Counselor's Corner: The peace of the present moment

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Fred Cavaiani

Tension happens when I worry about the past and focus on the future. Nothing has to change for me to find happiness. It is experienced in this present moment embraced gently and slowly. When I look for what will bring me happiness by what I might possess or how other people may treat me, it doesn’t work. When I stay in the past, it is an empty embrace. When I anticipate the future, it becomes another empty fantasy. Love, life and God are experienced in the present moment.

There is goodness and positive energy in each moment. There is love in every moment. Everything and everyone in life exists because there is a positive energy of the creator in everything and everyone. But I must pay attention.

Life is meant to be experienced gently and slowly. When this happens, I am able to embrace whatever comes my way. Life is not meant to be getting something done quickly so I can finish it and then relax. When I focus gently on what I am doing now, I experience a peace and a depth that I never knew existed.

It is never good energy to worry about how other people should be. I have no control over that. But there is such positive peace when I remain in this moment and look for the goodness and presence of God in this moment.

Over the years, the energy I would use in condemning others, griping about others and how the world is in such a dark place never helped me find peace. But a gentle embrace and focus on this present moment has brought great peace into my life. 

We are not victims of life. We are volunteers to how we embrace each moment. Possessions, popularity, and financial success are not what bring peace and happiness. Length of life is not what brings joy and happiness. Living lovingly and reflectively one moment at a time is what brings a person into a deeper experience of God and a peaceful experience of goodness.

When I gently embrace this moment, I find goodness. Gratitude surfaces as I slowly embrace this moment. I pay attention to what is around me and who is with me. Gratitude and love deepen. I begin to realize that I don’t have to change anyone or anything. I simply have to be present to this sacred moment like typing this article for the many papers I write for every two weeks. And no one has to like this article for me to be happy. But I must write with love and kindness for me to be happy in this moment.

There is so much inner freedom when the present moment is embraced. I become free from judgments of others. I become free from anxiety about the past or worrying about the future. I experience this moment positively and experience goodness in this moment. Negativity departs and positive feelings surface in what I see and whom I see.

Yesterday I had the privilege of driving two of our granddaughters to different places. Just listening to each one in the car talking and sharing with me was a joy. Each time I get a chance to be with our seven grandchildren in a focused manner brings joy and peace. Each time I get a chance to listen to our adult children and their spouses, I become more fully alive. Each time I attentively listen to another person, something peaceful and profound happens. I think it happens because I am simply focusing on the moment, not on what is going to happen next.

When I get tense about something, I need to stop, stay in the moment, slow down, and experience what I see or whom I see in this moment.

There is much goodness everywhere. But this goodness is always in this present moment. Peace is always present in the gentle embrace and focus on this moment. When I do this, I let go of controlling others and I let go of judging or condemning others. The gentle embrace and experience of this moment pushes me into a positive experience of life. It turns me toward a positive experience of God. It helps me to appreciate the uselessness of negativity in thoughts, words and actions. It helps me to appreciate the peacefulness of love and kindness.

Life is really quite simple. Live gently in this present moment. This approach helps me to appreciate the importance of taking time for quiet reflection in prayer and meditation and continue this quiet reflection throughout the day. Only in God is my soul at rest. This quote was stated by St. Augustine over 1,700 years ago. But it becomes activated only in this present moment. Tension and misery leave when I gently embrace this moment. And my soul becomes at rest.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com.

 

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