Stop Living in Hell

Over the past few years, we have heard quite a bit about awareness, living in the now, how the present moment is all that we have…blah, blah, blah. I am not here to be repetitive, to tell you more about the importance of present moment awareness.

Wait a minute, yes the hell I am.

Why, you ask? Because it bares repeating over and over again until every individual understands. If you are not living in the present moment, you’re living in hell. It really is that simple. We spend so much time in our thinking brain, the present moment passes us by, hour after our after hour. The past is a memory. The present is imagination. The ONLY place that has true value is the here and now.

Settle yourself for a moment and take a deep breath. Using every ounce of your logic and rationality, tell me, is there anything you can do to change this moment? How about this one? This one? What about this one?

The answer is a resounding no. There is absolutely nothing you can do to change the moment you are in. You can make plans to change future moments, or you can ruminate on past moments, but your hands are tied when it comes to THIS moment. And this one.

Now that we understand that there is absolutely no way to change the moment that we are in, which is the only moment that matters, what do we do about it? Well, we react to it, of course. We can decide that we are unhappy in the moment and display anger, disappointment, fear, disgust. However, all of these reactions are going against the grain of life itself.

All living things to include every single cell in your body is meeting the present moment where it is. Imagine what would happen if your cells got pissed off because it didn’t like the code your DNA just sent, and refused to express itself? You would cease to exist. What if trees didn’t like rainy days and they decided not to do their job? You would have no air to breathe. We are no different, we are life. Every ounce of our being, excluding our thinking mind, adheres to a certain set of rules. However, more often than not, our thinking brain is going against the principles of life. Any time we disagree with the present moment, we disagree with life. I’m thinking it would be advantageous for us to all agree to the terms and abide by the principles life has set forth for us. It is utterly pointless not to.

So, how do we do this, live in the present moment? Two things have to occur simultaneously: acceptance and self-awareness.

Acceptance is a verb and should be practiced. Once we know the truth, that the present moment is inevitable, we can take a deep breath and relax a little. When there are no options to change our experience, all that is left is how we respond. That is where self-awareness comes in. If we are responding terribly to something that is beyond our capacity to change, it sort of makes us seem a bit crazy, doesn’t it? I am not saying that we have to love every moment we are in and react to every experience with joy and elation. I am saying that when we accept the moment as it is, and have enough self-awareness to choose how we react, we begin to pull ourselves out of the meaningless thought process that creates hell on earth for humanity.

Our sophisticated, complex brains are in constant search of a job, a task, a problem to solve. We spend so much time in worry and fear, ruminating on the past, foreboding or planning the future. So many people are unable to pull themselves out of the vortex that keeps us away from the truth, away from the principles of life. So much so that it shows up as a mental health disorder. I mean, who would torture themselves with the horrible feelings of bad emotions by reacting to a moment that cannot be any different than the way it is? The answer is all of us, at one point or another.

There are people who are naturally born with less chaotic minds. A lucky few are brought up in households that teach present moment awareness as a foundational principle from birth. But for the vast majority of us, if we want to step out of the hell that we self-inflict we have to work for it. We have to fully accept and choose how we react in each moment of each day. It is a simple concept to understand, much harder to work into your everyday life.

I am certainly not the first to try to convey this concept. And I will not be the last. All of those years ago, when Jesus was nailed to the cross, he wan’t screaming “man this hurts!!!”, he said “forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus accepted that moment for what it was, he knew the inevitability of his experience.

Buddha’s teachings, thousands of years ago, were all based on limiting human suffering. You would be hard pressed to find a religion that does not point to the condition of the human mind being the source of all human misery.

We hold they key to a joyful life and the ability to pull ourselves out of hell. We inherently have the tools to tap into acceptance and self-awareness. It is truly the greatest gift you could ever give yourself. The peace found in truly understanding present moment awareness is what humanity is evolving toward. As an empath, I am just attempting to speed it up.

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Natalie Greer

Natalie Greer

Well-being curator + mom + yogi + registered nurse + board-certified nurse health coach — perpetually attempting to capture humanity with language.