Just as I'm practicing loving this moment with my oldest son, I'm practicing loving all of the moments that happen in my life.
I've been learning that I don't have to be comfortable to love the moment. I definitely don't have to be 'right' or 'smart' or appreciated. The only thing I have to be is present with things as they are.
After a retreat with my beloved teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, on the heels of an intense summer of travel, hospitals, family illness, conflict reconciliation, and retreats, I had a powerful experience of loving the moment. I was walking my sweet, old dog just before I went to bed. I was tired and impatient, wishing she would hurry up and poop. And then I remembered, inspired by the teachings that were filling me, "This is a wonderful moment." As soon as I thought it, I recognized that it was true. The moment that had been annoying, that I was impatient to finish with, was actually perfect. The cicadas (it was August), the stars, the quiet, the slow walking behind my dog as she sniffed and wandered. I fell in love with that moment. It was a beautiful moment, in spite of the complete lack of glamor in waiting for an old dog to poop.
That transformation is always available to me. Sometimes I can sit in an unpleasant moment--talking to one of my kids when they are very angry with me, feeling scared about something out of my control, cleaning the toilet--and feel the same shift into love.
Right now, can you feel it? The beauty of this moment for you, exactly as it is? I can. There's a kind of quiet, although I hear someone rattling around upstairs. It's hot enough that I'm sweating even though it's early morning. The cicadas are LOUD. I'm breathing. It's an imperfect moment and a beautiful one.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.