Can self-understanding only be experienced in the present?

Commentary by José Parés Pérez, Concepción, Chile

The challenge for humanity is forever present, whether or not we realise it. We are constantly challenged by life, so that we experience it. Life lacks meaning if we do not experience the full potential it offers us. The challenge consists in experiencing everything that we accept from the life we live, now in the present moment. We do not have any chance of reclaiming what we have failed to experience nor storing it away, so that we can experience it later.
We are a reality that is not easily understood by us.
And for as long as this continues to be the case, we are wasting our lives.
When do you not understand yourself? Are you accepting yourself as you are when you blame yourself for something in your past? Are you at ease with yourself when you search anxiously for someone to love you?
Or do you desire something that you do not possess?
Are you not perhaps hurting yourself when you uselessly prolong your grief for a death that you cannot avoid? Are you not perhaps squandering your happiness when you waste it because someone irritates you by what they have said? An infinite number of questions that indicate your resistance to the reality that you may experience. And life’s challenges are not resolved by changing what we are. The truth is that we would have to change everything we are to eliminate what could distance us from our lives in the present. There are always going to be circumstances that might make us move away from our lives in the present and which could cause us malaise. If I have a characteristic that might trouble me at certain moments, nothing will take it away; nothing will transform me into an out and out “saint.” The only way to live life is to be aware of the present, accepting myself as I am. If I am present in my life I have the freedom to deal with my own understanding of life.