I recently had someone tell me I was good at erasing the past from my life. This kind of took me by surprise because in my garage right now are four large bins of photos, memorabilia and collectables from my past. “Erasing the past?” No, I don’t think so, but because this charge stayed with me I knew there was something for me to explore here.
What I came to understand was that this person mistook my choice to live in the now as meaning I ignored what had taken place previously in my life.
You see, to some people the idea of living in the now is completely foreign, they base their relationships, their view of themselves and their family, their view of the world on what they can see in their rear-view-mirrors, rather than what they can see through their windshields. If we choose to drive looking in the rear view mirror we will inevitably crash, right?
Living the the now, planning for the future while still honoring the past is how I like to think I am living today. If I view my past as something I must escape, I loose so much of the richness of what I have experienced; the good, as well as the “icky-sticky” aspects of my life. If I try to pretend certain aspects of my past did not happen I set myself up to live in a duality which can only harm me in the long run because I have to live a lie, and that takes so much energy it simply is not worth the effort.
Escaping the past? No, letting the past be a beautiful aspect to the tapestry which is my life is so much more rewarding and joyful.