The Value of Being Present

Why do the sages and teachers ask us to be more present in our lives?  What does it do for us? WHY do we want to be more present?

When we are more present, we are more authentic. When we are present, all our good qualities, bad qualities, beauty, and warts are present. Then others see us as authentic. Why be authentic? We can have deeper, more intimate, more meaningful relationships.

Being present also leads to less reactivity.  When a conflict occurs, we have more control over whether we react or respond. Why should we want that choice? We get more results with responding, and less anger or pushback from others than when we react.  We are less thrown off course by our emotions.  When we present all sides of ourselves, good and bad, we are also able to recognize the good and bad of others without having them affect us negatively.

Being present helps us make better choices. This morning I was upset because my pen had disappeared. I started to be angry (internally) at my husband for not returning the pen, then I looked at my anger and realized that I could have walked off with the pen myself. I asked myself, what does this teach me? Answer: To find better solutions. I walked into my office and got two pens from the drawer.

When we are present, we spend time in the now, rather than in the past or the future.  Spending time in the past can lead to regret, spending time in the future can lead to worry.

Most of all, being present helps us to avoid suffering. There will always be some pain in life. If you are present, the pain does not have to lead to suffering. Suffering is often caused by trying to avoid whatever it is that causes pain. If we are present, and can face the pain directly rather than avoid it, the suffering is alleviated.

My next blog will be about how to create presence in your life.