Saturday, October 11, 2008

Victim of the past, or victor in this moment.

It is never too late to have a happy childhood. Tom Robbins
Saturday morning. Boxes wait to be filled. Coffee warms my hands. Autumn has fallen and with it cool temperatures descend.

What if reality is exactly where we're at? What if, whatever pain or turmoil, fear or consternation we encounter is exactly what we are meant to experience? What if the reason we're here, in this moment, is to move us to the next.

The universe doesn't care where we're at. The universe simply is. We put the caring into our existence. We put the concern into our being.

I had dinner last night with a very dear friend. She was telling me about a conversation with her mother where she tried to discuss some not so great memories of childhood.

"Listening to you, you make it sound like you had a terrible childhood," her eighty year old mother said.

"I had a wonderful childhood," my friend replied. "But there are things that happened that hurt me and I just wanted to talk to you about them."

Her mother didn't want to listen. She didn't want her perceptions of her daughters childhood, and her mothering, disrupted.

My friend was upset. "How do I put these memories in perspective?" she asked. "How do I find closure?"

"What if you create a memory of your childhood you can live with?" I asked.

"But that would be a lie," she said. "What about the truth?"

Ahh, the truth. What is the truth in memory?

The truth is, when we replay painful scenes in our minds, we are purposefully hurting ourselves with something we cannot change. The past.

My friend's childhood happened many years ago. Memory can be faulty. Memory can dipzy doodle in and out of time, out of sync with events no longer clearly seen as time passes and we move onto new adventures, and misadventures. As we create a longer past, our recreation of the details of what happened, becomes faulty.

Truth is, we get to choose how the past affects us today. If replaying scenes of childhood abuse hurts. Don't replay the scenes. Accept the abuse happened and move into healing by moving away from the abuse, into self-love.

It's okay to remember. It's not okay to dwell, to mull over, to become mired down in painful memories that hold you back from flying free.

For my friend, her childhood memories do not create value in her life today. What has value is her minds ability to create a new scene of childhood; a childhood where her inner child runs freely through fields of wild flowers, laughing gaily as she dances under a warm glowing sun.

Nothing can change the events of her childhood that hurt her. She can change the pain of carrying those memories around. Looking for why someone did what they did, long after they're dead and gone, keeps her tethered to the past. Replacing those memories, whenever they erupt, with a different version of the truth, will empower her to live freely today, without fearing that what happened long ago, was all she deserves today.

Now, I'm not suggesting whitewashing over the past. I'm suggesting not repeating the memories that stick inside our hearts, like burs on a dog, rubbing constantly against our peace of mind. I can't change what happened to me. I can change how I perceive its effects. I can change how I tell the story of my life -- I can stay a victim of the past, or become a victor in this moment. The choice is mine.

The question is: How long is your memory? How far and how often do you drag yourself back to a time you cannot change? Are you willing to recreate your childhood to reflect your power today to live the life of your dreams? Are you willing to recreate yourself as the amazing, magnificent, brilliant human being you truly are?

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