To chase an experience is to miss the experience.
Experiences are enigmatic, elusive, for one timely example, think happiness. We cannot chase happiness and continue to sustain it. Yet if we let it come and be we can enjoy it to the moment. Experiences can only be more fully realised when we’ve let go.
Our challenge is to let the experience come and be as it is.
Everything of life, however, tends to push our thinking toward making the most of every moment, possibly to the point of covetousness. Yet, to make the most of every moment means we have to let go in the moment.
This is not to say that chasing an experience is inherently wrong. We all chase experiences. We all seek to replicate feelings and experiences of happiness and success and fulfilment. Part of life, therefore, is in the chasing of the experience.
But if chasing happiness and success and fulfilment are to be our goal we shouldn’t be too surprised to learn they will evade us more often than not. And that’s part of the acceptance we need to live an acceptable life.
There is a grand beauty involved in not expecting too much from life, especially as life manifests in the moment. The moment we let go of our need to control the moment is the instant in time that time stands still. This is the experience of the surreal. This is the experience of seeing ourselves from outside ourselves.
Whilst we cannot take the moment and make more out of it, we can experience the moment and then reflect over it, later. As we experience the moment we aim for a focused mindfulness, which is the engagement of all our senses, so that there is real memory of the moment during reflection time later.
Enjoying the moment is possible when we meet that moment with integrity. As we walk along the series of instants – instants of time – we only make the most of them as we carry authenticity into that moment.
Meeting instants of time in an honest fashion, courageously as we need to be, to be more truly ourselves; that’s our task.
The experience of reality and God is possible when we focus not so intentionally on a moment as to force purpose and meaning into it. God encounters us as we simply go about with thoughts and feelings of present time.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.