“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” Jan Glidewell Memories. Oh, memories! There is something about the past, about reminiscing, about having long hours of daydreaming about past moments of happiness, and for some masochist, even dwelling on the daydream of a hurtful memory (i know I used to do that a lot!).
We have heard on and on, that the past doesn´t exist, yet sometimes it appears so real, as real as this moment.
Truth is, the past only exists in our minds, in our thoughts. You cannot actually relive the past, can you? You cannot simply rewind the tape and find yourself in yesterday, nor in 10 minutes ago for that matter. Even if you tried so hard. It´s our addiction of checking out of the present moment, the only moment where Life IS actually happening, to jump into our past and pretend that we are actually living by following the storytelling of our stream of thoughts.
And yes, if we look back, the past is there, it will always be there. And lots of times we use it to justify this moment, to excuse our reactions, to project and trying to figure out the future, to find comfort or attempt to experience love. And we tend to believe so much in this past, that it limits the endless possibilities of our present, confining even more the potential of the future. We hold on so hard to it, we believe we have to "pay" for our "mistakes", that great things only happen once, that what happened once will happen once and again, and our innocence is sucked out of our experience and our vision becomes narrow. Very, very narrow. And ironically, it is by doing this, that we actually re-create our past and narrow our experiences. And we find ourselves, at some point thinking: "I knew it was going to happen again, I knew this person was going to do it again, I knew it! It has happened before."
But, have you noticed how memories are not such a reliable source? They usually tell us whatever it is that our minds are searching for in any given moment. The past always has a sense of greatness or devastation depending on our ACTUAL experience of life.
Something like this: Our brilliant minds can justify ANY position, any position at all, and it´s amazing at its job to find arguments for doing this, and construct a whole unbreakable theory of justifications around certain position (whether positive or negative). The sharper the mind, the faster and better constructions it will come up with. (now, this is great for winning an argument, but not so great for being at peace).
This happens a lot in relationships. When we are mad at our mother/father/partner/sister/brother/BFF, the past seems dark, the memories that come up are all tainted with that thing he/she does that you just hate so much. They are always mean, terrible, selfish, bad, horrible, horrible, people. "Yesterday morning when he/she asked me to pass him/her the Jam, he/she was really arrogant. Of course, he/she thinks I am his/her maid."
Oh, but, the next day, you and your mother/father/partner/sister/brother/BFF patched things up, and promise to never ever fight again. And then, you check again into your past, and what´s there? Memories filled up with love, with joy, he/she is so nice, loving, romantic, funny, the best thing in the world. "Aw, yesterday morning, when she/he asked me to pass her/him the Jam, he/she was so rushed for work, cutie. Of course, he/she knows I am there to support him/her and it made me feel so appreciated"
How many times have we broken up a relationship with someone for obvious, valid reasons and we move on? Suddenly, we start a new relationship and everyone else in our past seem like the dullest, most boring people ever, and we can´t find any reasons why we were ever with them in the first place. Yet, whenever useful, specially if we are having issues, we look back and "oh, it was so great, with him/her I never had this issue I am having right now." Funny huh?
Bottom line is, the past is NOT a reliable source of Truth, it is not a reliable measurement for our present, least to say for our future. The past is actually whatever we want it to be. We can embellish it, or taint it. And it is directly related to our experience of the Present Moment.
When we experience absolute Peace, everything is perfection, past and future included. We can find the wisdom in every single little thing that has happened in our lives, we praise the people in it, and we can understand even the ones that caused us pain. And a little bit further, when we experience real Peace in this moment, we can´t care less about the past!! There is no space for wanting to dwell on anything cuz that will mean, missing out on the wonders of this Moment. Of the Now. And that in itself opens up the endless possibilities, gives our relationships the best shot at being brand new, at reinvent themselves constantly, and life can become a whole new experience in any given moment.
Trying to find Truth in the past, is like going and digging in the trash can, in order to validate the existence and quality of what we are having for lunch today.
The only thing that can validate our experience of what is happening now, is right now. Anything else is not even true. It doesn´t exist.
And real Truth is in the Heart. The Little Prince knew it. Do you?
Love Forever Now