For those of you who crave returning to the past i.e. the way it was, get over it!
I’ll tell you a secret: It never was the way it was!
Life, time moves in one direction only and while living it only exists in the present. The past only exists in memory and that has been polluted with all your projections, feelings, judgments, biases, wishes, desires, beliefs, personality traits and socio-cultural constraints. The future hasn’t happened yet and is colored by the same attributes that color the past. What you’re left with is the here and now.
Life flows. Life keeps coming at us with all its chaotic variety. Get out of the way and flow with it, act not as a barrier by “damning” the flow i.e. to judge it an improper flow. Help it to flow. Life requires evolution, we are either evolving or we are dead, devolution or standing still are often just other words for death.
Take from the past what works, but only if it continues to work. To dam up the process with what no longer works only because you liked it better when it did causes turbulence until the waters break free and cascade jubilantly, chaotically once again down stream. Be nostalgic, the soul loves the good in what was, also learn from it so as to better the present, but in the end … let it go!
Be like Thoreau and walk into the forest every day as though you’ve never been there before and let life pour into you newly. Live in the world but don’t forget your companion. Let the emptiness in your heart stir in you an old friend who was with you before you came, is with you now, and will go with you when you leave. Awaken to who you really are, not who you’re afraid you are, or wish you were but who you really are. Let go of all those branches and debris that collects along the shores of the river’s flow and venture out into the unknown. There’s where true freedom lies.
To the left is a gift created by my teenage granddaughter for my birthday.
Dark strings of twisted gray fear, aimless light blue swirls of sadness growing darker into the deep, red hot blobs of oily anger, and the sparkling pink cotton of happiness these are the containers of “bottled emotions” a potpourri of the feelings of not just adolescence, but of us all at any age.
Our emotions can be painful whether they reflect the pangs of love, the searing pain of anger and loss or the heavy blanket of depression. Is it any wonder that we tend to shove them back into the darkness of our unconscious when they conspire to overwhelm us?
But they never stay down there, they’re never fully hidden or forgotten, never quite out of sight or out of mind and hovering just below the surface of our consciousness ready to wash over us like a tidal wave and drag us out to sea and into the deep chaos of our unconscious selves.
Un dealt with these creatures of the lower world control our actions in the upper world. Our relationship with them colors our reality in a kaleidoscope of ways effectively blinding us to what is all around us and informing our existence in ways we seem to have no control of. And yet, we have control when we don’t manhandle and stuff them below consciousness.
We are very much in control when we allow them to be by not resisting them. We can have anger without becoming our anger, feel sad without being our sadness and express our love expansively and creatively without reservation or trepidation of losing it in the next moment. It’s simple really i.e. being what we are when we are being what we are– no judgment, nor critique, no should or ought projected onto what we’re being.
Try quieting the “little judger”, the voice in your head that’s always tempering your moments. “Be here now” said Ram Dass i.e. be what you’re being when you’re being it. This is how YOU run the show.