This post originally appeared here on Illumination.
Every Experience Is Important And Meaningful While It's Taking Place
There have been days when I woke up wondering how am I going to go on when life is going nowhere fast while my head is telling me I need to be somewhere else.
When my old soul golden retriever passed on at 8 years old, my entire world came to a halt. According to the breed’s lifespan, he could have had at least another 4 years to live, on average. I remember asking God/Universe what was the purpose of this experience? If it’s showing me what it feels like to lose something I treasure, why bother? If everything in life eventually ends, then what is the point of having an experience?
Now I accept that many things that are presently mine will one day change — relationships, health, security, and material stuff. Not that I’m anticipating, but it would be foolish to expect that everything remains exactly the same 5 or 10 years down the road. Heck, things may even turn topsy-turvy in six months, who can tell.
No matter how hard I try, there is that one point that I never fail to return to — the point of starting over. It’s a never-ending cycle of rinse and repeat.
Gaining control from within
Since incorporating mindfulness into my daily routine, I have learned to embrace the reality of the present moment. Whenever my mind travels down the tunnel of despair, it’s usually a sign that I have separated myself from the oneness of all things.
Out of the average 6000 or more thoughts per day that run across my radar, reality happens when I decide which of those thoughts I will act on.
That’s when I encounter the poor me syndrome. I focus so much on myself that I forget each event that took place only tells part of the story and beyond the surface, a bigger picture exists.
My thoughts, emotions and behaviors are all interconnected. The conscious action of influencing one area can affect another. That means even though what’s going on inside seems to be beyond my control, it’s not. When I act on a specific thought, that’s when I truly seize the moment. That’s when I experience the reality of living.
Out of the average 6000 or more thoughts per day that run across my radar, reality happens when I decide which of those thoughts I will act on. What follows those actions then becomes my life experience. That means every moment is of my creation.
That lesson taught me it’s not what’s happening on the outside that matters, but my perception about the experience. Life is inevitable until I rise and demand change. It’s the conscious awareness that despite the kaleidoscopic events taking place, my focus will determine how I experience that moment.
The purpose of life’s experiences
Everything eventually ends. No matter how hard I try, I always end up at the same spot of having to start over. The circumstances that surround an event might be different, but the outcome is always the same. No matter what I’m dealing with, everything is temporary.
I must admit that not every experience serves me, but I accept that every experience takes me forward in life.
If everything in life eventually ends, every experience I encounter is important because that’s what life is about. Life is the compilation of a variety of experiences. The point is to live through what I know to be real, to experience it moment by moment, and learning to figure out what I have control over and using that knowledge to transcend what I cannot change.
When I grasp the fact that nothing is permanent, I realize that every moment is the most important moment.
What I think and project out becomes my reality. It’s a reinforced habit because of repetition. If I’ve had fears and traumas before, I will see many reasons to be afraid again. But when I know I can transcend thoughts and move beyond fear and despair, those imagined results from sense and reason will not become my reality unless I put physical efforts into it.
My experiences are an important part of my life because I exist right now. When I take part in that which is happening right now, I am living life. There is neither hope nor regret. It just is. It’s when I deny a certain aspect of my life because it’s painful or cruel, I fall away from the oneness of all things which is happening at the moment.
It’s accepting what is currently taking place as true and real without finding fault. That’s when the moment becomes whole and complete. I must admit that not every experience serves me, but I accept that every experience takes me forward in life. The acceptance of what’s what becomes the experience, whether good or bad.
All life originates from a single source that connects every living species. I’m experiencing life while being a part of that oneness. One day when it’s time to put away this earth suit, I will continue to exist because life exists, and I’m part of that oneness and so is everyone and everything else.
As long as I’m here and alive, every single experience adds up to the totality of what life means. It matters that I have to go through pain. It matters that I immerse in the occasional hillside sunset. There’s a reason I survived life’s uncertainties. I could have easily bypassed every single experience, but life would be meaningless without them. I lose the connection with the oneness of life when I’m in denial and in strife with what’s happening at the moment. That’s when I become concerned about what’s in for me. It’s often that limited perception that results in hopelessness.
Life is noble because, like death, there is an end. The end of life is the beginning of it, which is also the end. And so I’ve been going around in circles thinking that death is someplace else, but it’s already part of me because it’s part of life. Just like I’m part of life, I’m also part of death.
Every moment matters
Even though nothing remains permanent, every experience is no less important and meaningful while it’s taking place. Everything I’ve experienced or will experience contributes to the richness of life. As long as I’m alive, my being-ness in all there is. I am part of the Whole and detachment from the Whole means separation. It’s never about me and you, it’s always about us. Even when I cannot see the big picture, it serves a purpose and connecting everything.
If every experience is important and it contributes to life, how does it affect death, which is not the opposite but part of the oneness of life itself? That’s another topic for another day, or you can jolly well follow the INTP Christmas Tree Brain of Marcus for some deep, mind-blowing discussions. (Warning: You may need SCUBA gear for these dives.)
The experiences of life are the purpose of our existence. It’s happening right now, and it’s important even though it may not last. Maybe it’s not supposed to last. Maybe it’s like chapters of a book that will only make sense when we finally reach the end. We have to read every line and meet every character. Some chapters we won’t even enjoy while others make us cry, but we don’t skip chapters because that’s not how it works.
And so it is with our lives. It’s never about why something happens, when or for how long. It’s about being part of a moment and the connection that ties everything together. That’s what makes it so meaningful. I’m in control and I get to experience everything that happens around me, not from without, but from within.