This morning I woke up and remembered this especially delicious cookie and iced coffee I used to get every weekend from a local bakery. And how happy it made me. I would smile the whole drive there, practically whistle as I walked inside, and skip back to my car as I relished in a beautiful weekend morning.
I realized how long it had been since I’d done that. It felt like a different life. I thought about going to get it today, to remember the good. Did they even sell those cookies anymore? Was that bakery still in business?
Which brought me to thinking about…the past. I started imagining how things were before, and began to plan how to get back. Back to the happy times.
And then I realized that there was nothing back there that I needed. Truly. We glorify the past forgetting that we were probably desperate for change when we were ‘back there’. Waiting for better. Waiting for love. For freedom. For more money. For something to make us feel alive, or for some relief from the pressures of life.
I sat up in bed and thought of that again, “There is nothing back there that I need.”
Could it be true? Can I truly let go of the past? (yes) Do I need to remember my past to plan my future, or to follow the path of a new unfolding? (no)
The answer was more clear than it had ever been before. There was nothing back there that I needed. There was nothing to go back to. Nothing lost or taken.
Sometimes we cling to pain or disappointment because at least it makes us feel relevant. Grounded somehow. If I hold my past close to me, if I remember pain, then at least I am somebody. I am in relation to my past. I can be found somewhere on the map of Life.
Because if we let go of Past. If we let go of Pain. Who are we? When I’m not in relation to Who I Was Before…Who am I?
The only thing worst than Pain is the Unknown.
We live in a fear-based society. Our relationships are fear-based, our jobs are fear-based, our view of ourselves and God and the world is fear-based. And when fear abounds, when it becomes so familiar and undeniable, the only response is Control.
We cling to our past because we’ve already made sense of it. We know it. We’ve lived it. We relive our past thousands of times in our minds because it gives us the illusion that we are in control of what was uncontrollable at the time.
It all makes sense in retrospect. So we can forgive the problems, the longing. At least it makes sense now.
It’s better than a scattered present, where it’s difficult to draw connections. Or worse, an unknown future.
But we never escape that nagging feeling that it’s over. There’s nothing back there. There is Here. And here is better, even when it doesn’t look that way. Because Here leads to the freedom of discovery of an unwritten Future.
I remember how much I longed for change and for New back then. I remember how I wanted to feel free and to write the next chapter of my life with fresh ink.
So I’m reminding myself to be brave. That there’s nothing back there that I need. That fresh life and discovery are Now. That life is unfolding Here. And that’s where I choose to be.
Life moves with me and through me and Becomes. Let it be. Let it become. Let it unfold. Let yourself Discover.