Living in the Present
by Kelvin Chin
Life After Life Expert & Meditation Teacher
[Published in The Coordinate Point, Vol. III No. 3, May-June 1987. Author's Note: the use of "consciousness" in this article is synonymous with "mind".]
(An Attempt at a Precise Expression of Self-Education Without the Use of the Negative Implication: Neutralizing "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda")
If I have an experience, and due to a lower sense of self-acceptance I communicate less of myself than if I am fully open and self-accepting, then I need only acknowledge this state of being, with myself and with others who may be present, in order to "learn" self-acceptance.
Nothing more need be done or thought.
The above message is written to address the age-old issue of "blame" that exists in human consciousness.
The assertion is that blame exists, in explicit and implicit form, throughout human language and consequently affects human consciousness, whether or not there is conscious intent to inflict blame.
For example, how many times have we said, "If I had only…" or, "What you should have said was…," or, "I would like to learn from my mistakes so that I could become a better person"? What this type of language has in common is that it takes the consciousness out of living in the present. It has the effect of placing the consciousness in the past or in the future. And, because acceptance of self, by definition, occurs "now" every moment, the above language results in nonacceptance of self.
Let us look for a moment at the arena of conversations to illustrate this point.
Too often we have all found ourselves in conversations where clear communication has broken down. Frequently, our response is to get frustrated or angry - at either ourselves or the other party, or both - for the communication breakdown. These emotions tend to show up in conversations in the form of "coulda," "woulda," or "shoulda," which we are calling the language of blame. That is, "You shoulda said it this way so you woulda been more clear!"
As an alternative approach, one might consider the following in the event lack of clarity creeps in: "I think I'm being unclear, what do you think?" ("I agree, I'm unclear as well.") "Let's clarify the discussion."
Here, there are no verbal attacks. There is taking of responsibility by both parties for their ability to communicate and comprehend. There is a sharing.
And, as a follow-up to the above example, there is no need for "looking back" and "learning from one's mistakes by analyzing the conversation," because as soon as the shift in conversation and the recognition of the lack of clarity occur, there is a shift in awareness toward greater openness, and thus, greater self-acceptance or self-love, and the "education" has occurred, the "lesson" learned.
This all, then, is based upon and supported by an openness with oneself and with the other party. There is a trusting.
Now, for many of us, experimenting with this type of approach to communication may be quite frightening. We may think, "But if I leave myself open like that, won't I be leaving myself open to possible attack by the other person?" Of course you will! But if you want to take a chance at opening yourself up to the wonder of who you are, you may want to take that risk.
© 1986 by Kelvin Chin, All rights reserved.