“…The Past is Not There…”


Today has offered a variety of moments in which my egoic mind has made its presence darn well known in its vigorous belief in small vexations that disturbed my perceptions with astonishing ease.  I was a bit further out of the comfort zone today, and although part of me could smile and have compassion for the crankiness my ego offered up at such small provocation, redirecting my thoughts to experience compassion and gratitude took a bit more effort than usual.  Or, rather, the redirection occurred with far greater frequency than usual.  And, there was a sticky part of that crankiness that just didn’t want to stop feeling vexed and a little mad and put upon.

And, then I read this brief passage from Lesson 8 in A Course in Miracles: “The mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.  The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not there.  To think about it at all is, therefore, to think about illusions…I seem to be thinking about (name of object, person, event, emotion), but my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.”

This passage really struck me, because I realized that the vexation I had experienced today was all about the past:  patterns of behavior developed over many years in response to fear-based triggers; anxiety about events in the past that have nothing to do with, and, yet, direct how I feel about circumstances in this cutting-edge moment of creation; and, being afraid that what happened in the past would happen in the now even though the situations are entirely different.

I realized that I was believing a story that, like all enthralling stories, involved the suspension of disbelief.  The illusory seemed ever so real. But, what I was afraid of was really a projection of the mind. The past is not there.  There is only Now.

Ahhh…how good I feel in this moment of a little more clarity.  I notice my breath again. In breath–I am home.  Out breath–peace is my true nature.  In breath–The Past is Not There. Out breath–I am at home in this moment.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to ““…The Past is Not There…”

  1. recoverythrumylens

    Thanks for the reminder…I’m working hard at the very same thing…keeping the past in the past…and then your post pops up…isn’t he universe wonderful?

  2. Pingback: ACIM - What are you focusing on?

  3. I was with you today in your experience. I was allowing my thoughts to protrude into my own peace. It’s not a easy path, but it’s certainly one that opens us up to being aware of the wonderful reminders constantly around us. I love the quote from Lesson 8…..I really need to put my mind into that book.

    Much metta to you. 🙂

    • Opportunities to learn and grow seem to multiply endlessly!! Thanks for your solidarity, sister; I’m really enjoying the Course–I find it so helpful.
      Metta and peace to you, too, my friend. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. I adore the way you write, and put your experiences into words. I feel like I can learn so much from you – I admire you so much!! 🙂 ♥

  5. Thank you for this! So helpful, + prayerful.

  6. thanks for this. I guess one way or another everyone has to deal with their past – some people who do not do therapy or examine their lives do not have the same eventual understanding of themselves – their makeup and who they are now. On the other hand the past can confuse us as to who we really are or perhaps who we think we might have been. But it is there and we cannot change it. What we can change is our attitude towards it. I know its not easy. I also know that I can love who I am now and be grateful.

  7. Been grappling with that about the same time too. Thank you for the clarity of thought that may still be attained in such moments. And like all things, these moments too pass away and with each breath, they lose their grip in the power of the present moment. Hugs my kindred spirit. Shaz

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