Friday, June 19, 2009

In this moment...

It's chilly this morning. I put on a sweater before going outside to check on my gardens. I can see tiny little shoots breaking through the soil--so determined to live. They will push forward until they bear the product of their labor, the seeds of possibility for new life. There is no going back. The seeds have begun their life cycle, and they must push forward until they achieve their destiny and though drought may choke the life from their cells, or a disease ravages them, or a bug invests them to complete it's own cycle, or an animal eats them before their seeds are ready...they will move on. They will move forward in spite of the possibility that something could interfere with their efforts.

I admire that. I am encouraged to see plants and animals moving forward in the face of uncertain futures. They have no desire to rewind their start over and do it differently with different choices. As human beings we can get enchanted with the idea of "if only" and "could I have done something different?". In other words...we are often a backward looking species. We can spend so much time looking over our shoulders at yesterday that it's forgotten that today has come. There are those who go as far as to ponder and worry about lives of the past, putting aside lessons for today. There are those who are so crushed by the pain of yesterday, that they fail to relish the now that is free from pain. As children we love the "choose your own adventure" books. Books where you can make different choices over and over until you get the outcome you like. You can find yourself at the end of the story getting eaten by giant spiders, only to happily go back to the beginning to make a different choice, and enjoy a different outcome. We love those stories because they empower us to "do it over".

I am aware that I am seduced by the allure of the rewind button. The idea of being able to erase tears of yesterday, to do parts of life over with a different outcome can sometimes feel pretty appealing. The longing for something other than what "WAS" invades my heart and mind on a daily basis, and yet...I am aware that what has been has brought me to this moment. If I were to be able to erase parts of the past, would that mean that the other parts that are inherently connected have to be erased as well? Would they cease to exist without the tears and "mistakes" I am wishing to be without.


Nothing can be what it is without what it was. Nothing can be today without yesterday, and tomorrow can not happen without today.

No matter how I would have wished I would have responded differently, or be treated differently, or have certain events NOT be--I also have to admit awareness that all the dips in the road, indeed, all the great canyons of pain and struggle, have brought me to the now that I am in. In this "now" there is great opportunity to let yesterday be yesterday so that today can be today.

I see the allure of the rewind button; the wish that you could take back a misunderstanding, or an over-reaction, or a hurtful statement to someone you love, a lifetime of adversity or the loss of a cherished life... But in truth, there is no going backwards. Those tears have been shed. The damage is done. Today is today. Tears of yesterday have no place in today, other than to remind us that we are still pushing forward, that we made it through another pain...and can do it again.

Today it is chilly. The birds are singing their praise of a new day brought forth. They do not think about yesterday. Their work is for today, which will bring tomorrow. They are connected to each moment as it is.

I am choosing to take a breath today, and put away my wish for a rewind button that doesn't exist--letting yesterday be what it was...and today be what it IS. In truth, the only way for change to occur is if we take new steps. It can't happen by wishing the old steps had not been taken. New steps. Steps forward. Steps into the moment of now. Yes...I will do this today. Tomorrow is still a long way off.

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