All my life I have had this sad feeling whenever i think of anything past, people who’ve gone, jobs lost, a lost time in my life. Today i will reframe this — I don’t like the sad feeling, like things were good then but now nothing matter, That is an habitual response whenever something triggers a connection to a past person or time or place. Currently i have a new response when those feelings are triggered. I have researched physics and other writings about time- that it is an illusion – this concept enables me to be free from pain about the past or wistful nostalgia – as if those times were better. Since my mom died recently it is more clear than ever to me, that the present is all we have. And the “have my cake and eat it too” in all this is: Since there is only now, all those things that trigger in my memory are not really PAST. They are all part of the here and now, not gone. Feelings i had then, i have now, if i choose to. Feelings of pain about the past, or regrets, become suddenly light weight and no longer have power to depress me, once i realize there is only now and that all that has happened, will happen and is happening is all RIGHT NOW. That all i AM is here and now – I am not the past, nor defined by it, nor a victim of it, anymore than if i were to see a movie in which a person was victimized and from then on i would be a victim.
When you think of the tiny dot of time that humans have been alive, it is easier to realize that my tiny amount of time on earth, my past, present and future is all one event, not some long drawn out linear thing… This is going somewhere…umm…it means that the pain, the draining of motivation, that accompanies thoughts and feelings about past things…can be obliterated… How can that be? Here is how; When i think of a past thing, like my mom in the kitchen when i was 5, since i come from the vantage point that time is an illusion, i don’t need to feel some deep sadness that my mon died or that i am no longer this little child without the harsh experiences of an adult. because really when I was 5 i was also 50, and when i am 50 i am also 5. I have access to all times, feelings, happiness, innocence, to the blazingly bright and perfect worldview of that little girl, only now with the wisdom of a zen guru added in, making live all the more amazing and opened to all the best infinite possibilites.
The past no longer has to be suppressed – i used to suppress thots or feelings about the past –that can be triggered in many ways, many times a day: a song, a photo, driving by a place i lived before. I suppressed the feelings because i wanted to prove how the past didn’t matter, that i was smarter now and did not care about it. The suppressing ate up my energy and enjoyment of the present.
But now i don’t have to suppress it. that means i can be in power in the present, allow the feelings to occur, and acknowledge they are part of the here and now, not some past tragic/happy thing that is gone forever..then if they help me do better in the here and now I enjoy the feelings/thoughts of the past, if they don’t help, i say to myself – that is an illusion just as time is an illusion – that event from 1960 or whatever is not determining my here and now, except to the extent i can learn from it…