Today, the Warmth of the Sun Is a Gift

WHAT IF TIME SLOWED down and crumbled into dust, where the seconds, the future, and the past meant nothing? All we had was the moment — now — to live the life we’re born to live.

Who knows if the sun will rise tomorrow? It’s up now, iridescent as day gives way to night, as reality becomes a dream.

Our plans, memories, and who we want to be; these change as we do, not into somebody new but into a greater version of who we already are.

We’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. Yet, we overlook what is right in front of our eyes and think of solely what’s ahead.

Looking to nothing but the future, we miss the gift of today.

Today is all we have.

I often wonder why I started writing. It wasn’t to become successful or make a name for myself. I began writing because it brought me to the present.

It isn’t only writing that does this. 

Love has the power to slow down time and make it cease completely. When you do something you love, nothing else matters but that moment.

The soul is in touch with an essence that isn’t seen, but felt.

There’s an energy within your body that’s strong and peaceful and doesn’t need acceptance. Your true self is asking to take a breath of air.

I started writing three years ago to make sense of the world. I sought to understand my thoughts and emotions on a deeper level.

What I continue to feel is a release of a part of me I hadn’t connected to since being a kid, unaffected by our modern worries and the longing to become somebody.

I didn’t know what I wanted; I felt lost. Yet when we’re lost, we’re forced to ask ourselves the essential questions.

I wondered about success and what it meant — I still do.

Often we’re confronted by the truth of who we are at night as we lie in bed staring up at the ceiling. Our mind drifts — but the darkness can inspire us.

Perhaps, because we finally have a second to think without the pressures of the day. The beauty of the infinite night knows no limit; the stars shine like the numinous human soul, transcending the boundaries of reality.

We wonder what is possible until tomorrow, when we’re stunned by the illusion of routine.

We’ve been taught to believe the fallacy which equates success and happiness. This universal human consciousness prizes productivity in any form over stillness.

What are we really here to do?

It’s part of our culture to be enticed by success, goals, and money. Continuously moving forward to achieve these things does provide a sense of accomplishment, as we’re able to check off a list.

It may make us look better in the eyes of others, but how do we feel when we’ve reached a goal? Good, until we’re on to the next thing to complete.

Goals give us a mountain to climb, and for a lot of people, they’re necessary to track growth and progress. When I began setting goals in my writing, I started pushing myself to produce content and build a writing foundation.

There’s a sense of pride knowing we’re giving something our all, and we’re getting after it just as much as anybody else.

Yet, I wonder who I’m writing for anymore when my writing is tailored to the masses just to be accepted.

Am I still doing what I love? 

We seek the acceptance of others; I seek the acceptance of others. 

We push ourselves to move forward in the pursuit of what we think will make us happy.

But when we let our guard down, when we give ourselves a break and don’t reach our goal, what happens? We aren’t failing.

Being human doesn’t mean being perfect. Goals give our life something to aim for, but we aren’t our goals.

We’re human beings who need space to breathe, who need days to do nothing but marvel at the world, who need time to ask questions and think about why we’re pushing so hard.

We need time to surrender. 

What writing has taught me is that there are no goals, no fake finish line that will make us happy once we reach it, in anything we do. The finish line is right here and right now.

The story of Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, tells of a man on a spiritual quest during the time of the Guatama Buddha in Ancient India.

Siddhartha wanted more than anything to become empty: empty of his dreams, his fears, to lose all sense of self in hopes that his innermost being —  his true self— would awaken.

He devotes much of his life to this obsession.

It isn’t until the end that he realizes he has missed out on the magic of every day because of this demanding goal. After many years he meets his childhood friend, Govinda, who doesn’t realize the ferryman taking him across the river is Siddhartha.

Siddhartha explains to him:

When someone is searching, it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for… He is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You are indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don't see, which are directly in front of your eyes.

We live our lives on a timeline filled with routines and aspirations to make something of ourselves.

In doing so, we may miss the joy of simply being and letting life come to us.

We look past this year, calling it a waste. Yes, the future is uncertain. This year has been devastating in many ways — but it’s not a waste.

Every day is an opportunity to take on the only goal that means anything: enjoying life and appreciating who you are. 

Who are you? Not who our culture wants you to be.

But you, who thinks with a brilliantly original mind and loves with an open heart? To live this way inspires; you never know who may need it.

I began writing because I had questions for the universe I knew may never be answered. But I’ll never stop questioning.

I wanted to find what I love with all of my heart. While I’m grateful to have started writing, it isn’t the source of that love.

It’s a means to continue exploring, further within myself and in the world.

The source — the well of inspiration which will never diminish —  is out there, in the strength of our cities and the spirit of the mountains.

This palpable energy is intertwined amongst all people. It travels through a smile and the glint of an eye, or the kind words of a friend.

Our journey collectively is just beginning; but we can’t make the mistake of looking past this year, this month, today.

Today, as the sun rises and shines and gives us hope, is all we have.

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