“Am I here?”
I find this question, along with, “Where am I?” and “How am I?” to be about the most important things I can ask of myself in any given moment. It sounds so simple. So obvious. So ridiculous even. Of course I am here. But am I? And if I am here, do I actually know how I am doing?
Too often our bodies are in one place, and our minds are in another. That means that we cannot actually be in relationship to who we are, where we are, what we are doing, and who we are with. Really think about that. If we are not in relationship to any of these things, how could we possibly know who we are and what it is that we need? And if we do not know who we are and what we need, how could we possibly know what choices to make; whether we are on the “right track” or not? Whether we are helping or hurting? Whether we are making it all up or not? Whether we are living our one true life, or playing out some well-rehearsed, habituated fantasy?
We are living as animated objects passing through some artificial background when the body is in one place and the mind another. This leaves us as little more than robots. Zombies. Automatons. It is as if we are actors walking across a stage, separate from the scenery that surrounds us, and the roles that we play. And it leaves us hungry. Yearning. Dissatisfied.
And it is from exactly this place, that it is so very easy to reach outside of ourselves to feel something. Anything. Just to feel. Just to know that we are here.
To be here is to feel. It is to notice. It is to bump up against. It is to take it all in as often as we can. It is to be in a body. As is. And to inhabit that body fully as the surest route to reminding us of who we are, and why we are here. To dive deeply and courageously into flesh and bone is to find out what it is that we truly need, and most important of all, to know that we are here.
Every morning and every evening as you lie in bed, put your hands on your body and say “I am here.” Just like you did when you were a kid and would scribble or graffiti those words on some tree, or desk or sidewalk, with your name attached. A way of announcing to yourself and to the world the most important thing you could ever know, even without knowing, that you are here.