Learning to Stop Struggling

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I had a moment of insight today that makes me feel so good I have to share it.

I've renewed my commitment to insight meditation and have also been regularly reading the works of Thich Nhat Hanh (for which I am deeply grateful). After meditating today, I read a little and out of nowhere a realization hit me: I don't have to struggle any more.

For years, I've struggled with my weight, with diets, with exercise, with emotional eating. The fight has exhausted me and there have been many low times when I concluded that I'd never win.

But I just realized - there's nothing to win. There's no war. There's no struggle. All there is is this moment, and in this moment, I can make a good choice.

To oversimplify - Buddhism teaches that there is only the present moment. The past doesn't exist. Except in our memory - but we have that memory in the present moment. The future doesn't exist. Except when we think about it, but the thinking, too, occurs in the present moment.

So, I'm free. I don't have to be stuck in the past with all my bad choices. In this moment, here and now, I have to stop, breath, and choose. In every moment of every day, in every choice I make or action I take, I have the chance to begin anew and make a choice that is good for me. What an enormous relief!
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