One of the key wisdoms I’ve come to know in my life is to always appreciate what is here, rather than search for (and lament) what is not. If you hold the latter focus, you will always find something missing. If you hold the former, the world will open up around you in miraculous ways. Some people call this a gratitude practice, and that’s a good name for it. Life on Earth is so rich with experiential treasures, so much to be grateful for.
In every moment, there is a surplus of wonder in your life. The air you breathe, the sky above you, your friends and family, all of them precious beyond words. Yet, not every person, event, experience, or detail in life is always within your perceptual field. You can have one particular experience today and an entirely different one tomorrow, each of them seemingly separate. If you expand your awareness, however, both experiences are connected.
We live on a planet of polarities, and we are learning to navigate it, to find balance and harmony within that world. The middle path is one that is inclusive of everything within each moment. You don’t get lost in opposites, which can lend itself to only experiencing loss. Instead, you see everything around you as part of a greater network of meaning and connection in the universe. There is no absence, only presence.
I find when I live my life this way, within that presence, then I am always full of appreciation for what is instead of feeling regretful about what is not. It is definitely a practice though—gratitude, appreciation, inclusiveness, whatever you want to name it. The field of polarity that surrounds us can pull us into the opposite of appreciation—into sadness over the past or fear about the future. When I remember to re-center myself and look at the world from present-moment awareness, I see a surplus of wonder, not a deficit.
So I practice, each day I practice. On my morning walks, I remind myself: “____ is here” or “I am grateful for ____.” With each new addition to those sentences, my heart opens more. It is amazing how a few minutes of doing that can shift my consciousness into a much more expansive and inclusive state. Presence fills, and absence drains, us.
If we want to find balance and equilibrium in our lives, then I can think of no better way than to love what is here, not long for what is missing. It’s all a mental construct really, a trick of human perception that tells us that everything is separate from us (including God), and that we can’t know the world as a whole in each moment within our consciousness. If the entire universe (uni- means “one”) is of a piece, constantly evolving energy and light, then in truth we are never separate from anything, throughout eternity. So “here” cancels out “not here,” and there is only Presence, which is another name for God or Source.
You hold the universe within you. You hold all seeming opposites within you. You hold God within you. You are Presence itself. When you remember that, then you are always “here,” and so is everything else. And all you can feel is thankfulness and love for the miracle of life you are living.