Learning to be present in my life—to simply enjoy this moment, right now, with no thought of the next moment—didn’t happen quickly for me. So if you are discouraged by your own progress, take heart.

I can tell you that today I dwell each and every moment in the now, experiencing an enduring inner peace that makes it pure enjoyment to be me.

There is nothing about my being that I doubt anymore, nothing I wish would do a disappearing act.

I don't mean I'm flawless, just that I totally accept myself as a person in progress of emerging into my fullness.

I no longer feel bad about myself or have a need to apologize for myself. I feel competent instead of inadequate, valuable instead of a waste of space.

If someone had told me when I was in my forties that someday I would no longer know loneliness, sadness, emptiness, or any kind of neediness—that anxiety would simply no longer be a part of my life—I wouldn’t have believed it possible. These emotions seemed so deeply etched in me that I would never be free of them.

I have been on a spiritual journey since childhood, always interested in the big questions of life. In my mid teens I began to realize that the divine is present in humans—that we are divine offspring. By the time I was in my early thirties, I realized that ultimately nothing but God exists—that we are all expressions of one Source.

But learning to dwell in this reality—so that I experience a continuous inner peace, a deep sense of abiding worth, and love being who I am—eluded me for many years.

I can’t tell you exactly how I crossed over into living in peace and joy. No technique brought me here. But several crises certainly played major roles.

I’ll share a little about how these crises functioned to bring me into presence over the next couple of days. But let me begin with one of them today.

Over a decade ago I fell in love with someone who wasn’t available to me. This was to trigger years of excruciating emotional pain—tremendous longing, yearning, neediness, and a sense of incompleteness.

Just recently I’ve been enjoying on Netflix the British television series The Forsyte Saga (the more recent version). If you want to see a great show, I cannot recommend it highly enough. The lead male character, brilliantly acted, falls for a woman who isn’t emotionally available to him.

Watching this series, I saw myself years ago. Like the character at the heart of the story, I wanted something so badly, but it wasn’t to be. At the time, it was incredibly painful. Today there is no pain whatever.

It wasn’t time that healed the pain. The adage that “time heals wounds” is only partly true. If we don’t address the emotional charge involved, we are always susceptible to being hurt again, as The Forsyte Saga so brilliantly shows.

What happened is that life thrust me into a situation in which I was forced to just sit with the pain of longing for this person I couldn’t have. The heartache and disappointment were unbearable.

Having tasted inner peace and joy from my growing understanding of what it means to be present, when this situation descended upon me I couldn’t understand how all the ground I thought I had gained had been swept from under my feet. For a long time I wondered if I would ever feel joy again.

It was during these years that I began to understand what Eckhart Tolle calls the pain-body. I started to realize that all the agony I was experiencing was actually an accumulation of pain, bundled together from earliest childhood all the way up until the present moment.

This is what the pain-body is—a mass of accumulated hurt.

But what I learned from Eckhart is that none of this pain was actually me. It was something I was feeling, but not a part of who I really am.

I came to see that my pain was just an emotional charge I was carrying that fueled a negative concept of myself, which was actually a false sense of myself.

The Little Prince learned to sit with his pain, which is what I learned to do. Indeed it was during these years that I was studying his story and writing my book on my reflections about his journey, which I eventually entitled Lessons in Loving—A Journey into the Heart and Namaste Publishing put out into the world as an audio book.

When the Little Prince sat with his pain, it wasn’t in a “woe is me,” feeling-sorry-for-himself, wallowing kind of way.

The Little Prince allowed his sadness—his disappointment over something that had happened on his home planet and caused him to leave and come to Earth—to surface, feeling it in its immensity.

But while on the one hand he didn't resist the pain, denying it, neither did he turn it into an identity, as I had for years and as so many of us do.

Instead he stayed closely connected to nature through his love of sunsets, while allowing the background sadness he was experiencing simply to be there.

When we bring presence to our pain in this way, it gradually becomes integrated, releasing the energy that’s been locked up so that it becomes available to live a fuller life.

Author's Bio: 

David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors.
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