I don’t tend to live in the past, but I certainly feel influenced by it at times. Things that have happened to me or those that I love; events that were significant; losses through death or estrangement. It seems that a sting still lives in me around past circumstances that stirred up deep feelings of fear and loss in me.
When I was younger, I would acknowledge a loss, such as the death of a loved one, by honoring the anniversary, the year mark of the event itself. By observing it, it seemed to acknowledge the pain of the loss in a way that would bring me comfort, and some form of peace. I don’t recognize anniversaries in any formalized way anymore, but it feels like when a certain time of year comes around, I am taken back to a period of my life that was especially painful and difficult.
Three years ago, at this time, it seemed like many aspects of my life were crashing in on me. Relationships with members of my family were deeply strained; my son was in big emotional trouble; and two people that were very important persons in my life, died. I felt like I was in a tornado of emotions, and reeling from all of the chaos and sadness that I seemed to be experiencing. To this day, parts of that time still seem to haunt me, to feel sharp and real and like they just happened yesterday.
Then, I gratefully recall all that I was learning then, and have been learning in a more deep way since that time. I remember that the past, and any recollection that I have of it, is simply a memory trace. It does not exist, just as the future does not exist. So, for me to ruminate on events that are long past gone, or worry about how things will unfold at some future time, is futile. In addition to that, doing so does nothing for my Peace within. There is no rest for my soul when I keep reminding myself of things that have already occurred and cannot be undone.
So, I remember compassion. I remember gentleness and love. I remember that to recall is only human; but to tell the story over and over again, in a way to condemn myself or others, or to act out a drama that I can suffer all over again, makes no sense, and is unkind. I remember to remember, without telling the story to myself. I remember to breathe. I remember that as real as it may feel now, it has already happened and is gone. It is as it is.
I get to find my Peace, again and again.