Your Little Corner of Time

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Look away from the screen for a moment. Take a half-minute off from your blog-reading and look at the people and objects around you right at this instant. Get a good feel for the moment’s scenery and emotional tone, and when you’re done, read on.

(Do it now.)

Back?

I have a question for you:

Where are you at this exact moment in your life?

Obviously you’re in front of a computer screen of some kind (maybe a smartphone), so give us a little bit more context than that.

Where are you right now, physically, and how did you get there?

When I ask “how did you get here” I’m not looking for something like, “I rode my bike.” I mean, what circumstances and incentives brought you to this exact place you’re sitting now? What were you looking for that brought you here?

And I don’t mean these as rhetorical questions either. Tell me in the comment section below. Where are you right now, what’s going on, and how do you feel about that? Use a fake name and email address if your current moment involves hiding from bounty hunters or smuggling knockoff Ray-Bans and you’re concerned about privacy.

There are a lot of places you could be. Time and space can serve up a gazillion unique little corners to find oneself in. Maybe you’re riding a creaky city bus, iPhone in hand, on your way to a job you just started Monday. Or you might be first one in the office this morning and the main overhead lights aren’t on yet, because you wanted to tackle something you know you should have done yesterday. Or you could be in your roommate’s room, ready to click the browser closed and pretend you weren’t using his laptop, because you know he gets home from the gym around now.

But you’re right here. Look away from the screen again for a second.

That’s yours, for now. Your lot. This little corner of time you’re in — is it the result of a direct decision on your part, or is it more a product of what you might call “happenstance”? Did you decide to be here or did it sort of settle out this way?

Are you waiting on something? Avoiding something? Excited for something?

What moment have you arrived at, in this, the Greatest Story Ever Told?

And one final follow-up question, if you feel like answering it:

Do you feel like you are where you’re supposed to be?

I know that’s a subjective question and there are a lot of ways to look at it, but it’s definitely answerable.

That’s all I want to know. Please tell me. The reason why will come in the next post.

R

Photo by striatic



Jeff Blunck June 8, 2011 at 3:57 am

I can say with absolute confidence that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment. I have suffered my whole life from what I have heard called a value system disorder ( may have even been on this site that I first heard that expression:) I have suffered from the disease of addiction since I was 10, I am 54 now. The disease is progressive and only goes one way which is down. When death seemed like the only viable solution, when I had arrived at colossal human failure status I received “the” Gift. The gift of desperation. What this gift afforded me was a solution to the value system disorder that created it :) … I was presented with the idea that deep down within every man woman and child is the fundamental idea of God ( I dont even know if that is the name God prefers) that ultimately it was only in that place, deep inside of me, that God could be found. I was presented with a very simple set of Spiritual principles from others in whom this problem had been solved. With the willingness I found as a result of this desperation. I followed the direction for the practical application of these simple rules in aspect of my seemingly hopeless life. I have heard it called “a new pair of glasses” …. So I committed to this discipline as best I could on a daily basis and the miracle of enlightenment took place. What I see with these “new glasses” is that Fear and only Fear is at the core of all my suffering… “dis-ease” if you will. I have been driven by Fear all my life. Growing up I was indoctrinated into a value system not of me. Every and I mean EVERY belief, opinion, attitude, prejudice,etc that I held dear was either directly or indirectly influenced by fear… I was driven by fear. Self centered Fear is the primary activator of ALL of my defects of character and thus all of my decisions and beliefs about what would define my life as a “success” . Acceptance and approval, hopes and dreams all generated mass quantities of fear. Fear’s most effective and devastating defect is denial. Denial is a master of disguise. Sense of entitlement can ruin a day a week or my whole life if I leave it unresolved. Fear of injustice, that someone might actually get away with doing me wrong or even someone else ( I am “codependent” that way:) I was told that if I were willing to inventory my life on paper looking only for my wrongs and how my fear created defects influenced my decisions and brought about misfortune I truly felt I didn’t deserve. To tell my life story to another human being all of it leaving nothing out . To list all person I had harm and to make such matters right as best I could, that I would enter into a relationship with my creator. I was told that if I asked my Creator to remove my fear and direct my attention towards what He would have me become that I would commence to outgrow fear. This has proved to be true for me. It is the “Great Fact” never believed it possible . As I have stayed true to the discipline I have been set free.
I know in my heart that I am on my own perfect journey in this life and that it is ridiculous to judge my life by comparing it to others. That hopes and dreams are not entitlements nor do they define me. I have been set free from the prison of public opinion. The world and it’s people no longer have the power to “kill” my Soul unless I choose to give it to them. Life is very much like a math equation. First commandment in math is ” Simplify then solve” and then there is a very strict order of operations ( I am assuming we all know those) if I do not follow this strict and immutable order I will not get the “right answer”. When I ask the God of my understanding to remove my fears and in return offer to do something for someone else with no thought of a return or benefit then I recieve the gift of freedom from the bondage of self.

I can be happy and free as long as I try to honor my commitment to this simple discipline (trust me I will never maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principle! There would be no need for Grace if perfection were possible ) So long as I remain willing to grow along Spiritual lines and see to it that there are no conditions on my happiness I will remain free and able to live usefully and walk humbly under the Grace of my Creator.

Thankyou God for the gift of desperation and my willingness to embrace it. I know that if I would have lived up to my worldly potential I would have never been willing to try to “meet” and know you

Jeff

FakeName June 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I am here in a cafe in Barnes & Nobels, came to chat online with my fiancé-whom I haven’t seen for 7 months-, and pretend that everything is going fine in our relationship…. It is not good, isn’t it? I don’t live the best situation now but I cannot find the better situation to replace with the current one… I am here in this café’, enjoying (?!) my loneliness. I am here in http://www.raptitude.com to learn how to get the best of the thing we are calling it “Life”…

lynn June 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Am late to the party … am in my apartment on my comfy couch with my amazing dog sleeping beside me with a laptop on my lap. because i’m where i am, i have to be where i was meant to me, because simply am here. Am present to the moment and the question at hand, and find that if am not where am supposed to be, fear is the impediment to that path. The dreams and daydreams of youth are long gone, yet fuel my intention despite the “knowing” that 41 years of inhabiting the earth has generated. Or so I think. Feeling free is nice. That’s always been my save haven. Being alone is lonely, yet at the same time, freeing. At a cross roads in my life, at least that’s how I’m hoping it will generate. If not, it is more of the same, and that’s not bad but not free. I am thinking of a computer program right now one that is for people to use and navigate their lives… by entering the past and hopes for the future, and having an algorithm generate “what if” choices based on the information provided. I think that would be interesting and stimulate individual paths that help folks to overcome fear and feel safer in their future options and choices.

Meghan June 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

I’m a university student, off for summer vacation, and terrified that I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I volunteer at a children’s hospital, an opportunity that came out of the only spontaneous action I’ve taken in a long time. Currently, I’m sitting on a bed in a room of my grandparents’ house on the beach of the Sea of Cortes in Mexico, taking a 10-day break to de-stress myself, although since I can’t remember a moment in my life when I wasn’t stressed about something, I have no idea what that feeling I’m looking for is. I’m hoping I’ll recognize it when I find it.

David July 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Not that I’m that much older, but I wish I could tell every college student that they shouldn’t know what they want to do with their lives by the time they reach college. There is so much to learn about yourself before you can make a genuinely informed decision about the right way to spend your life. A great book is “What Should I Do With My Life” by Po Bronson.

nia July 1, 2011 at 2:30 am

For whatever reason, I ended up in front of this screen reading your questions and it felt like the questions were meant for me, in this moment. Life is different and I would not have been able to ask myself these important questions without stumbling onto this site. I just wanted to say thanks. Sometimes we don’t have it in ourselves to look in the mirror and ask such crucial questions of ourselves but I’m glad you did. Very personally motivational.

Zackary October 4, 2011 at 2:50 am

Where am I? Who is to say, none of us *really* know where we are. I mean, look above you, there us probably a roof over your head. You are also most likely (and for your own safety, hopefully) sitting down, but that doesn’t translate to where you are. We are inside of what we believe is the universe, proven if it exists or not, we are inside of it. If I were anyways to give you a legitimate answer on where I am right now, I would have to answer with – I am present. How did I get here? I’m not quite sure of that either, but I think it has to do with the fact that ultimately I will not be able to fully understand any of my actions not to mention the effects of those actions. Am I waiting on something? Yes, I am waiting for my next self-realization, sometimes I forget that I am, or in other words exist and that other people exist too. Avoiding something? I am avoiding avoidance. Let everything come and go. I don’t revolve around the thinking of ignorance is bliss, because it certainly is not. Excited for something? Yes I am, I am excited to see my stunning girlfriend today at school, our love for each other exceeds our need for each other, which I think is beautiful.
I am in the middle of what I like to call “Chapter 17″. I am quite content with life and have been involving myself in more and more things that I love and cherish. It’s a great chapter.
I feel that everyone is where they are supposed to be whether or not they or okay with it. Because no matter what, change is always inevitable, and perseverance is always constant.
I truly appreciated this article, it definitely supports my reasoning for “late night philosophy”.
And remember, if you aren’t thinking, you aren’t living.

Roger February 11, 2013 at 12:25 am

I’m here trying to flee for pain and shame. Shame because I was dead inside for years and desperately trying to look for happiness at places where it can’t be found and blamed the one person I loved the most in my life. Pain because I hurted her when it was the last thing on earth I wanted to do. And the crushing fact she’s gone for good made me leave my life, made me live again. How bittersweet that tastes can’t be described.

I lost her and as I type this message, my feet are being cooled by drinkable water gently flowing down in a river and the sun is warming my bare skin of my chest and legs. I feel happiness. Mind is at ease and I am learning. My heart is blossoming again.

I’ve learned happiness can’t be found. And I have realised the one person I should love the most in this world should be me, before I can truly love someone else.

Thank you, I hope life brings what you seek. You deserve it.

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