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Friday, October 17, 2014

The Past is Present

Several mornings this week I have had the vision of a sort of funnel with all that has happened in my past contained therein, plus in a slightly distant and more faded way, all that has happened to my ancestors. All present in a certain way in my current life.

I have emphasized living in the here and now for many years, and that is a key to effectiveness and mental peace. Yet there they are, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly of my journey, hovering overhead.

It seems to me that each is a thread or two in the fabric of who I am in this moment. Even more, they only have power to distort this moment if I allow them. They have had their moment. They have softened, hardened, kneaded, and in many ways affected my 2014 me, back in the day when they were actually present and in my life. Today they are in my life as past influences, or if I invite them in, once again, recycled influences.

I can invite someone, some memory, out of my "funnel" here and tie up lose ends, suffer again, dismiss, or simply observe. I can forgive and release. I can rejoice and celebrate. But what I cannot do is erase them from the fabric of my life. They have already been in my life and have already left a thread. I can redefine that thread, but I cannot rip it out.

In a less direct way, the threads of my ancestors live in me in either stories once told in my presence or in my DNA. In some ways I see I can restore the story of those who have gone before yet live in me by making the choices they didn't have the strength to make. Confusing? Okay, for example my mother's father commited suicide when she was 7. Things had gone sour in his once successful life, and apparently he turned to drink and then a gun. Things have gone sour in my life (as in most if not all lives) and I have not turned to drink and have chosen to hang in there. I don't know if the DNA is changed in its forward movement, but the stories told about me and my perserverance in the face of dire obstacles is a different one.

At least, I think we might consider what influences drift in and which we do or do not wish to play out in this here and now. Just because they once were, does not mean they have to continue to be active in our life.

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