It is all very simple.
I used to believe this in a hundred different ways, for a hundred different reasons. In a way that is hard to describe, I still believe it. With at least as much intensity as I used to have for it. But all the reasons I believe it now, are very different than the reasons I believed it then.
When I say it is all very simple now, it means something so very different than it used to.
Before, I had these ways of experiencing the world. These filters.
Some of them were based on past experience. Whenever X comes up, Y inevitably follows.
Some of them were based on ways of understanding the world. People told me (and I listened!) A means B. And it will always lead to C.
Much of it was connected to living with a multiple choice mentality. Things are either this or they are that. I didn’t have much room for ambiguity. For both/and. For embracing the fact that everything that happens is unqiue.
Maybe it began to change when I learned from my breath. I must inhale AND exhale. This is not an either/or proposition. Further, I suspect that I get past my defenses and rationilizations when I am calm. Perhaps, most importantly, I suspect that I can hear God better when I quiet down the chatter in my head.
There is something in the midst all this connected to experiencing each moment as something wholly new and unique Every moment that has ever happened has never happened before. Even if it appeared identical, down to the smallest little piece of it, that second moment has a difference from the first: it comes later, it comes after, it has accumulated something new and different as a result of all the things that occured before it.
When I make the decision to experience each moment as something new, when I reject the desire to categorize it with things that have gone on in the past, I am finding some redemption, even in those hard moments. Often this is something that comes in through my senses. When I live in the moment I am in, I might notice a scent I would have missed. I might see a beautiful interplay of the sunlight and the cloud forms. I might taste the apple I would have been tempted to devour with out even noticing. Other times it comes from a recognition that it is not as bad as it initially seemed, and it not as black-and-white as it appears to be.
It is all very simple.
I am only in this moment. My only responsibility is to live there. I don’t have to align myself with this side or that side. I don’t need to wholly embrace this idea and thoroughly reject that one. It is very simple to hold them both.
It is very simple to say ‘I don’t know.’ It is very simple to validate wisdom where ever it lives. It is very simple to recognize that loving is the most important thing, and choosing which side to be on is usually the way to despair.
There is lots of power in five words, “It is very simple.”
There is also lots of power in two words, “Just this.”
As you meditate, or pray, or play video games, or wash the dishes, or hug your kids, let this be the chorus of the song you are singing by living your life, “Just this.” Let it be your mantra, let it be your fall back, let it be your focus: “Just this.”
When you breathe, or eat, or play chess, or reach a cheesy science fiction novel as you drink a great beer, those two words, “Just this” Are a powerful anchor into living in only this one and single moment. This is all there is, this is all that there needs to be, this is where you are, right here and right now.