Being Present

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One of the most important, most helpful things I have done for myself was learning to be present. I wish I had figured this out years ago. I wouldn’t have suffered nearly as much as I did.

I don’t really remember what sparked this in me, but in case you haven’t noticed, I do think deeply, feel deeply, and a part of that is always about trying to help myself be better. For a long while now, many years, I have struggled with being in the moment. I drift far away. I don’t even realize I do it. I hate that about myself because I often drift away when my husband tries to talk to me and I never want to ignore him, or not hear what he has to say. I don’t want to do that to anyone. I think being alone a lot, not having enough human interaction is what contributed to it becoming so severe.

I know this is caused by the abuse, that is what our minds do to survive what is happening. And with the dissociation goes the memories. That is how we survive terrible experiences. I have had plenty of people throughout my life force me into this state to survive. So on some level I don’t ask myself why, I realize how could I not?

My whole life I have done this to some extent. I have watched many movies, but never really saw most of them. I never really “watched” any of them, unless they were meaningful, heartfelt, or took me inside someone else’s life. It actually became a joke. For instance, I have seen Groundhog Day more than half a dozen times, but have never “seen” the ending. While it is funny, it is also sad.

My husband is very, very understanding. His feelings never get hurt. He is just sad for me. He always is gentle with me. He often will just touch my arm and ask me where I went or let me know I drifted away. And that is when I realize that it even happened.

I think some of it has to do with being hyper-vigilant. Having a feeling that I can never let my guard down, that I have to always be protecting myself, my inner world of torment.

A few months ago, before starting my blog, I decided to make a real conscious effort to stay present, to live in the moment, to stay present in my own life.

What I realized was that inside of me, in my thoughts, it was dark and depressing, filled with heartache, sadness, and pain. It wasn’t a good, healthy place for me to be. So I decided, on my own to stop going there. And I discovered that it wasn’t actually all that hard. It took a lot of consious effort, but I could do it. And being present was a whole lot more peaceful and calm. Now it is only a real struggle if I am stressed.

I managed to pull it off, but never really stopped to acknowledge what an accomplishment that was. Now if I struggle, it has to come looking for me, but I don’t go looking for it anymore.

Consequently, it throws me off when it does come. But I am slowly coming to realize that when things trigger anxiety, fear, or just crying uncontrollably, to just stop and feel it, sit with it, listen to it. I have had more of these since starting my blog. But I have survived them. They often come with a deep message, a revelation for me. And once I discover what that is, usually through writing, I begin to breathe and sleep again. And with each experience I am learning that these are not the end of my voice, of moving forward. But that they are a part of the journey.

I may always have unexpected times of getting knocked off balance. But I am learning that I can get back up again. The fear of these times was crippling me before. But I am learning to not be so afraid of them, but to accept them as a part of my journey back to myself.

Staying out of my thoughts and staying in the present has brought a lot more peace into my life.

And I did this all on my own. I did it by myself, for myself. I did it!

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7 thoughts on “Being Present

  1. WOW!!! this post really made me smile!

    With my 8 years of work in therapy, it took me a long long time to learn how to be IN he present moment! I was a lot like you, I drifted off into another world and people said they could tell when I wasn’t present.

    When I learned how to be in the present moment, I noticed so much more around me! It has taken a lot of healing in therapy to get this to happen.

    I LOVE your story and GOOD FOR YOU!!! but just know, that if you do fall short of being present, its OKAY, you are working on it.. allow yourself to go to that place sometimes, but just know you are healing and working on being more present.

    I myself write about my healing in therapy and this writing of yours really made me smile!

    Karen

    Finding The Grace Within
    http://www.findingthegracewithin.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so very much for all of your words. As therapy is not an option for me, I have struggled to gain my life back bit by bit. While it is and has been a very long and hard struggle, a real true fight for my own life, I have had the chance to see what I am made of. I have lived with the most basic of human needs unmet, I have lived my own real life “On Walden Pond.” I feel as though I have faced what truly is man’s last frontier and that is facing what lies deep within our own self, the utter depths of aloneness and with all of its anguish, I have survived. I must say it has taken me seventeen years of deep struggle to learn to be present. And yes the times when I still go there, I realize there are messages for me in them, something to say if I listen. When I finally experienced living in the moment, it made me smile too!

      It has been a pleasure meeting you. I will be sure to visit your blog and read about your journey too. Again, thank you.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Blue, you have achieved a big insight to life.

    You know I am almost never writing my own blogs myself and rather refer to quotes, poems, writings, music of others. Only on rare occasions I phrase my own thoughts. One where I did this was a blog with the title “What does it mean to live the moment”. You find its link below:
    https://3wwwblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/what-does-it-mean-to-live-the-moment/
    What is really interesting to me is the different approach we have to this topic.
    I am trying to tell people in my post how to re-focus from the future onto the present.
    You are concentrating on getting from your past into the present.

    If you go to my blog site (main page) click on the black square (with the three white lines in it) at to right of this page, another page opens with a search option at the top. Please go there and type in “tolle” and you will find a lot of amazing quotes to this topic, that you might enjoy reading, too.

    Practicing on living the moment (or equivalent being present) has helped me a lot to get rid of or, at least, reduce my fears. What helped me most is to “meditate” or think about the following fact:
    We only live in the present ,that is the only thing we have at our hand. We cannot live in the past, as it is gone. We cannot live in the future, as it has not yet arrived.

    I honestly have to congratulate you for such insights and your consequence of practicing to live the moment. In my eyes this is a tremendously important step for you and something you can indeed be very proud of. I am convinced this is one of the key elements to healing and to access life at its fullest.

    This post has been very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Jens

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really hope you can achieve this. It can bring you some peace that you have not known. Always going inside is kind of like returning over and over again to our abuser or the most painful parts of our life expecting things to work out differently when it is already done, it is over. When I lived inside of myself it offered me nothing but struggle and heart ache. And losing my present life too. Now when I am taken there at times (and sometimes more often than I would like) there are meaningful messages for me. Before when I was there I think I was always waging warfare deep inside myself. I did not want any of it to be so. Now I surrender to it and let it teach me. I hope this is helpful to you.

      Liked by 1 person

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