An "A Ha" Moment

Why is it that some people, like children, find it so easy to be present in any given moment?  Find it easy to have fun?  Find it easy to enjoy the life they have?  Instead of striving, straining and worrying about the life they don’t have?


These questions led me to a deeper exploration of what it means to be present.  I found this definition from Manhattan Mental Health Counseling: “Being present means being fully conscious of the moment.”  Which, as I read, I thought to myself, “I’ve done that and I can do that.  I can be fully conscious of the moment.”  Then I continued to read.  The definition goes on to say: “Free from the noise of internal dialogue.”  And that’s when I had my “A Ha” moment.


I realized that, as an adult, I’m unable to live any moment of my life “free from the noise of internal dialogue.”  I’m always thinking about what a decision means or what it doesn’t mean?  What someone else is thinking or will be thinking about me and my decisions?  What are the ramifications of what is happening or not happening right now?  How can I improve?  Where did I just go wrong?  And on and on and on.


Children don’t naturally have this kind of internal dialogue.  Yes, life and circumstances do cause some children to have a loud internal dialogue.  Which is a whole different conversation about allowing children to simply be children.  But that will have to be a discussion for another day.  Suffice it to say, on average, children are way better at being present than us adults.  For they are free from the noise of internal dialogue.


Here’s the thing about “A Ha” moments.  They are merely moments.  The rest of life is spent trying to figure out how to learn from and how to incorporate these “A Ha” moments into our lives.  It does me no good to realize that I struggle with being present in my daily life, because of the noise of my internal dialogue; if I don’t do anything with this insight.  It’s not good enough to simply realize something.  I’m called to be someone different, because of my new realization.


Can I simply silence my internal dialogue?  Some may have been able to accomplish this.  But as for me, the answer is a resounding “No”.  So, what is a poor boy to do if he can’t silence his internal dialogue?  Transform my relationship with my internal dialogue.  Name it.  Claim it.  And overcome it.


The transformational work that’s happening in my life, to help me be more present, is to recognize my internal dialogue for what it truly is.  My internal dialogue.  It isn’t reality.  It’s merely my current perception of and fear of, what might be my current reality. 


Yes, I need to acknowledge and examine my internal dialogue.  But, my transformational journey is to stop allowing my internal dialogue to dictate my perspectives, decisions and attitudes.  To stop allowing my internal dialogue from preventing the possibility of being present in any given moment.


Why go through all of this trouble?  Why do the work of transformation, simply to overcome the noise of internal dialogue?  Why do I want to be more present in my life?  The rest of the definition of being present from Manhattan Mental Health Counseling goes on to say: “It’s often associated with feelings of stillness and peace.  Sensations often seem sharper.”


That’s what I want.  A life filled with stillness and peace.  A life filled with sensations that seem sharper.  Who doesn’t want this? 


As King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes: “After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life.  And that’s about it.  That’s the human lot.  Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work.  It’s God’s gift!  God deals out joy in the present, the now.  It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.”