pres⋅ence /ˈprɛzəns/ [prez-uhns]
1. the state or fact of being present, as with others or in a place.
2. attendance or company: Your presence is requested.
3. immediate vicinity; proximity: in the presence of witnesses.
4. the military or economic power of a country as reflected abroad by the stationing of its troops, sale of its goods, etc.: the American military presence in Europe; the Japanese presence in the U.S. consumer market.
5. Chiefly British. the immediate personal vicinity of a great personage giving audience or reception: summoned to her presence.
6. the ability to project a sense of ease, poise, or self-assurance, esp. the quality or manner of a person's bearing before an audience: The speaker had a good deal of stage presence.
7. personal appearance or bearing, esp. of a dignified or imposing kind: a man of fine presence.
8. a person, esp. of noteworthy appearance or compelling personality: He is a real presence, even at a private party.
9. a divine or supernatural spirit felt to be present: He felt a presence with him in the room.
What a wonderful word. Presence. I am so feeling it right now.
It's been over a year since I've had a presence on this blog. I did not abandon it. I never will. But, I could not have a presence here for that time due to, simply put, life.
I find it so amazing that my last blog entry was about purpose. I just re-read it for the first time since it was posted.
Here is the last paragraph of that post . . .
So, the choice before me is, fulfill my purpose or not be alone. This is black and white. The grey has already been explored, and there are no answers there. It's one way, or the other, apparently. The nuances of that choice boil down to the rhetorical . . . do I please G-d, or do I please people. . . Do I continue to accept my purpose and continue to fulfill it, or do I listen to others and give in to what they say I should do, which would make them very happy.
It was right after this very post that I made my choice, and seemingly, lost my presence. From before that time until about two months ago I was in a limbo, of sorts. It was as if my perspective was not at all important to the work of some *other* presence within the depths of what I called my life. I sometimes felt as if I was hanging on a coat hook, attempting to get down - flailing my arms and legs wildly, but with conviction. Then, fall exhausted against the wall and feel that hook becoming a part of my very being. There was absolutely no way out of the circumstances . . . I had to live them. I had no presence of my own - none was necessary. That other presence was in control, and I and my coat hook were not. It was scary as hell.
My decision was to continue to follow my purpose in this life, and not follow other people. It is much more important to me to know I am following G-d's will for my life than the will of another. What I really need to think through is . . . why? I don't know why that's more important to me, but it is.
That choice totally changed my entire life. I am a different person now. A different presence. Better. Stronger. Kinder. Tougher. More spiritually aware.
I've had a lot of losses through all of this, but I don't care about that because my mind works again. I find that to be so phenomenal, and boy, is it great to be back to being me. For several years my mind had been clouded by. . . by a presence. It began to take over, and postulated it's right and intelligence to do so consistently. At the most foundational part of the whole situation, there really was no choice. So I put into action what I knew was required of me. My clarity of mind has returned because it is no longer overshadowed.
It's amazing what divorcing an abuser will do for you.
Let me share something with you. Do not be afraid of losing your presence as it is right now. When your mind returns to you, you will see that you are truly a glowing new creation with the same essence, but an entirely new presence.
“The person who, being really on the Way, falls upon hard times in the world, will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend or thing that offers him refuge and comfort and encourages their old self to survive. Rather, he will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help him to risk himself, so that he may endure the difficulty and pass courageously through it. Only to the extent that a person exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible be found within them. In this daring lies dignity and the spirit of true awakening.” – Zen teacher Kalfried von Durkheim