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Is That All There Is?

"The moment", is so misunderstood.

In her version of the song that serves as the title for this piece, Peggy Lee tells a pretty depressing story, and it seems that (at least, in the song) her glass was very much half empty-- "the moment" was no place she wanted to be. Wallowing in misery-- she did a great job of that. But was she curious about misery-- exploring it, observing it-- then letting it pass? I don't think so.

I certainly understand what it is to, "break out the booze, and have a ball" but actually, that particular moment is not all there is. It's undoubtedly moment, but it's not all there is (waking up the next morning, usually puts the lie to that notion). I am truly sorry for anyone who embraces the notion of wallowing in any kind of emotion-- awareness, yes. Wallowing, no.

Those of us who are medically susceptible to emotional overwhelm should be treating with a medical or psychological professional if they choose to visit "the moment", because it's not easy, and often not particularly pleasant. Awareness of what we're thinking or feeling can be tricky. It requires a degree of discipline, and a healthy ability to let things that threaten to overwhelm us, pass.

Secular mindfulness and the practice of meditation are, essentially, brain-training. Like physical fitness, our mental/emotional fitness is something that most of us can get better at, by exercising what I call the "let it go" muscle. Observe our thoughts-- be curious about our emotions-- then, let them go. We can learn to do that, because we are not our thoughts. And we are not our emotions. We see them, and we feel them, but we are not them.

I know that may sound like some kind of hocus-pocus word salad nonsense to many, but it's really true. More about that in another post. Suffice it to say, what many of us think of as, "the moment" is more complicated than many might think.

A measure of time, is definitely not all there is.


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