"I want to move." Melissa said.
"Where to?" I asked.
She responded quickly, "I think L.A. or Colorado would be great."
I inquired, "Is there a problem with where you live now?"
Pondering the question she said, "No, not really. I like my home, the schools are good, and the area is child-friendly. But I still want to be somewhere else."
"So you want to leave the present to some future place. Perhaps something is missing in how you experience the present." I suggested.
"Maybe." Melissa commented.
"You have young children. Do you enjoy playing with them?" I asked.
Looking sad, she said, "Not really. I'm always thinking about what I have to do in the house, the laundry, cleaning the kitchen floor or whatever."
"I see. How about lovemaking?" I asked.
Frowning, Melissa said, "I want to get it over with, so I can do other things."
"Is Matt a good lover?" I asked.
"Yes, he wants to please me, but my mind is somewhere else. I'm thinking about what I'm going to do, like how to toilet train my son who insists on making in his pants, things like that." Melissa said.
"You foreclose experiencing the joys of the here-and-now with what you will be doing. Perhaps at an unconscious level the past is also encroaching on your ability to live and love fully in the present." I suggested.
Smiling, Melissa said, "My mother is terrific, and she's always worked and is productive. Her pick of men is another story. My father is just the opposite."
"What is your father like?" I asked.
Frowning, she said, "He's fat and lazy. He used to be a software expert, but he lost his job and is broke now and he still asks me for gas money. He has no self control and is addicted to shopping, not stuff he needs, just stuff. He has a lot of gadgets, at least 40 pairs of shoes, 50 shirts, many of which are identical. He hasn't used most of the stuff and they still have the sales tags on them. When we were kids we went shopping in his closet."
"So you fear losing control and turning into your father." I interpreted.
"If I let go, I can become lazy like him. Sometimes I sneak time in the daytime and watch TV but then I feel lazy and bad about myself," she said, looking down at the floor.
I continued to interpret. "If you surrender to the experience of the moment, you fear you will be lazy, unproductive, without self control, which is your past. To rectify your feelings, your mind takes you to ways to be productive. That of course is in the future and you lose the beauty of life in the present."
"I see what you are saying. But how do I change? How do I surrender to the present?" Melissa asked.
In our busy world, if your mind, like Melissa's mind is caught up in what you have to do, you are missing out on the peace and joy of the moment. It is only by surrendering to your inner self, your essence, your sense of being, that you can live and love fully.
I would suggest you engage in some form of meditation. There are numerous workshops that you can research online. Here then is one way to engage in the practice of sublime momentary experience.
- Sit in a comfortable erect chair.
- Focus on your deep breathing in and out, and block thought out. When a thought intrudes, let it go and refocus on your breath. At this point you can experience the third eye, the spot between your eyebrows.
- Imagine your body parts dissolving, one by one, your face, your chest, your abdomen, your thighs, legs, feet, toes, arms, hands, fingers. Now imagine a light shining within. This inner peace may only last for a few seconds or moments at first. Enjoy the serenity in the moment.
At first, this inner peace may only last for a few seconds or moments. Enjoy the serenity in the moment. At this point you are at peace in a spiritual space and able to commune with your partner, your children, nature, animals.
Become aware of your inner self in all of your experiences. When your mind is racing into what you will do, bring yourself back into the experience of the moment. For example, if you taking a walk and your mind is busy planning your next moves, let your thoughts go and stay in the moment. Listen to your heart beat, your breath, the feeling in your abdomen, your intestines, the sound of the wind, the firmness of the ground under you, the sight of the trees, the clouds in the sky -- all that you are part of. In this way, a simple walk is a satisfying spiritual experience.
Perhaps one of the most fulfilling, joyful experiences in which you experience the moment is that of making love. The key here is to surrender to the present, to your experience, your inner feelings that surface from deep inside of you, from your essence. Only then can you surrender fully to your partner.
The magic of the moment arises when you let go of self control, and lose yourself in your partner, only to find yourself.
Each moment in time of pure presence, of fully experiencing all your senses, of being in the here and now, is all there is. And moment by moment, we are in the process of creating the future of everlasting love.
For deeper insight into how to create everlasting love, read my book book The New Science of Love: How Understanding the Brain's Wiring Can Help Rekindle Your Relationship (Sourcebooks, Casablanca, 2011).
For more by Dr. Fran Cohen Praver, click here.
For more on love, click here.
For more on relationships, click here.