Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday, June 18,The Past is Over

This is one of life’s greatest mercies: the past is over. This is one of life’s least taken refuges. If we come into the present, then we are where we can be alive and happy and deal with whatever needs to be dealt with. If we are moping about worrying about our childhood bullshit, then we are often, no usually, worthless to deal with stuff that comes up.

How about an example. My mother was critical. So, if my sweetie is critical, I have a tendency to bristle and get defensive. If I am one more therapy addict and my sweetie is critical, I can feel sorry for myself, or want to leave my sweetie, or demand she treat me better because poor me had a mean mother, blah, blah, blah.

However, in the present, if she is critical, I can follow my breathing and sense my spine and arms and legs in relation to gravity and look at her and hear her words. I can listen to her tone of voice. Does she seem to be in some sort of pain or agitation? How can I help her with that? I can listen to her words, and notice: what is she saying, in reality? If I am out of reality, I might “hear” her saying, I’m bad and worthless, but in reality, she might be saying she thinks I left the kitchen a mess.

In the present I can look around and see if this is true. If the kitchen is a mess, and I indeed was the perpetrator, then she isn’t criticizing me: she’s just telling me something I don’t want to hear.

Oh, well. That’s the problem with other people. They don’t understand they are supposed to shower us with praise and flattery and ignore our fuck-ups. Unless we want real friends, and can be happy when someone tells us something we don’t want to hear. Then we can look around and think: damn, a messy kitchen. Might as well follow my breathing and clean it up.

This is a long ways toward loving, being able to listen to both the tone and the words of the people we live with. If I’m busy feeling sorry for myself because of my past, and used to getting in a funk if someone around me seems to be following a pattern of one of the famous Bad Guys ( Mom, Dad, etc.), then I am unavailable to myself and to them and to having a good time now.

Or to learning now.

Or to being peaceful and happy now.

• The now has that charm: it’s where we can really be alive. What a nice place to hang out, eh?


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