One of the dreaded moments in a relationship is the moment one realizes that the relationship has lost its charm. At this point, the source of magic in one’s life suddenly becomes very ordinary. The one thing that brought freedom from the petty cares of the world, has become a cage. Of course it ain’t over yet. After all, didn’t we already know that nothing lasts forever? We can still find satisfaction, in spite of the disappointment, we can pull on. At the same time, what a loss! What dreams! The energy, the sense of purpose, the strolls in the garden of Eden! Now, it’s just one more illusion, one more loss, one more scar in the already wounded heart. It’s time to pick up the pieces, to make the best of a deteriorating situation. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.
The source of charm, be it the charm of a relationship or the charm of life is presence. Now when we think of presence we generally think of some external entity descending upon the sphere of our being, bringing beauty, guidance, pleasure, wealth and well-being. In this model, presence is the king and we are the lowly servants who stand to benefit from the abundance of his presence. Our first lesson in presence is from the delectable fruits of existence, from the heroes and beauties of the world, from our friends, from scenes of natural beauty, from a good meal, from a spectacle on the street, from a musical performance in an auditorium. Although presence seems to come from outside ourselves, presence is not possible until we are present.
When it comes to presence we are so impressed by the world that we become the victim of the world’s presence. However, if we examine the world we will find there is no such thing as presence. We only find patterns of colour and light, warm and cold, sound vibrations, textures, smells. It is the mind that organizes everything into coherent entities. However, what fills these entities with presence is not a mental construct, but awareness itself. Awareness is the arena for the manifestation of presence, the place where things become present. It is through awareness that things become present to us and we become present to them. Yet we somehow believe that being present requires effort, as though being present would sap our energy.
How can being present sap our energy? We gain energy when we are present and not the reverse. What saps our energy is our not being fully present to a situation, when we try to save ourselves by controlling a situation through the mind, calculating the odds, trying to say the right thing, manipulating others to do our bidding, fantasizing about better things. There may be a thousand reasons why the charm goes out of a relationship, or out of our life. However, the fundamental cause of loss of charm is due to our not being fully present to our partner, to the small things in life. The magic is in the moment, and there is only one way to be in the moment, to be present.
There is nothing saying that you should or must be present. Being present is not a rule, but a discovery that our heart’s desire is not to be found at the end of the rainbow but is available at this very moment. But how can something as transitory as the moment contain something as large as one’s heart’s desire? If someone were to ask you where you live, you would give a particular address. However, your real address is not in the world but in the moment because you are always in the moment. You are never in the past and you are never in the future. You are always right here right now. Yet the nature of the mind is to be caught up in the past or to be fixated on some event in the future. What is most accessible and real, we ignore, we take as being a mere stepping stone.
Being in the moment is not about digging below the surface of things to find the depths. It is about attending fully to the impact of things as they appear. It is true that appearances can be deceiving, but that is only because we take the appearance to be a sign of something else. As we move from building models and mental constructs to being in the moment we begin to see that the division between surface and depth is itself a construct of the mind. When we stop running away from boredom by filling the moment with novelty, we find that every moment is filled with charm.