Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you can not bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain. Kahlil GibranThere was a man who was lost in a vast desert. He wandered for days, searching for water, fearing he would die. As he stumbled over one more sand dune, he saw, at the bottom of the other side, a vast and mighty river flowing. He tumbled and spun down the dune to the edge of the water and drank gratefully.
When his thirst was sated, he looked up and on the other side of the river, saw a land beyond his imaginings. Lush and green, birds sang in the mighty trees that covered the distance to the horizon. Flowers blossomed in a carpet of rainbow colours upon the ground, fruit hung from every bough.
"Oh how I wish I could be there," he whispered to the sky.
But there was no bridge. No ferry waiting to take him across.
He looked around and saw pieces of wood strewn across the shore. Quickly he gathered the largest pieces and built a boat. Satisfied with his work, proud of his accomplishment and ingenuity, he jumped into his craft and sailed across the river to the other shore.
"How beautiful! How wondrous!" he cried when he stepped upon the far shores. Everything he could ever imagine was there. Fruit hung from every branch. Mushrooms and vegetables grew in the ground.
Delighted he had found his very own paradise, the man set off to explore the lands before him. But he could not leave his trusty craft behind. "What if I come upon another river?" he asked. And he hefted the little boat upon his back and began to walk.
As he walked, the boat grew heavier and heavier. But he could not put it down. "What if I need it?" he kept whispering to himself. "At night, it will make a good shelter and who knows when it might come in handy up ahead."
Eventually, the man's knees buckled beneath the weight of the boat. He fell to the ground. He crawled as far as he could, the boat moving with him like a giant turtle shell upon his back. And when he could not move any further, he lay quietly and fell asleep upon the ground, where he sleeps forevermore, safe within the shell of the craft that carried him to where he is today.
To be free, we must let go.
To fly, we must leap.
To land, we must fall.
Holding on to feelings that got us through to where we are, keeps us feeling what was, and limits our experience of what is.
What is exists only in the experience of now. To experience what is real and true and happening right now, is to let go of feeling what was real and true back then.
That was then. This is now. And now is not forever.
Yet, sometimes, we hang on to now as if it will never change, never be any different. We hold on in the fear that to let go will mean we must change, be different. We hold on in the fear that to let go means what was had no meaning, no value, no purpose in our journey. We hold on because to let go of what was means we have no control of what is.
And we couldn't be more wrong.
We always have control of what is in our lives today. We make the choices that determine how we live this moment right now. It's what was we can no longer control. It is the past. Gone. Over. Finished. The feelings we carry with us, those are the stuff of our imaginings. The past is not 'real'. It only exists in our mind. Perhaps in frozen memories pasted on the page of a picture book we turn to when we want to remember what was, or who was, part of our journey. But it is not real. It does not exist in the three-d realm of our existence today. It's value is in the strengths we've gathered through coming through the experiences, the courage we tested and climbed upon to get to where we are. The value is in who we are today, not the journey that brought us here.
Let go of believing in the past, and hold onto being real in this moment. Drop the burdens, carry only your truth in this moment. Who you are, what you are doing right now is what counts. The only way to build a better tomorrow is to do your absolute, total, complete best right now.
Your best is good enough. Be it.
The question is: Are you holding on to spent emotions, fuelling the flames of regret, the fires of resentment, the embers of distrust with your desire to hold onto what doesn't create value in your life today? Are you willing to put down the burden of feeling less than who you truly are when you set yourself free to be the magnificent, awesome, wondrous being who has spent your lifetime getting to this place where you are living your life for all you're worth? Are you being rapturously alive?