As I think about my past living experiences, some of which I have photos of or other memorabilia, I question how real those experiences were even though my memory claims they were. Often, they seem strange, as if it were some other person, not me. I am what I am right now, but back then? The further I travel, the more nonsense it becomes.
William Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” I take this that as we think about the past it is in the present, and look how often we may think about the past which then may cloud or reshape current experience.
I like this quote from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: “You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” I hear that and I want to agree with it. In fact, I practice it.
What I find that works the best is to see how I am feeling about whatever past thoughts are in my head. If it causes me tension, regret, or any other ill feeling, I now try to change that feeling upward by choosing a better feeling thought about that event or situation. As I do this and keep choosing a better feeling thought, even a little step at a time, that event or situation from memory comes up less and less often.
They say we are not perfect, yet we are. It is only how we think of that and our point of view of it. I think Jane Austen has it well and any time I can find pleasure in a past experience it is good. That includes the ones that felt that way immediately, along with those that I entice into that arena. After all, I am the controller and the creator of my own thoughts–or at the very least, the allower of them.
Here’s To A Joyous Present, However That Comes!
Spread Some Joy Today–Do you think it is silly or shameful to walk around all day long with a smile on your face and a blatantly joyous attitude? In some circles, it may be a reason for concern. So be careful. Choose wisely. Of course, my choice is why the heck not? Which makes me smile all the more.