By: Kyle Elden
Arriving at someplace more desirable at some future time is an illusion. This is it.
By: Jon Kabat-Zinn
I love this quote. It is reminding me about the practice of gratitude and being present for experience as well as accepting what is. The old & wise Serenity Prayer "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference" speaks to this as well. This could, at first glance, appear to encourage denial of things that might presently be less than ideal. However, it provokes me to acknowledge what is good, bountiful, and blessed at this current time and to also recognize, from a place of acceptance, those things in life that either I just simply cannot control or are calling to be changed, let go of, or transformed. Often when things in our lives or selves are highlighted, either by someone else or our own awareness, that would benefit us if they were changed, it evokes feelings of inadequacy or guilt/shame. If we can, at this present moment, realize that "this is it" we can begin to see our lives through the lens of "serenity" through which we can rest in the current fabric of our life and stare with awe at the blessings and gifts that are beautifully woven into an intricate and unique design that is ours alone. Even in our darkest hours, in the most profound flaws or mistakes we experience or endure, there exists a multitude of opportunity for the practice of gratitude and for embarking on making positive change where it can be enacted. At a church service this past weekend I was reminded that our lives are marked by potential, we are made in "God's image" - for which there is no greater potential. And while we will never be perfect, we can realize that "arriving at someplace more desirable at some future time is an illusion. This is it." helps us discontinue trying to fill ourselves in unhealthy and un-fulfilling ways, or looking to the future, which has yet to exist, to bring us what it is we truly want -- but to seize the moment, seize the day, to graciously accept what it is that has been given to us, to clean up the messes and mistakes we may have made to the best of our ability, and most importantly, to be in relationship with God and experience the grace that is abound.