I had been feeling unsatisfied with life, and feeling guilty for it. I knew how fortunate I was: I had a wonderful, supportive husband, two perfect children, a lovely home, and the luxury of staying at home to raise my kids. Yet somehow, it all added up to “not enough”.
I had been a student of buddhism for years, but all the reading, the hours I had logged meditating, none of it furnished me with enough compassion to give all of myself away. Being a full time mother and a wife had – to me – meant being everything to everyone but myself.
How do you laugh and play with your child when you have forgotten who you are? How do you smile at your baby when you only want to cry over the part of you that has died?
The answer did not come to me in an epiphany, but instead as a low, slow sound I heard in the background of my every day.
I discovered there is no way to be happy when you have put your own life aside. I had to begin to remember who I was, at a deep, human level. It meant letting go. It meant asking myself what I wanted from life. It meant trusting my husband to parent our children sometimes, while I gave myself some much-needed time to breathe. That oxygen began to nourish my body and my soul.
And I saw that I hadn’t been able to live in the present moment. I knew in my mind that there were many conditions for happiness available around me, but I wasn’t actively practicing seeing these things.
It is admirable to study what others teach about mindfulness. It is beneficial to meditate, and strengthen our ability to be present. But more than anything else, we must practice living in the here and now.