The Call to be Present – Even when those around you aren’t…

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Trio-of-BuddhasYou know how it is.  You wake up in the morning feeling grateful and alive. Smells, sights, sounds are all intense and very real. You set your intention to make this day count in the big scheme of things—to enjoy it; to seize it; “CARPE DIEM!” you shout at the beautiful woman in the mirror. Then it happens. You encounter other human beings. They aren’t happy, and they aren’t seizing anything but your joy. They may be grumpy, self-centered, vibrating at a low level of energy, complaining; and frankly raining on your parade. What do you do?

Most of us fall into roles we have played before; roles we saw as children; roles that are not in alignment with our highest good. We try to fix the problem. We become immediately codependent—caring more about that person’s state of mind than they care themselves. We tease, cajole, and encourage; trying desperately to raise that person’s awareness or energy level to match our own. It almost always fails. Why?

First of all, if we believe that happiness is a choice, then obviously that person is choosing to be unhappy—to focus on what’s wrong with the world instead of what’s right. Secondly you can’t raise another person’s vibrational energy level. That is something only they can do. And lastly you have just traded being present in the situation exactly how it is for the picture in your head of how it should be.

Many spiritual traditions address presence, joy, and contentment. The one I am familiar with is the teachings of Jesus who told his followers that if they would turn over those pictures in their minds (actually their “bellies” or “viscera”), that he would replace them with deep joy, constantly flowing from within like an artesian well that is not dependent on outside pumping. It just flows.

So today, let’s stop focusing on the grumpy adolescents, and the husband going through “manopause,” and the coworkers who are bored with their own lives; and let’s truly be alive by being present. Because after all, death is absence—and the opposite of death is not life; but presence. Showing up for the nitty gritty of life just as it is; and seizing the day with overflowing joy! Carpe Diem!


This article was written by Dori Abbott, one of our Woman Within Eastern USA members.