Old stories, new moment
Life is what we make of it. This is not to say it’s necessarily easy. We are constantly playing old tapes in our head. Something happens and we immediately pull up an archived memory and judgment about what we experience. Some may be positive and others negative. This doesn’t mean we have to be stuck in the old and continue to re-create the belief formed years or even decades ago.
We do this in an instant and most times we are unaware of this millisecond response. All we notice is the feeling that arises. The thought that preceded it and the schema or archived memory goes unnoticed. This is fine because once you feel the feeling you can introspect the rest. Just because something happens today that reminds you of what happened years ago does not have mean it’s the same. Why? Because you are different, you are not the same person you were years ago. You have grown in experience. The memory may be of when you were a child and now you are an adult in much more control of your life.
We constantly travel back in time and bring it into the present resulting in feeling stuck. What happens today is in the present moment and what happened in the past is not happening now unless we say it is by re-enforcing it. Then we trick our self into believing it is true. Mindfulness is the practice of allowing each moment to be all there is. With mindful practice we can experience life anew. An uncomfortable situation does not have to continue to mean that life is hard. The end of a relationship does not have to prove once again that people abandon you. Conflict with a loved one does not have to confirm others are against you.
Life is what you make of it. When a person, place or situation reminds you of a past unpleasant or even traumatic memory you can remind yourself that you are safe, right here, right now. Look at your feet and be here now. Tell yourself life is ever changing and if you really want to take it to the next level practice non-attachment and tell yourself it’s neither good nor bad. It just is.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.