Past presence tense

The me of yesterday is still very much present today. Memories creep up on me, rapping softly at the back of my mind, saying “this is not quite resolved.” I watch the old reruns of life past with an apprehension I cannot quite name. I just know that I am disturbed by my recall of the event and wonder what it has to do with my present today.

My friend, Laurie, writes about the ripple-effect of our actions. I am acutely aware of how my journey brought me to this moment. And I know there are thousands of moments that are yet to come full circle. I remember past events and I think: can I change the past? No, I can’t change the event.

But, I can change my perception of that event.

And, I can tell a different story around the meaning of that event.

Or, I can remove any meaning I have attached to that event.

My presence today has the advantage of distance. Today, I have the power to disengage reliving the event and simply observe it. I can remember the person I was during the event. I can notice my clenched jaw, my hands curling into fists, and the shallowness of my breathing. I can give my past self permission to breathe and relax while watching the memory. I can listen to the story I tell my past self about the event and suggest alternative stories . . . or no story at all. Changing any part of the story changes it meaning, but I have also noticed that meaning sometimes just evaporates.

By engaging the past with presence and awareness, I can address the present realizing I can make these same choices now about perception, stories, and meaning. In this way, I can be more in charge of my “ripple effect” and not get knocked out by the boomerang.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass


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5 Responses to “Past presence tense”

  1. sandiwhite Says:

    I can so easily relate to what you are saying here, Barbara. If I insisted on carrying old the baggage, then rummaging through it, dragging stuff out and trying it on for size I would be barking mad and ready to be certified. I have slowly learned to walk away and keep going, when the Spiral brings those past images around again, I too can view them from a distance without having them to wear and become a burden to bear. Thank you for an enlightening post.

  2. Barbara Kass Says:

    Sandi — just the vision of you lugging around all past baggage and sitting down once in a while to rummage through it, make sure all those old nasty memories are there still intact and just as aggravating as they were yesterday, made me smile 😀

    It would be like the Ultimate Bag Lady.

  3. sandiwhite Says:

    Barbara, don’t tell any one but I’d rather run naked downtown. Being an Air Force brat taught me to leave things behind when they no longer applied to the Present. That includes dead goldfish, ex-husbands and really bad hair.

  4. holessence Says:

    Well … I don’t know if I’d rather run naked downtown (I’m certain my neighbors would be grateful if I don’t), but I do enjoy traveling light and traveling fast. I never try to wear stuff that no longer serves me well — that includes old emotions (although I’ve had the same haircut since the day after dirt) …

    Great post Barbara, thank you!

  5. Barbara Kass Says:

    Running naked downtown . . . hmmm . . . all sorts of possibilities there for getting arrested and having our pictures on the front page of every newspaper in America as well as the Internet BUT as long as we have GREAT HAIR it won’t matter what anybody thinks! They’ll all be looking at our hair!

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