“There you go” and “Here I am”

Categories Life

“There you go again.”

Ronald Reagan was known for deploying this phrase to disarm his opponents – perhaps most famously (and effectively) during the 1980 presidential election debate against then incumbent President Jimmy Carter.

I remember this during my morning meditation practice, for no discernible reason. But one doesn’t need a reason for thoughts to arise. It happens. All the time. It’s normal. It’s okay. And as I was about to acknowledge it and diffuse it with a “Thinking”, a sort of nod to the thought, an idea came to me.

“There you go again” could describe thoughts arising just as easily, as I am trying to focus on the present. To be mindful. But that phrase is powerful partly due to its note of disgust and infuriation. I was trying to dismiss the thought more gently.

The “again” is what makes it so powerful and negative. How do I reframe that?

And so it came to me: When a thought, a distraction, arises, I say to myself, “There you go.” Acknowledging without judgement. And then I return to the present by saying “Here I am.”

There you go. Here I am.

It feels less combative. The practice becomes more pleasant. And often a smile sneaks in; I can’t help it. And this thought makes me smile even more, because that is okay. We should all smile more.

There you go. Here I am.

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A writer. Loves coffee. Believes in the power of stories.