A Better Presence

I am never enough. There is always more of me to become. The soul that swooped down from the heavens to nestle among embryonic membranes and permeate my fetal cells captured my infantile first breath and is still emerging.

This life all about how I can do better.

How can I live better?

How can I love better?

I can tweak my communication with others. I can smile more. I can bring more sincerity, compassion, and attention. I can talk less and listen more. I can meet another person’s gaze with single-minded devotion to this moment we are both in . . . my indivisible focus. Just for an instant, I can be perfectly present for another.

In being present to another, I am present to my own soul and I am, after each encounter, more than I was the moment before.

This immutable forward progress makes me painfully aware of why the motion of existence is one-way. There is only growth, becoming, and ending. There is no reversing. There is no undoing what has been done no matter how much I wish I could. Reversal would undo not only the actions (or inactions) that I regret, it would also take away all that I have become.

This is my only opportunity to love myself, my daughters, my friends, and the strangers who come and go. In the next moment, they might be ended. I might be ended.

Will I be complete at the moment of my physical death? I don’t know, and it simply does not matter. Death is an ending and a beginning. All that I am follows me in this eternity. All who I have known live in my eternal memory. My better presence greets this day and from moment to moment, it whispers: what do you want to remember about this moment?

©2012 by Barbara L. Kass


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10 Responses to “A Better Presence”

  1. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    “single-minded devotion” and “indivisible focus”

    Barbara – I don’t think I’ve ever read a better description — ever — for “being perfectly present for another.”

    The ingredients you list here make for delicious food for thought. I’ve been starving…so glad you’ve dished up another plate. Thank you.

  2. Kimberly Grady Says:

    That I was sharing in a moment in time, feelings, thoughts, fears, goals, and being enough.

    Thank you!!!!


    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kim — you are always enough! I am working to incorporate that into my life to help counterbalance that overachiever in me who knows I can be better 🙂

  3. sandiwhite Says:

    Barbara, was off-line a few days, demise of a modem, all better now. I’m glad you found the time to put some thoughts down and share them with us. Are we ever enough? Well, no, I don’t think so, not in this existence anyway. It’s all school. Or, maybe, when we do understand it all, we get called in from the field. Really? I can’t say for sure I’d bet on it. I know too many people who passed that I felt had a way to go before attaining sainthood. Or maybe we are only set to learn a certain amount, an individual goal that is ours alone. You ask some timeless questions, when you find the answers let me know. Glad to know that you are still asking them!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandi — I think that this is why I seem to be devoted to continuing my formal education: I want to know everything! I’ve thought about the idea that we come here to learn certain specific things and once we have done that — poof! — we go on to the next thing. I get the feeling that what we don’t learn here (no matter how hard the universe tries) we will have the opportunity in the next iteration of our existence. The longer I live, the more convinced I am that I am a slow learner.

  4. ntexas99 Says:

    hi barbara – sorry about that “liking and leaving” yesterday. I intended to leave a comment, and then got pulled away from the computer … dealing with a leaking roof and other sorts of minutiae that keep our daily lives in order. I’ve been hovering in your neighborhood for a while now, and saw that your blog went a bit quiet. I’m blogging again, but still unsure if the new blog is the best use of my voice, so I’ve been hesitant to let old friends know where to find me. I guess I’ve finally decided to introduce old friends to new friends in the blogging sphere. Even if I’m unsure of where I am with my voice, I can clearly see people who have found my blog that might be helped by seeing your blog, so it’s time to connect the dots. Thanks for visiting my corner of the blog world, and I look forward to crossing paths with you.

    I liked what you said in this post about “can I live better” and “what do I want to remember about this moment” and about the unshakable truth about the fact that their is no reversing. What was done is done, and we can’t shift the events into a different order. Reaching for something unattainable not only is a waste of effort, but would also alter the natural course of events, and attempt to undo that which has led us to become who we are. It simply is.

    Well said. Good to see you again. hugs, nancy

  5. Barbara Kasss Says:

    Hi, Nancy — I had a wonderful visit yesterday romping around your blog and was so glad you left a footprint here for me to follow. I’ve been struggling to find the time and space to write. Between work and my clinical internship, I am working about 60 hours a week and 90% of my writing is focused on case presentations. I never realized how much my creativity depended upon empty space both within my thoughts and in my physical surroundings. Things are rather crowded right now both mentally and physically. I’ve got about 20 pre-blog drafts floating around this computer and I just have to make the space to revisit them, play with them, and let them coalesce into what it is I really want to say.

    I enjoy your writing. I will never say it is good or bad. I just know that I like the journey — I like what your words stir up in me to think about, the emotions they evoke. Reading about how you were married for 18 years to a man who sounds wonderful brought up a sadness that you lost him as well as my own sadness that I have never found that. Words give us a planetary connection we otherwise would not have and I am very grateful that you share yours with me. {hugs} Barbara

  6. network security Says:

    There’s definately a great deal to find out about this subject. I love all of the points you made.

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