Yesterday wasn’t so great… believe me… I was there!
I don’t have a clue as to how anything in life is supposed to work. I have no answers to any problems and I don’t know the path anyone should be walking. I only know what I’m doing now is bringing me happiness .
I have no glamour shot to share of my life in Jacksonville, Florida. It completely sucked. Some people have the ability to fall apart quietly and fly under the radar long enough to get their life together … then they return fresh and new. Not me … I was going out like a rock star…. a sad, washed up, old rock star that hadn’t had a hit in forever.
I want to share two examples, I was living in a very nice oceanfront condo development with 16 other successful “40 something” professionals… (so my behavior was not well hidden). One day, I was walking home from a beachfront Irish pub when a new white Range Rover pulled up and a blonde woman instructed me to get in… so I did… man… did I have an awakening! For 6 long oceanfront blocks “the blonde upstairs” told me off… she said I was destroying everything I’d loved and worked to accomplish. She let me know how I looked and how I sounded…. she told the truth.
I hated that bitch for it! I wasn’t out of control… I was creative and expressive. If she didn’t want to bring the entire bar back to the Jacuzzi at 3:00 a.m. to get naked don’t blame me!
I was so offended by this woman’s words that I decided I would make her a character in my dog’s life and post her on social media… I turned her into “that blonde slut upstairs that Shmuli hates!” Have you ever heard of her?
The reality is that she was 100% correct.
The second example occurred during my last year on the skids … I knew a couple that I considered the lowest form of human life. They were friendly and always polite… but lived like the king and queen of a trailer park! There was nothing these two people wouldn’t do or openly discuss… often with photos … do you understand what I’m saying here?
As I fell apart and my social circle shrank … I found myself in their company more and more… I became them! Eventually, even they didn’t want anything to do with me… Dear God! I had been rejected by the scummiest people in North Florida! Something had to change! Fortunately, it did!
Anytime I reminisce about enjoying a margarita on my oceanfront balcony… I remember these less than lovely memories and know I can’t do it …
We all constantly live in the present and make many choices about our futures because of the past. This is unavoidable. You can only read these words now because your mind relates to past experience with these words. All learning and knowledge rely on continually referencing the past, and many wise decisions about the future are created through recalling what has or hasn’t worked before. You only recognize a friend in the street because you reference a past connection with them. In this way, you use the past well.
But doing things because ‘it’s always been that way’ might be a mistake. Tradition may be useful or it may prevent progress, depending on how useful it is. Personally, you have an emotional relationship to past events that steers you helpfully or unhelpfully in the present.
I talk about ‘having baggage’ or ‘needing to move on’, having to ‘put the past behind me’ or ‘find closure’ when talking about my past… But what do these metaphors actually mean and how can I really ‘let go’ and ‘move on’?
Reviewing past happy times is a great thing to do. I highly recommend it; but with a caveat. It’s less healthy if:
The past is always used as a way of highlighting how terrible the present is by contrast.
We live in the past to such an extent that the opportunities in the present are missed. For instance, when we don’t even give a potential new partner a chance because how could they ever match up to our perfect former lover!
What does it mean to live fully in the present moment? It means that your awareness is completely centered on the here and now. You are not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. When you live in the present, you are living where life is happening. The past and future are illusions, they don’t exist. As the saying goes “tomorrow never comes”. Tomorrow is only a concept, tomorrow is always waiting to come around the corner, but around that corner are shadows, never to have light shed upon, because time is always now.
If you’re not living in the present, you’re living in illusion. That seems to a be a pretty good reason to live in the present, doesn’t it? But how often are we worrying about things that have yet to come, how often do we beat ourselves up for mistakes that we’ve made, no matter how much time has passed? The answer is too much.
Not only will living in the present have a dramatic effect on your emotional well-being, but it can also impact your physical health. It’s long been known that the amount of mental stress you carry can have a detrimental impact on your health. If you’re living in the present, you’re living in acceptance. You’re accepting life as it is now, not as how you wish it would have been. When you’re living in acceptance, you realize everything is complete as it is. You can forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made, and you can have peace in your heart knowing that everything that should happen will.