Hello again my dear friends and welcome to another Patrick’s Ponderance.
As I sit down to write this article it’s an unusually warm February morning. The sun is just breaking over the Ohio hills and the weatherman promises it will be 63 degrees today. What a great time to be alive and enjoy the moment. In my mind, there doesn’t seem to be any lingering worries of the past and at this point in time I have no plans for the immediate future. The house is quiet and a small white poodle is curled up on the couch. Now, what shall I ponder? Ironically… the past. My history, your history, time or the lack there of.
My gorgeous wife Lisa and I have been discussing lately how our personal past has been rapidly fading from memory. Now, if you don’t know us personally I’ll say that she and I have known each other for about five years. We met in our mid-forties after we ended our own long-term relationships. We’ve had nearly a half-century apart as we built our lives full of different friends, family, travel experiences, relationships, etc. One would think that we would spend our time chatting about the good old days (or the bad old days) but that isn’t the case. In fact, we rarely talk at all about our lives before we met. The reason for this is not to avoid the past, but strangely enough, most of the past feels like it has been erased from the memory banks. It often requires effort to recall events from our childhood or past relationships, as well as old friends and events. Sure, we noticed this strange phenomenon years ago, but it is only recently that I started pondering this issue in earnest.
I must say here that Lisa is an incredibly gifted psychic-medium as well as a trance-channel and I am an intuitive myself. We lead quite an interesting life as strange beings and odd occurrences flow in and out of our lives. We have been called to raise our own consciousness as we help others do the same. From my point of view, the most valuable way to do so is to release ourselves from the emotional pain and guilt that is locked-up in our own personal histories.
When Lisa and I met, we thought we had it all together, living single and enjoying life. What we actually did is offer a catalyst to the other for facing our pain and fears and working through them with the love of a caring partner by our side. We were blessed to be able to help each other in this way but this is when we began to notice that the past was becoming a blur and memories were fading away. Now, one may feel that it’s a terrible thing to forget the past. It may even be unnerving to some to think that everything that has gone into shaping their identity is slipping away but I have to be honest, it’s a gift!
Now, most of these memories have not completely vanished but they are buried deep within the hard drive of the mind. Old photographs and such trigger the memory, as well as discussions with an old friend, so please don’t think we are losing our minds.
To my brand of thinking, the biggest reason we hold onto the past is because of the pain we hold that is associated with those events. Not totally, but I feel this is true for most. Even those happy times we remember often have sadness attached to them and I’ll explain this in a moment. I dare say that nearly everyone on the planet has moments of melancholy that can either be explained by the conscious mind or hidden from said mind by a protective sub-conscious. And what could be the reason for such sad feelings? I’m sure most would agree that the catalysts for such sadness are the negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions linked to our personal past that we have yet to come to terms with and release. For example, perhaps we secretly think about the one that got away. Instead of just remembering the good times, we tend to dwell upon the break-up, or words of anger that we regret. Perhaps we learn that the other found a new partner and is living a dreamy life. In this case the ego won’t allow us to be happy for the new couple, so we fill our mind with thoughts of inadequacy or judgement of ourselves and of the other. We invent stories that aren’t true and dwell on them for a lifetime. Another point of sadness is the pain associated with an unhappy childhood. Perhaps these are the toughest issues to move past because they may have happened at a time in our youth when we were most vulnerable and naive. Before, we had the knowledge and strength to stand up for ourselves. It’s easy to imagine how these things get stuck in the sub-conscious mind where they twist, turn, and cause confusion.
It also seems to me that there is a never-ending stream of negative thoughts pouring into our mind unabated. At times, I feel I’ve really got a handle on my past and healed much of it away but then I’ll have a sleepless night. And what does the restless mind use to entertain itself? That’s right… the past, and more than likely the thoughts are not about a happy birthday party, or our first kiss. It’s all those silly and petty thoughts of regret and guilt that the conscious mind distracts itself from.
Now you may be asking yourself at this time, “But what about all the happy times in the past that I remember”? Certainly, there are many moments that are remembered for the joyful imprint they’ve left but let’s look at those a little closer, shall we? For me, I used to remember those events with a feeling of nostalgia. And what is nostalgia really but a yearning for the good old days and sadness if you will, because those moments of happiness are gone. Perhaps with a wish that they will return. And to be honest, a wish like that is simply a hope to relive, what… that’s right, the past.
So, let’s get back to the reason this article exists, and that is the experience of our personal past fading from memory. As Lisa and I work to honor our feelings and emotions we help each other see these situations with new eyes. We strive to help the other to see the root cause of the pain and fears and let them go. With the pain cleared, the lessons of the past are no longer needed and as the pain slips away so do the memories associated with them. The past event has done its job of providing growth for the soul and at that point is no longer needed. It’s a beautiful process I must say, and now the mind is free to experience the present moment as it unfolds and the present mind has no need to worry about the past or to be anxious about the future. It can just be, in peace, and unburdened.
Before I sign off and say goodbye, I would like to share a vision I had. As I was lying in bed this morning preparing for this article, a vision came to my mind as I lay still in the dark. I saw the past streaming away from me represented by a smooth smoky wave. Each shallow breath made a slight ripple in the wave. And I was sure that the more dramatic an event was, the bigger the ripple would be and after a lifetime of this happening my past would be so muddled with events that I would never be able to overcome them all. I thought well, there goes the past flying by and I’m powerless to stop it. But then I tried an experiment to see if I could stop the past from flying away and locking up all the pain in my history. So, I just concentrated for a few seconds on stopping the flow and to my surprise the past slowed and simply stopped dead and as I looked at myself all I saw was me. There was no future coming at me and no past slipping away, it was just me in the present moment. I had the overwhelming sense that being present in the moment of Now protects me from having to experience the pain, guilt, and self-judgement of the past. If I only have this one singular moment and keep myself in it then there’s no use in having my emotions and feelings run amok and anchoring my every thought in a painful past. The moment of Now is where peace is, it’s where joy is, and it’s where love is. Love for myself and everyone else whom I hold dear in my heart. I have hope that everyone can find a similar state of being for themselves if they choose. I feel deeply that living in the moment of Now assures us the brightest tomorrow.
I’ll say goodbye for Now, Patrick