“What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.” … Unknown
Have you ever noticed how almost everybody is hanging on to the past? It doesn’t matter if “the past” is the irritating driver who cut them off 2 minutes ago, the business associate who got the promotion that they wanted last week or the multitude of mistakes that their parental figures made in their youth – everybody has some reason to blame yesterday for their unhappiness today. It doesn’t seem to occur to most people that yesterday is dead and gone and that if they TRULY want to make today into a different way of living – well – they really just need to focus right where their body is in existence – and that would be in the here and now.
Now I’m not suggesting that the traumas and hurts, the joys and successes and the multitudes of interactions that have occurred in our lives don’t affect today … I’m simply suggesting that they don’t need to live, breathe and take up space here – brought forward, on a moment to moment basis, to keep us company and chatter in our ears. If our best friends are the remembered injustices of life, the memories of past glories or even the pinnacle of a love won and lost then we are living with the metaphoric old dudes who sit out on the front porch with their shotguns on their knees, on guard against anything new and reminiscing about the “good old days”.
My question has always been: “If the old days were so darn “good” then how come we’re all running around trying to make our lives “better?” And my answer has become: “We’re doing our best to improve our lot in life because, whilst the old days may have had flashes of brilliance they are, in actual fact, simply Old.” I have beautiful memories of the days on which my sons were born, picture perfect moments of blissful vacations with those I loved and simultaneously I have painful recollections of those lost to death and disease and less than sterling behaviours on my own and other people’s parts. But ALL of those are MEMORIES. They occurred once upon a time and whilst I can revisit the feelings that they evoke within me, whilst I can often bring into focus the faces of those I loved or hated and whilst the intensity of the memory may be enormous – when all is said and done they are simply memories of people, places and things that are long gone from this Earth and my life.
I am a composite of the understanding that I have garnered from my experiences. My prior experiences have helped to shape me into the person whom I am today. A different person may have taken different lessons from the same experiences, but I; I chose to become this person. I chose to become the person who remembers yesterday, honors the people who taught me both my easy and my hard lessons and who moves on into tomorrow making time along the way to extend a helping hand to other souls whose need is great. You see I have learned that very little in life is “forever”. I have learned that people’s bodies die – whether we want them to or not, that sometimes death takes people from us far too early in life, that illness can come at any time – to anybody – in any country and any social strata. And I have learned that a lot of things in life are simply out of our control. I have learned to enjoy the beauty of each moment and each friend or stranger, despite the challenges that sometimes arise in my relationships, for I understand that those moments and those people will never show up in exactly the same way again.
I have watched Life as it moves and grooves around me and what I have come to understand is that very few people have had the dance lessons necessary to let them feel comfortable with the uncertainties and the intricacies of “The Dance of Life”. Everyone is so caught up in their memories of yesterday’s steps and mis-steps that they have become, predominantly, lost to the beauty of THIS moment, this step, this partner and this opportunity. You see I believe that EVERY moment is an opportunity. It is filled to the brim with chances to recognize both the up side and the down side of life. Each moment of The Dance of Life is an opportunity to move through life with a cornucopia of partners who swing, glide or mambo into our daily lives, each with their own unique twist and viewpoint and each of whom has something valuable and wonderful to offer us. Each new partner in the Dance, each new moment spent dancing with Life offers a brand–spanking–new opportunity to reach out and grasp our dreams, the potential for happiness and the ability to make choices that differ from any of the choices which we may have made before. “Regardless of what happened early this morning, last week or last year … RIGHT NOW is where happiness lies.”
This week why not try letting go of one or two of your old “dance partners” – you know the ones – Fear, Worry, Doubt, Distrust – those guys and gals! Just for one day; why not try out a new way of dancing through life? I t doesn’t have to be anything big! Just for one day smile at the stranger in the long line-up, bite back the sarcastic and negative response to your bitter colleague’s tirade or buy a rose for someone you love – just because. Like anything else in life, the more you practice your new little dance steps the more they will become a natural part of your life – easeful, easy and satisfying. Before you know it you will be finding happiness positively seeking you out! Learn from the past. Dream and plan for the future. Live NOW, in THIS now, for this now is where happiness lies.
Godspeed and Joyous Journeying Everyone