I have to stress how life changing and instrumental the topic of presence actually is. I know it appears like I have answered this though I haven’t even come close. Today I will show you how presence is just the beginning of a greater journey for those seeking answers about themselves.
As discussed, being present is not about avoiding your thoughts. Instead, you are calming your mind so that when your thoughts come back you are in a better emotional place to handle/deal or work through them. This is the power of being present (as I see it) and I write this because I wish someone explained it to me this way when I was looking for an outlet during my deepest depression, which remained consistent for over 20 years of my life.
Anyone who suffers from depression, anxiety, suppression, feels lost, sad and/or has a tormented past knows that we can’t turn these issues/emotions off like a light switch. This being said, I believe that with the right information and guidance we can work our way through our problems.
I am splitting chapters (due to the level of importance I believe each topic holds) into key areas such as ‘the ego and the observer’, ‘self-love’ and ‘acceptance’. For this reason I can’t go in-depth into them now, but, I will go through how they link directly to presence. So here we go…
Although external factors beyond our own body and mind (such as daily life) may affect us emotionally, it is how we process these experiences that create the story we have written about our lives. It’s a story that we have designed through the collection of our experiences and our egotistical need to try to learn and collate this information. We then narrate our lives with whatever narrative we have created for ourselves. What’s interesting is that out of a whole life of experiences it is usually only certain key points (a couple of moments) that we have created this narrative with. From there, we have then sought after justification to support this narrative because we want to feel justified that the story we have created for ourselves is correct, otherwise, we will lose one of the most important things we have, our identity.
I have never really been one to look into architypes. I know that there is some satisfaction with reading definitions about your identity, but, I fear that a person might then accept the good and bad about being that architype and no longer try to better themselves. This speaks a lot about society. What I am personally trying to say here is that the identity that we created for ourselves is not one that we have to hold onto. We can change it simply by changing how we perceive our life.
So why do we start any process of healing with presence? Let’s break the process down.
1. We bring ourselves back to presence as much as possible (as per the prior chapter) so that we can calm the brain. By calming our brain we not only think clearer though we also become less controlled by our emotions. When less controlled by our emotions we begin to stop reacting to things around us and look at life from a clearer point of view.
2. The above ‘clearer point of view’ is what is called ‘the third person perspective’. This perspective is about looking at life without being manipulated by our emotions that could influence our viewpoint. Without the presence of an overactive ego (which may be tied with self-loathing, pity, anger or fear) we can now make informative decisions in our life without being controlled by our more primal instincts.
3. Continuing with the above, imagine how not being driven by our emotions can affect daily life. With a clear head the mind ends up questioning why emotions have risen rather than those emotions taking control of our actions. The question of ‘why is this hear or what am I doing?’ is then a rabbit hole which takes people into their past to where they believe the emotion first latched onto certain experiences. This happens naturally.
4. Following from the above again, once we find out what drives us and where our beliefs begun (what event from our past started this belief system or emotional reaction) we can then choose to release this emotion from the situation. We are then not only releasing ourselves from emotional connections we are also beginning to define and change our own character.
5. Whist working through the above ‘acceptance’ is something that commonly comes up. Acceptance of oneself comes by seeing that there is no point in being irritated about being who we are. As we are already this person there is no benefit of any extra form of discomfort. We got the message and now we can move on. Although we may want to change ourselves in the future we no longer need to be driven by pain. We can change by simply making the decision to do so. This type of higher acceptance then coincides with self-love.
6. Self-love is walking that fine line between who you are, who you believe you are, who you were and who you want to be. Choices in your life are made without interference from past or future fears, worries or doubts. In many ways self-love is not only about connecting with yourself though also being at peace with the world around you, and this includes being at peace with death.
The above is part of what I will be explaining in the future. I thought it was important to show the trajectory of these blogs so that you can understand why ‘presence’ is much more than just being ‘at one with yourself’. Presence is not a moment of peace, it can also lead to a different way of looking at the world entirely.
I’ll leave you with this. A while back I had an awakening. It was not an escape from depression like I had wished but rather a chance to walk beside it. Over years of ripping away the surface of this depression I was able to work through it, piece by piece. I now say that I am not depressed yet I acknowledge that it is still a part of me. This part of me is something that I accept and use to remind myself how lucky I am to be alive. The above process is how I personally managed to get to where I am today, and since, I have read many books of people that have undergone similar processes. For this reason, for those who want to make a change in their life, I believe that this is ‘one of’ the great paths.