Hello, February. The groundhog has promised us an early Spring. Already the days are lengthening. It is no longer dark when I leave my volunteer station at five p.m. A misguided daffodil is waving in my front yard, sure to get his wee head bitten off next weekend when the temps drop below freezing again. The darkness doesn’t last long.
And so, I believe, it is with Life also. There are dark days for all of us; such is the nature of Life on this planet. Some of the days are very dark indeed and it feels like they will never end, but they do.
The dark days do end, and the sun shines and the warm air blesses you. Life does not go back to what it was before, and sometimes that is all we want, to go back. Sadly, there is no back. There is only now. And if we are lucky, there is tomorrow. But all we really have is Now.
I once knew a lady who was dealing with a serious medical situation, yet she remained happy and positive as the time neared for her diagnostic procedure. I had to ask how she could remain positive in the face of such dire possibilities. She smiled and said, “I do have problems, but they are not affecting me today. I have done everything I can to deal with the situation. I’m not ignoring it; I know that I may be facing a grave situation, but I’m not giving that possibility my today. I will give it as many tomorrows as it demands, but not until it makes that demand. Why should I forfeit my today to something that may or may not happen tomorrow?”
To put it another way, BE WHERE YOU ARE. Right now, this minute. Isn’t that all we really have in this life? I try – and don’t always succeed – to stay in the present moment. The past is gone, tomorrow becomes today when it arrives, so today is when we are alive. It is the only time we are alive.
So often, I think, we dwell on the past, rehashing and remembering things that we regret or that make us angry still. But you know what? Your subconscious brain can’t tell the difference between what you’re remembering and what’s happening right now. So when you call up old hurts, you’re subconsciously hurting yourself again. (Check out the work of Dr. Bruce Lipton for more on this).
It’s a good thing to work through your past and learn from it what you can, to figure out how events that happened then shaped you and what you need to forgive or let go. But would you believe I’ve recalled the same argument with my ex-husband twenty times, and I’ve had the perfect retort every time (the one that escaped me at the time).
But it retraumatizes me every time I remember it. It refreshes my heartbreak. It also means that I’ve given up a portion of Now to something that is over and cannot be changed. I don’t want to give him anymore of my time.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately regurgitating events in my childhood, trying to figure out a way to have had a better past. Some of that’s been beneficial; looking at things from the perspective of age sheds light on things that I couldn’t see then. The work has been important for me, but I’ll be glad when it’s done.
And what a glorious thing it is to be where you are. Sitting on my porch in the bright sunshine, a crisp breeze blowing, the dogs on Sniff Patrol, birds flitting about. The trees stand in sacred sleep, their branches making vivid scratches against the blue sky.
Yes, I woke up with a bit of a headache this morning, but I don’t have one now. Yes, I have laundry and housework and writing and dog duty and lots to do later, but I don’t have to do it now.
Right now, at this moment, what I have is the sunshine, the breeze, the dogs, the birds, the trees. And it all is so beautiful and so peaceful. Why would I want to miss it?
Oh – Dr. Bruce Lipton doesn’t know who I am and he doesn’t give me money for mentioning his work, but….