"You have the power to create. Your power is so strong that whatever you believe comes true. You are the way you are because that is what you believe about yourself"
~Don Miguel Ruiz
Five years ago yesterday I believed I had received a miracle of my life. At 9:14 a.m., May 21, 2003, two police officers walked in and set me free. I flew.
Yesterday, I forgot that it was five years. Until late in the afternoon when a girlfriend called and we were talking about my trip to the coast and she asked how I felt going back to a couple of places Conrad and I had spent time in while he was trying to figure out a way to flee the country. "I believe I have the power to choose how I feel about those memories and being there," I told her. "This past weekend was a different time, a different woman than the one who was hiding out, believing she was dead, wishing it were true. Truth is, I'm very much alive and living it up for all I'm worth!"
And then I realized what day it was and laughed.
Time puts distance between past events. A loving heart fills memory with peace of mind.
Yesterday didn't feel 'significant'. It simply felt real. A confirmation that over time I have healed, I have grown, I have spread my wings and set myself free to live each day with ease and grace.
At dinner last night, I told C.C. about forgetting. "Maybe it's time to close the past off," he suggested.
I thought about his words and replied, "I don't have to. There's no pull to keep veering onto memories lane. No feeling of woe when I think of those times. They happened. And I have grown beyond their pale."
"But you write of them often," he said. "Doesn't that keep the memory alive?"
I cannot change or heal what I do not acknowledge.
Memory is not a living organism. Memory is a continuum upon which we place the moments that have meaning in our lives. Memory is a placecard. A nameplate in our minds. A painting of time and space once lived, that fades in time, changes hue. Shadows lengthen, the brightness of memory wanes. As we move away from that moment in time that was so painful, so hard to take, we change our brushstrokes, colour up our past to create new paintings, new vistas in today. Like childbirth, we forget the pain and gaze with awe upon the creation in our arms.
In memories wake, I forget the hurt and gaze in awe at how far I've come, how much has changed, how different life is today when I believe I have the power to step fearlessly into each moment, committed to be bold. Be brave. Be my best self.
Lewis B. Smedes wrote,“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”
In writing of what was I remind myself of what is true today. I remind myself of the beauty and joy, the gifts, the incredible richness of my life today.
In writing of those times, I share my strength, hope and experience with others so that they too can find new pathways through today into a hopeful, more loving tomorrow.
Yesterday was five years since a moment in time. A moment where time stopped, and I awoke to a world of difference, a life of meaning. Since that moment five years ago, I have stepped away from the pain into the love of living my life fearlessly in this moment now where I am free to be all I'm meant to be.
I can't let go of my past. It is part of my life. I can pull the triggers that keep me stuck in believing the past was all I deserve today. In shooting through memory's trapdoors, I free myself of the pain and release myself into the joy of being free today. When I write of those times today, I unstick my thinking that would have me believe the past is my tomorrow. My tomorrows are yet to come. Living it up today, embracing my life for all I'm worth, stepping fearlessly onto the landmines that memory strews upon the road of life, that's me. The past is a landmine best exploded. In stepping on the triggers, I leap for joy. Joyfully, I write the story of my lifetime in awe of my truth today. I am free to be fearlessly in love with this life I believe I deserve, my one, wild precious life today.
The question is: Where are you stuck in believing the past is all you deserve? Where are you avoiding stepping on memory's landmines for fear the past will explode in your face and rob you of today?