trying to escape reality so that I could find the fantasy world that was in my head, in my mind, in my dreams somewhere. Climbing, striving, grinding, pushing towards the perfection that I thought would save me from the devastation of not being the woman that I saw myself as.

Many teachers have looked at me and said something like “Dear one, you seek and you know not what you are looking for”. This was comforting and not comforting all at once.

What was it that I was seeking and what would I find in my blind search of it?

Every time I have “Found” what I was seeking, it has been completely the opposite of whatever I thought it would be or feel like. Often times when I would arrive at the place I was seeking, I would feel like “this is it? This? This can’t be it. It feels like shit”. Because what I was seeking was a projection in my head of a perfect fantasy land, a perpetual way to exit this reality in a way.

At some point my life blew up enough and I was in enough pain to realize that being present would be better than whatever hell I was in at the moment, but even then, my idea of presence, was a little glamorized.

Being present sucks. And it’s beautiful, gorgeous, real, and true. But it sucks. It’s not a fantasy land, it’s real as fuck. And there are prickly, sharp, ugly, not so nice thoughts, feelings, and truths in the present. 

I find myself living in “the void”, the still, quiet, silence of nothingness more and more these days. There is nothing here, it is total dark stillness and potential. In theory, it sounds awesome. Everything and anything can be created freely from this place. There is pure choice, no attachments, nothing holding or tying you down. But when you’ve spent you’re life feeding off getting attention from being in victim mode, when you’ve spent your life using make-shift projections of the future dictate your ability to feel good {or not so good} in the now, you might find that like me, when you enter the void, you quickly want to exit because it feels like death.  Having no attachments to anything when your whole life has been built on them for survival, it’s not so pretty feeling. There is nothing to do and nothing to cling to here. For the doer and over-achiever in me, that is it’s worst fear.

And it is death. It is death. Learning to not fear death has been an unrelenting cycle for me. But it’s the only way that I can truly live. The only way to live is to accept death, viscerally.

Being present means no more using visions and dreams of the future to attach myself to and pull myself towards a grande goal that will be my savior. Being present, living in the present meant that every way I had learned to live and survive by exiting the present, abandoning myself, would have to die. The end of my world as I knew it. I hadn’t realized that I had been waiting for and wanting a savior.

There is nothing that will save me. Nothing that will make me feel better or good outside of myself. Not achieving goals, not having a man choose me to be ‘the one’ so that I can have some comfort of security in our marriage that would be an effectual prison of my own creation where I could keep myself numbed out and striving for perfection, not having a baby to keep me moving forward and having something, someone else outside of me to keep living for, not the second coming of jesus, not my father, not my mother, not my spiritual teachers, not knowing what my purpose is, not any books, not any workshops or audio programs… NOTHING.

It has taken me months and months of letting go, dying, birthing, creating, falling, getting back up, dying, birthing, creating, letting go, falling, getting back up… To reach this place where I finally “get it”. And I hesitate to even say that because the moment I say that I get it, something will inevitably collapse in my world. Let’s just say that what I mean is I feel it, viscerally in my body.

I have to choose to be here, to be alive. The responsibility of that, is immense. And I didn’t want it, but I would say that I did, and think that I did, parts of me still kinda want to go back to not having it. I didn’t realize really what it would mean or feel like to feel and accept that much responsibility for my own power. And that’s a big part of the perfectionists struggle; we strive toward a perfectionist ideal for ourselves because we don’t think we can handle the reality of what is. We can’t live with ourselves if we are not “perfect”. The weight of reality is too much for us.

Imagine, there is NO ONE and nothing else to blame or place attachment on for how you will feel and respond in this world. It’s all you. I know that I’ve read this, known this, seen it for years, we all have. But when we say we want to let go of being a victim and be responsible for the creation of our own lives as well as have the awareness to be responsible stewards of this planet, do we really know what we are asking for? I don’t think that I really did.

So every time I was presented with the opportunity to step into what I was asking for, I couldn’t do it, because what I was asking for and what I thought I wanted or how it would feel were not the same thing. I literally could not step into it, because that would mean a swift death to the parts of me that only know how to operate in a world where I am not responsible for all my own choices and I can attach all my feeling good or not feeling good to things outside of me. 

Having this much choice is a blessing, but let me tell you, it’s NOT the fluffy savior that you think it is.

Every moment you must choose: to live, to be in joy, to feel the feelings coursing through you, to rise above the patterns of your ‘wounded story human’, to have compassion for that human, and then to allow your higher self and your being guide you. EVERY FUCKING MOMENT YOU MUST CHOOSE. Choose to surrender, choose to follow your heart. Choose how you want to feel regardless of what’s around you.  That is not to be taken lightly.

Of course, with practice, I am finding that I build more and more unconscious competence to continue to choose and to re-wire my brain and my being to let go of and accept all of me. And with time and accumulation of this new-er way of operating for me, the world starts to reflect back to me the internal joy and peace that I am vibrating, each day more and more free of the pent up anger, grief, and resentment that I held in my tangled womb.

I’m reaching a space where I’m just done: done fixing myself, done seeking and searching, done waiting, done needing to know my purpose on this planet in this lifetime in order to experience myself and my life…. when I finally just let go and accepted the not knowing why I am here or what my purpose is, I was able to actually feel connected to whatever that is. Can I explain it to you… with words? No. It’s much deeper than words and for once, I don’t need to KNOW to be.

I DON’T NEED TO KNOW TO BE. I DON’T NEED TO KNOW TO BE!!!! 

There is nothing to seek anymore, it’s all right here. It always has been.

The more I sink into this place, the void that feels like shit but is starting to feel more and more awesome, the beauty, peace, and grace of life comes to me. The world is a more vibrant and tangible place. Literally I see with new eyes, the trees are so vivid, the colors of the world and bright and outrageous, more joy, more of what I desire starts to show up. I am tasting what actual surrender feels like more and more and more. And take it from me, it’s not what you think it is. It is so much more. The mind you’re in right now can never conceptualize this place.

It’s not what you think it is, and it might not be or feel ‘better’ at first, but when you allow yourself to sink in, you will realize that it’s exactly what is without any static or filters around it, and you will be tasting the truth, seeing what is real, feeling what is real.

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This is what poured out of me in about 20 minutes this morning. If you have any thoughts, reflections, or insights from reading this, I would love to hear them. Write a comment on the blog or send me an email. I love to hear from you 🙂

The picture in this post is from my magical haircut by the amazing Sharon Morrisey at Fred Segal Salon in Santa Monica. Sharon is amazing and a hair genius. I just let her do what she felt would be awesome on my head and she totally listented to what I liked and didn’t like, but this exercise in surrender was so amazing. I never could have told her how to cut my hair this way and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I will post more pics on FB… follow me there if you’re not already.

Much love to you on this sunday!

Lauren

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