Do my answers usually come from my reactions?

Commentary by José Parés Pérez, Concepción, Chile.

That is exactly what tends to happen when we do not pay attention to our responses. If we are not present in our lives, everything we perceive can cause us to react in a way that does not just trouble us but also those around us. We are so used to living in this way that we do not notice that it sets us apart from what we so anxiously seek in life: the joy of living.

It does not even occur to us that we are or have everything we need to live happily. For many of us the way in which we live, in reacting to what life brings and in trailing the effects of it along behind us, is the way in which we are obliged to live. We accept what we are without even asking ourselves whether there is another way of living. We trail along behind life instead of going out to seek it. We go where life takes us without even imagining that we can steer it towards happiness.

This gloomy outlook can be changed by being present in our lives. The only thing we need is to know how to be present in our lives.

Pay attention to yourself as often as you possibly can.

Observe how you live. You are the one who has to journey through the life you lead. If you are interested in yourself, if you really love yourself, be aware of what you perceive in the present moment and how you are feeling.

Do not imitate anyone, be yourself and observe yourself. Often you dislike what you perceive, or it makes you feel scared, or what you think in relation to it is denial and fear. The reactions behind this cause us anxiety, sadness, unease, pain and suffering. If you become aware of this, or a part of this, you start to be present in your life. That is the path to take: being present in your life.

Do not seek anything else, everything else will come as a result of being present because you love yourself.