A Moment of Beautiful Clarity

DSC_0055“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” –Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Hello friend,

Have you ever had that one little moment when it hits you how absolutely wonderful your life is? It comes like a tidal wave of gratitude in one visual image. Time stops, your heart swells, and in that magic moment you are completely intertwined with the Universe—and you know it.

It happened to me the other day. I was out for a walk around the block with my wife and kids on a placid early evening. Well, to be precise, the adults were walking, and the kids were roaring around on their Big Wheels (perhaps the greatest instrument of fun ever invented!). We turned the corner into the home stretch, and the kids charged ahead, pedaling feverishly in all their youthful glory. My wife was several steps ahead of me, striding briskly in a futile attempt to catch up to them as they made it toward home.

There it was: my life, right in front of my eyes. It was my street, my comfortable neighborhood, and my kind of evening in my favorite season. Here were these three people who I love more than anything, full of health and vitality, going happily before me.

“And for a moment, everything was perfect,” says the narrator (a la “Tangled”).

That wave of gratitude and wonder swept over me. I knew I was living the dream. “This is what it’s all about,” I said aloud. The tingle I felt in my soul as the words came out told me that I had just spoken the Truth, which felt amazing in its own right. So, with the most serene, ear-to-ear grin on my face, I nodded my approval and said softly, “Yeah, this is what it’s all about………….Thanks, God.” 

It was a transcendent moment, yet also small and plainly intimate. For that moment, the curtain was pulled back, and I got an up-close-and-personal look at the sheer, unadulterated Beauty that is my world. Stripped away were the worries and stresses about finances or schedules or someone misbehaving or my next career move. It was simply a moment in its purest form.

I used to think theoretically about being in the moment, especially as it pertained to people having problems and stresses. I pictured them sitting down on a park bench, and I said, “In this moment, unless you have hemorrhoids hurting your rear end, you don’t have a problem in the world. All of that stuff that you are holding onto about yesterday and all of those worries you have been feeling about your future—they are irrelevant in this moment. In this moment, with the sun on your face and fresh air in your lungs, everything is just fine. Do you choose to be present, to see it that way?”

In that moment, when I seemed to feel so intimate with the Mystery, it was as though that was not me but God herself nodding affirmatively and whispering, “Yeah, this is what it’s all about.” I wish I could bottle that moment, that feeling. It was nothing short of magical. Encapsulated Bliss. Even remembering it now leaves me in a state of deep Peace and Gratitude. This is how I can say with such complete conviction: Life is beautiful.

How about you? Have you had that magical moment? Open your journal and write about it. Describe the scene. What kind of a day was it? Who was with you, if anyone? Did you feel, like me, that moment of calm, almost as though time was standing still and the outside noises were muted while the Divine whispered in your ear? Were you able to pause in that moment and recognize it for what it was? For me, the best way to describe the feeling would be an overwhelming sense of Gratitude. Is that the word that best matches your moment? Have you had this special feeling more than once? If so, is there a common thread running through your moments? Mine is family. I can tell you that you are very lucky if you are overwhelmed like this frequently. You must be doing something right. Leave me a reply and let me know what your secret is. I want to know: Has the beauty of your life ever crystallized in a single moment?

Be present to the miracle that is Now,

William

2 thoughts on “A Moment of Beautiful Clarity

  1. Jacque Rutten

    I have had several of those moments so I do know what you’re talking about, and as you get older and have more time to think you realize that gratitude more often. I have a framed saying beside my bed that says “Look for the small miracles and you’ll find they’re everywhere” and they truly are. However, a wonderful family is much bigger than a small miracle. Glad you recognize it when it happens…you’re lucky!! Mom

    Reply
    1. William Rutten Post author

      Thanks, Mom. I was thinking as I was writing the post that this type of moment happens most often to me when our family gets together at one of your houses. When everyone is hanging out in the great room–some people talking at the table and kids playing on the floor and others just doing their own thing–I sit in my spot and just take it all in. In those moments, everything seems right in the world. That is when “Home” takes on a whole new meaning. Thanks for always creating that atmosphere. It is priceless.

      Reply

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