Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The secret of life...

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.--James Taylor

Hearing the tail end of this song on the radio yesterday got me to thinking about my own experiences and struggle with time.

Just saying I struggle with time sounds kind of silly.  It is like saying I struggle with gravity,  or with air.  So it is not time itself, but the layers of meaning, my own self-limiting perceptions that cause the struggle.

I tend to imagine time as linear, which of course it isn't, but almost everything in our culture save theoretical physics reinforces this idea.  Looking forward and looking backward robs this moment, right now, of its power and pleasure.

So I try to stay in the present moment.  And fail, and come back again.

And not only has the seeming linearity of time caused me distress, but so has my perception of it as being finite.  I only have so much time, and it is never enough, and it is running out.  Yes, surely I am mortal and will die to this existence as I know it.   But the fear and the rushing through (or holding back) has caused me to miss the magic of many moments, or to fail to register them fully in my memories in a meaningful way.

So I try be mindful, fully awake and alive to whatever is happening right now without ruminating about my mortality.  Meditation helps, yet I fixate time and again.

Then there is also the tendency to think of time as a commodity, like "no time to spare," which can lead me to an attitude of hoarding, being stingy and selfish with my time, instead of giving it freely to others.  The only antidote seems to be to try to cultivate an attitude of "yes" to whatever is happening in the moment, and to say "yes" as much as appropriate to the requests of others.

So I still hear myself saying no, and try to remember that we are all here for each other.

If anyone reading has any thoughts about all this, please share!  I need to learn from you!

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