B- is for being fully present.
Be here now.
Oh dear. Cliche alert. It's better than my first idea, which was to write about bees.
Honeybees, you know, and their mysterious disappearing, something that breaks my heart. But I digress.
None of that taught me what the school of hard knocks has.
I'm also a therapist. I try to help clients identify barriers in their lives, teach them what we call “distress tolerance” which, in other times, was called “enduring suffering.”
We are very much against enduring suffering in America. There should be a law against having to! and we often sue those who have the temerity to cause us pain. Perhaps it's all that “persuit of happiness” business–our expectations are unrealistic, and our suffering tolerance low.
Ten years of college-none of it taught me what the school of hard knocks has. Whether you like it or not, you're enrolled too.
And the lesson is this:
Being fully alive means being fully present in each moment, taking in the experience, all senses fully engaged, and mind available.
I can only tolerate even the most ordinary moments of fully being for five to ten minutes before I'm overwhelmed.
I call it the unbearable acuteness of living.
I'm working on doing some of it every day, for seconds longer. I'm still hardly able to just ‘be.' And the secret is, that's where happiness is found.
How long can you “be”?