Saturday, February 21, 2015
Lesson 52: Review: “I am upset because I see what is not there.” “I see only the past.” “My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.” “I see nothing as it is now.” “My thoughts do not mean anything.”
Our minds are very commonly filled with thoughts that are outdated. We are not perceiving strictly in the moment because we are invariably mixing un thoughts about what we think of the past. When we sit in the moment and think only the past thoughts this is an energy drain. When we rethink about the past, the result is that it takes so much energy to carry this information over to the present.
We have to carry it as a heavy load- the judgement of the past into the future. This is one of the reasons people get so drained emotionally and energetically. When they bring the baggage of the past, its an effort to maintain it into the present. I know I can feel it when I do this. Regurgitating the past takes a tremendous amount of energy to make this seeable in the present.
Jesus in the Course asks us not to carry the past’s thinking into our present. Even when thoughts feel good, this can still be like an addiction if done too much. Sometimes our bodies experience the highlights of the past as a high that is not exactly a drug but I believe it can have similar effects. When we regularly remind ourselves of the pasts highs, this just puts us on the emotional roller coaster. When we are down that is still challenging for our nervous system’s to have to handle. But even if our past memories are what we think are ups they still just rock the boat. The body that gets “highs” from remembering past highs is still very much an addiction if done to extremes.
I think we need to learn that the emotional roller coaster is addictive because we can feel like we “need” the emotional ups and downs. What we need to do is just realize this can happen. Let’s take time to notice what we do and how we feel. Are we using the past as a way to feed an addiction we have to being emotional?
What we ideally want to do is stay focused in the moment. The way I do this is to feel the experience of my body. I get increasingly better at this all the time because I spend a lot of time doing it. But when I first started the Course and especially before, I had a huge addiction to reliving thoughts. I spent nearly all my time in the past and future. It was seriously draining.
And I also missed the most amazing present. Find something that works for you to help you stay in the present. It could be deep breathing or meditating every day or eating healthily, whatever works. Allow yourselves to let the past be done. Visit it when it feels appropriate. Probably that’s much less the more peaceful and happy you are. And learn from the past mindfully. Then free it.