Dharma Struggles

I have been thinking a lot lately about being present in the current moment, living right here right now, because living anywhere else gets me into trouble.  I have been struggling with this concept for some time now.  I think I originally started with the Tao Te Ching a couple of years ago, and at that time it seemed right, but I didn’t start to live it.  Then I lived the worst year of my life and the concept was placed before me in a book by Pema Chodren called When Things Fall Apart.  There were moments last year where existing hurt so badly, where if I had not had my daughter I would have chosen to die (although some of the moments would not have happened without having my daughter because they came from problems with my ex and his girlfriend so who knows how things would have been).  In any case, I did not want to be here I hurt that much.  During those moments, sometimes the only way I could get through would be to read the book about being in the moment and be in that moment reading that book.  Or I would lie in bed and hold my daughter and focus on that moment alone to get to the next.

Then Peter came along and I became obsessed with his lying and cheating and totally tossed all the living in the moment out the window.  Focusing on him took the focus off me.  But that got old and I finally chose to walk away.  Since him, I have had a series of “relationships” where in each case, the man would be there but not be there or disappear or act in any number of ways that were not present.  Finally, I have been communicating with a man for over a month via email, chat, and phone, who makes no effort to see me in person despite ample opportunity and despite many claims that he would like to meet.  And with him I just realized I was projecting this entire what could be scenario onto him and absolutely not living in the present.  He’s this, he’s that, he’s everything I think I want, yada yada, but these are all external things.  They are not him because he is not real.  He is not here.  I have never seen his face in real life!  Jesus, it’s ridiculous!

And it dawned on me, what the hell does the universe have to do to get me to understand this point?  After the last couple of years, I have lamented to anyone who would listen, if the universe just told me what to do, I would do it.  But the universe did just that:  it gave me the Tao Te Ching over two years ago.  I did not live it.  It gave me the worst emotional pain I have ever experienced and I did not live it.  It finally gave me a series of relationships whereby each subsequent man was less present than the first.  It finally took one who is really not here for me to think, “What in the world am I supposed to be learning from this?”  I was asking this question before, but I was NOT getting it.  Now I think I’ve got it and I wonder, why the hell was it so hard to fucking figure out?

So now I am here and I am trying to live in each moment.  As part of this, I am trying to accept who I am in this moment, not to judge, not to criticize, not to worry, just to be.  And it is the most peaceful I have ever felt.  I have been worrying incessantly about where my next dime is supposed to come from.  I have been terrified of owing taxes and where my next mortgage payment is coming from.  But all of those things are not hurting me right now.  In this moment, the mortgage is paid.  In this moment, no one is taking anything from me because I owe taxes or my family-law attorney.  I am going with the dharma, existing here and now.  Why waste this moment worrying about what is not happening, right now?

Yet here is where I get confused.  I need to find some way to earn money.  I do not want to wait until the moment when my house is being repossessed to realize that that moment sucks!  There has to be responsibly planning for the future without sacrificing the now.  Only I have no idea how to go about it.  Another big part of all of this process is choosing the life I lead in a manner best suited to who I am.  I chose law school to escape where I had been rather than to choose a life I wanted.  This was a terrible reason.  I hated being a lawyer.  It was the biggest mistake I have ever made.  I wanted to write so I chose law school thinking I could make money writing and because I feared that I couldn’t make money writing any other way and feared that my writing wasn’t good enough and made this major life choice without having had any idea what my life would be like.  It was all about escape and fear and concerns about what other people thought about me and making money and nothing about living my life on my terms or accepting who I was or what I could do without worrying about other people.

So now I am trying to make active choices about who I want to be, what kind of life I want to live, doing things that nourish my soul, and at the same time, I have to pay the mortgage.  One part of me says keep doing these things you need to be who you are.  Write the articles and books.  Try to teach the classes.  Do the astrological consultations.  And if you do these things, money will flow to you, because you are doing what you need to do.  But I admit it.  I’m afraid.  I’m afraid if I don’t take more active steps like even applying at Starbucks or putting this house on the market before I get behind on the mortgage, I will lose this house and end up in a worse position than I am in now.  It is all coming from fear.  I do not trust the universe to take care of me.  I suppose that is the crux of it, isn’t it?  Maybe I should pay attention and try to get whatever lesson is in this before life gets really rough, like it did with the living in the moment stuff.  But I just don’t know how.  So I am asking the universe, please, give me some guidance and I will pay attention.  I will do what I have to do to pay attention so you do not have to bonk me on the head.  I will do my best to trust and have faith that I will be cared for and that everything will be okay.  I don’t suppose I have any other choice.

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One thought on “Dharma Struggles

  1. This was published by you three years ago, I hope you made your mortgage payments. I guess that when you decide to plan for the future, during the period of time you are planning you can focus only on planning and not think or worry about something else. At that moment you are here and now in planning mode… Sorry, I do not have any better idea…

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