Now

This is the wintry day from my basement office window:

You can't see the blowing snow, but it's there.

This scant amount of snow caused the St. Louis roadways to shut down in many places. My usual 15-20 minute car commute increased to 1.5 hours, and while I enjoyed listening to NPR for an extended period of time, it was an hour longer than I preferred.

While the wind screams outside, I’m ensconced cozily in my Tilted Duster, Clapotis, new boots, and longjohns. This day could only be better if I wasn’t at work but sitting elsewhere drinking a spicy hot chocolate (and, well, I can think of a few other things, but let’s not get into that).

Back to Now

Last week, my doctor recommended that I read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. It can be a bit heavy-handed, but it’s a good reminder to observe your emotions instead of becoming your emotions.

One particular passage really resonates with me for many reasons, so I’m reproducing it below. If you are not into new age-ish stuff, you can stop reading now.

Another aspect of the emotional pain that is an intrinsic part of the egoic mind is a deep-seated sense of lack or incompleteness, of not being whole. In some people, this is conscious, in others unconscious. If it is conscious, it manifests as the unsettling and constant feeling of not being worthy or good enough. If it is unconscious, it will only be felt indirectly as an intense craving, wanting and needing. In either case, people will often enter into a compulsive pursuit of ego-gratification and things to identify with in order to fill this hole they feel within. So they strive after possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship, basically so that they can feel better about themselves, feel more complete. But even when they attain all these things, they soon find that the hole is still there, that it is bottomless…As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted, when a craving has just been fulfilled.

As hokey as it seems, this actually gives me some insight into myself and others. Thanks for sitting on a park bench for two years, Eckhart Tolle!

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