As the year is winding down and coming to a close, it seems I keep being drawn to remember that our past is over and does not have to have an impact on our lives today. Among many other great realizations that I have been able to truly embody and integrate into my life this year, this one may be my favorite. Favorite because it is absolutely FREEING!
When you allow the things that have already happened to slip from your current conscious and release their hold on your thoughts, patterns and behaviors, it’s like the whole world opens up to you. And in fact it does! Suddenly there is freedom and openness to consider new things, receive new experiences and have an entirely new, refreshed look at what is in your life right now. It’s truly amazing how much we allow dwelling on our pasts cloud current experiences or view them with blinders on.
I’ve seen an email or poster or something that says, “The present is called the present, because it’s a gift from God.” No matter what your religious beliefs are, the present is a gift. And if we spend all of our time worrying, rehashing or focused on trying to “recover” from our pasts, we are missing the absolute gift that is being presented to us today.
And let’s take a hard look at this obsession all too many of us have with our pasts. I mean, aren’t we told repeatedly that history repeats itself and that the past is an indication of what’s in our futures? We’ve basically been conditioned to keep re-examining our pasts. And what if none of that is true? What if the reality is that if you want to learn and grow from each thing that marks your life you will and so you can not repeat your experience because your whole frame of reference has been shifted. That past event can never be repeated in the exact same manner.
Even if we aren’t dwelling in hurt, anger or bitterness, how many of us continue to try to evaluate and over-analyze our pasts looking for a solution on how to improve our lives or make better decisions? But here’s the thing…the past is DONE! Over. Not to be redone. We have no control over what happened and we simply can’t change it. So why stay focused on an event/events that are now no longer really, truly relevant to our current lives?
I’m sure some will argue, “but it makes us who we are. It’s shaped us. ” And this is true. Things that have been impressed on us, that we have experienced, learned or been told, have shaped us into who we are today. All decisions, thoughts and actions come from a place of those impressions. The thing is, we don’t have to LIVE there! You will have already learned what ever you can learn from those things. No amount of concentrated thought on our past events teaches us anymore than it already has. If you are worried that you will keep reliving the past if you can’t “figure out” why it happened in the first place, you are exactly right. You will. But the reason isn’t because you haven’t spent enough time looking at it, it’s because you allow that experience to be your frame of reference to every day. So how are you to see anything else?
You are missing the gift that is being presented today. You are missing out on experiencing something that can only be had but once. Right now. Don’t worry about having learned your lessons. What ever you are going to learn, you already have and that knowledge is there with you to help you today, in this moment.
By letting go of things that have not had the outcome you desired but are now decid ed, you are opening yourself up to have a new experience, a new opportunity. Living in the present with no expectation of what will come from it in the future, or comparing and analyzing it withyour past, will allow a sense of peace to take over your daily life. Because now you can just BE. You can now have every moment of the day in entirety, in the present, with no shadows created from your past blocking its full potential to be experienced and perceived from today’s point of view.
You only have right now to have THIS thought! You only have this moment to have THIS experience! See it for exactly what it is in this snap shot of time. Your knowledge and frame of reference from all you have learned from the past are with you in this moment to help you have the best perceptions and make the best decisions you can from this place in your life.
So during this holiday season, give yourself a gift first. Put down that heavy baggage you begrudgingly carry around and replace it with a “present”.