How many of you know you don't like questions asked of you? How many don't like someone presuming something about you? How many love to sit in a movie, read a good book, eat something wonderful?

We know ourselves by these outside determinants. We know what we like and don't like, what we want others to do or not do. We have judgements and pre-judgements and we know when we're angry or sad or fear something - but, do we really? Do we really know why we just told our daughter she couldn't … Do we know why what our spouse said hurt us to the "quick" and they have no clue. Do we know why we just decided not to take a moment to ourselves?

So many of our responses are reactions, not actions. So many times we are pulled to move faster than what we know is good for us and then we step back into shame or sorrow and get on with the process of building stepping stones of reactivity all around us.

When we react, we are moving from the past, we are not in the moment. Is our spouse really trying to put us down? If the answer is yes, how did you get here? How does it happen that two people marry for love and turn to put downs? How does it happen that the person you married is so awful now, so lacking in understanding, so out to get you? If it isn't your spouse, there may be someone who is in your life in an intimate relationship but doesn't feel on your side.

It happens slowly, is the answer. It happens in moments when we're not in the moment, when we're in the past, perhaps the future. It doesn't happen now. Now, if we are paying attention, is not only the only moment we have, it is the only teachable moment. If we are taught by our history - if we act on our history in the moment of now - well, you can see how that might set up a dynamic for falling into a hole.

If we exhume a body, we know it's what we're doing. We have the digging, the smell, the look of the corpse. When we dig up the past our minds can adapt and tell us what to do as if then is now, but now isn't then and what the mind might have to say is as cracked and yellowed as old newsprint. What the past tells us is about the past. It may relate to now, it may not. It may be helpful, it may not. The past we tend to react from is not like genealogy where we may learn something fun or helpful. The only past acceptable to our present are those thoughts which we know are past thoughts, when we have allowed them to give us a head's up, but not the message whose directions we follow.

When you maintain a practice such as meditation you allow yourself to visit the past, future, angers, scares, lust and all the possible human frailties we are all heir to. There is not a one of us - not me, not you - who doesn't entertain these very human attributes. We are here on this planet together and, with ourselves and our egos pushing into one another, we have the opportunity to learn at every step.

We are all of us the sum of our parts past and our thoughts of the future, we all have been entrained to act in certain ways well before we had the consciousness of our own self. We all struggle with maintaining a sense of ourselves, we all dip back and forth between our needs and the needs of others and the miracle is that we do such a good job and life on this planet really is better than it ever has been. There is more consciousness than ever before, more faith, compassion and love. But as Marion Woodman has said, "the more consciousness you have, the more consciousness you need." Once started, there is no going back. We must do the best we can. We are scripted to a higher standard, to be role models, to be leaders. In a time of great fear and turmoil we are led to believe we can have faith, we can pursue dreams, we can make peace our reality.

How many of you are ready?

Author's Bio: 

Pam White is an artist, photographer, coach and mentor based in CT. Her passion, when she's not rescuing greyhounds, cats and all animals, is to help you find your true course. She is a meditator with thirty years of practice, her four children and many animals will happily tell you how effective mindfulness can be and how happy they are that she practises it. She brings her art and photography/video skills to guiding you to your true self, loving who you are and as passionate as she is about who you are becoming.