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God in the Moment

by Ruth Cherry, PhD

So often we fear vulnerability and want to insure that it never recurs. We might say, “If I were (fill in the blank) then I wouldn’t feel (fill in the blank).” Perhaps it is: “If I were married I wouldn’t struggle with this deep fear that no one could ever love me.” Or: “If I had money no one would laugh at me.” Or: “With enough education I will be as good as everyone else.”

Those thoughts are logical and all that our Controller minds can do to with our feelings, but feelings are to be felt, not managed. It’s terrifying and overwhelmingly painful to feel “I’m not good enough to be loved.” Of course, we want to escape that experience but it is an experience. Experiences exist in the moment. They are not terminal judgments. Feeling afraid of being unlovable is a momentary experience. “This second I am overwhelmed by my fear.” OK--breathe, stay focused on that feeling, and allow.

When we breathe and accept our feelings without struggle or judgment or interference from our Controller minds, they heal and pass. Feelings are just feelings, always in process. Feelings move. They heal and pass naturally unless we interfere in that process by thinking. No matter what is in our feeling realm, if we acknowledge it, feel it, keep breathing, and allow, it will heal and pass.

Why do we fear our vulnerability so much that we block this natural flow? My guess is that it’s because we’re not anchored in that central place of peace which exists absolutely in each of us. At our core we’re one with the greater reality. In our place of peace we know we are protected. We know we always have a home and that whatever we need will be provided. And when we know that, we also know that the feeling of this moment will pass and we will be fine.

It comes down to who or what is your God. Using the word God doesn’t matter. Dogma is irrelevant, structure is only external. Having a peaceful core inside us makes life experience meaningful and, thus, tolerable. The peaceful core offers us an anchor.

Anchoring doesn’t happen from our heads or our thoughts. No one can give you an anchor. An anchor inside develops from the experiences of staying present to yourself no matter what. Whatever feeling, whatever thought, whatever impulse, we stay present to ourselves. We stay focused and open to everything going on in us and we pay attention.

I don’t know of a better way to build self esteem. By practicing presence, we give ourselves more than we can get from another’s adulation. We can’t take in from outside us that kind of solidity. We stay with ourselves no matter what. And we confirm ourselves. By our presence we say, “I know I am worth love” for we are practicing loving ourselves. We treat ourselves gently and, yet, we know every ounce of what it is to be us—the fear and the shakiness and the immaturity—and still we say, “I choose to be on my own side.” What more could we want from anyone?

A peaceful core exists for every human but we have to work to find it. It abides under the struggles and the mind’s activity and the distracting busyness and the compulsivity. That peaceful core is our essence and the only place where we feel satisfied. Efforting, amassing, achieving, competing don’t bring us peace. And yet those are the gods many of us choose. Your god is whatever is the basis for your decisions. Do you make choices you hope will make you look good to others? Do you make choices in favor of denial of your hurt? Do you choose to remain aloof and unknown? That tells you what is your god.

When you make choices from that place of peace at your core, then that is your experience of God. And like all experiences, it is momentary. So God becomes an experience of the moment. Always you have a choice. Do you want to be open to your inner world? Do you want to know your oneness and your perfect center? Do you want to operate from that deep place of peace? Or do you prefer busyness and distraction and appearance? It’s your choice.

Ruth Cherry, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Luis Obispo, CA. Her specialty is midlife when psychological and spiritual dynamics merge. The power of the unconscious at midlife to heal and to transform is tapped in meditation. Besides writing about meditation, Ruth leads guided meditation groups weekly. Her five books and guided meditation CD are available at her web site, www.midlifepsychology.com.

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