"I am here!" "I see you!" As Mark Nepo says, at the close of his wonderful "Book of Awakening," these two statements may be the most important things we could ever repeat to ourselves and to each other throughout the New Year.
If you make resolutions, make this one: "Daily, I resolve to remind myself ... to say to myself, 'I am here' -- that's all!"
Isn't that enough?
Think of the profundity of this statement.
When you say, "I am here" you are affirming the only two realities that are: "YOU" and "HERE" or, "now." When Moses had his spiritual encounter with God -- or, with himself, if you prefer -- and received his instructions to act as a deliverer, he asked, "Who shall I say has sent me?"
God responded, "Tell them, 'I Am' sent you."
Strange response to an otherwise very logical question, isn't it?
Not when you get it.
Not when you know that you and God are the great "I AM." Nothing needs to be added to this, does it? No crash course in self-esteem? What more could you need to face life?
When we don't understand this, however, we go back to adding...
"I am ... American."
"I am ... a Ph.D."
"I am ... an author."
"I am ... a Christian."
"I am ... Baptist."
"I am ... an atheist."
"I am ... Roman Catholic."
All of which are efforts at feeling important, significant, valuable, connected -- as if I have an identity. A future. A voice. A family. Even an eternity.
Why do we add to who we are?
Only because we don't know we ARE already!
The assistant to my dentist once asked me, "Do you believe in heaven ... in eternity ... in life after death?"
I responded, "I believe in life here ... and now. What else is there? When heaven comes ... if eternity appears ... if there's such a thing as an after-life or another life ... the fact is, what ever is out there will only ever appear here?"
Think about this. Think long and hard about this.
Why would you live in hopes of an unknown there, if you cannot live Life in the known here?
"I am!" What more could be added to this? When you can say this, without the impulsive need to add something else, you are beginning to make the greatest discovery of inner space ... your "I am-ness."
"I am." Since I have spent the greater part of my life adding, I will spend this year subtracting -- all the way down to "I am!" This will be my primary meditation throughout the new year.
That, of course, and maybe just one addition: "I am here."
Because this grounds me in the present moment -- the only moment that ever is. So set goals, if you'd like. They can be useful. No goal, however, could ever supersede the goal of being who you really are -- being the I AM that YOU ARE. Further, nothing could be more important than being deeply attached not to tomorrow, next to next week, not to next month or year but to that one reality out of which tomorrow, next week, month or year emerges -- this present moment. When tomorrow comes, guess HOW it comes? There's much you cannot face when you live in the imaginary mind of tomorrow. There is nothing, however, you cannot face when you face it now.
So, I will repeat, as often as it comes to me, and I hope it comes frequently, "I am here."
There is nothing out there I cannot face when I am here.
The other resolution is this: "I see you!"
What could be more important to all relationships -- the one with yourself, with your significant other, your children, grandchildren, your colleagues at work, yes, yes, even your perceived enemies than to say, and to say deeply, "I see you?"
Isn't much of the tension in relationships, much of the misunderstanding at work, much of the violence in this world somehow connected to the often misunderstood feeling, "Nobody sees me! ... Knows me ... Loves me ... Recognizes me"?
I cannot solve all of the problems in this world. But, in the little world where I live, I can promise you -- and promise myself every time it comes to me. "This moment ... right now ... I see you!"
I have a suspicion, even a prediction, most of our world's problems would be solved almost immediately, if I could live with 20/20 vision when it comes to seeing you. To seeing "them."
So today, and everyday, throughout the coming New Year, uppermost on my heart, frequently from my lips, you will hear, I will hear, "I am here!"
You will see, I will see, that, "I see you!"
Amazing that something so simple contains the secret to happiness for you, for me, for us.
Happy New Year! Happy New World!