One need not be a chamber to be haunted;Emily Dickinson
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Today I want to remind you not to dwell in the past.
Memory is notoriously unreliable. Ask any detective or psychologist. Ten people could witness an event and each will have a differing version. And that version will change over time.
Nothing stays the same. Few things end up looking like the images you store carefully away in your head like old photographs.
Have you ever been back to a place from your childhood and been surprised to find how small it is compared to what you had remembered? Memory gives a brilliance, a drama, a lustre that is added each time we access that moment in our lives. Over time we often embroider extra sparkles, or shade it a little darker.
Don’t get me wrong. Memory is a wonderful thing. Recalling happy times, remembering and celebrating our relationships and achievements – all of that can have a positive affect on our lives if we’re only dipping into that stream occasionally.
But we can end up living far too much in our heads; wondering what might have been, or thinking about what we could have done differently, what we had, or what we lost. We can become a prisoner to our thoughts. Filled with regrets, or guilts, or suffering. We can harm or limit ourselves with our thinking, because we get stuck in our memories and lose touch with reality.
Life can only be lived in the Now. If we are caught up in regret about a past lover, we miss the soul mate right in front of us. We sit inside, lonely and cold on the couch, instead of running about outside in the sun. One small failure can stop us from ever again attempting the thing where we might shine. We may waste precious time mourning a relationship or situation that would never have delivered us happiness. One great moment can rob you of all of the future joy from the things you’ll never try, because of their perceived inability to match up to that one great thing.
And all the while that we are in our head life goes on, without us.
Let go of the past. Put your memories away. Life is waiting for you, right here at your doorstep. If you do run into ghosts from the past, you’ll most likely find they look nothing like you remembered them anyway.
Embrace life, for all its imperfections. Today, promise yourself to stay present. To look through your eyes. To listen. To feel – both emotions and physical sensations. Anchor yourself in the moment. As the saying goes, Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a Mystery. Today is a gift, which is why we call it the Present.
Sending love, hugs and mindful moments, Nicole xx