What Role the Past? – Emotional Pro

March 16th, 2006

I remember my father preaching to me, “People are creatures of habit.” He was pushing me to change some of mine; and because of the way he pushed I clung to them like a person on driftwood, stranded in the ocean. Since I have been focusing on writing “Born to Learn,” I have really been aware of how our earliest experiences, which can turn into “habits of mind,” run our lives, even in the face of very contradictory evidence. People with alcohol or drug-addicted parents develop “habits of mind” in which they protect themselves from embarrassment, seek to appear “normal” in everything and attempt to control every aspect of the lives of people surrounding them, in a vain attempt to set things right. The ultimate I have encountered is with psychosis, in which the world has been turned so topsy-turvey that a person builds up elaborate rituals and behavior patterns that will “prove” to him or her that things are going “right,” yet focusing the entire lifetime backward focused on the past, seeking to protect against what has happened 20, 30, or 50 years before. Question for myself: “How do I apprehend the habits of my own mind so that I stay fresh to the world and experiences of my life today?
Suddenly those who tell us to “live in the now” make more sense. It’s not just about focusing on the now; it’s about freeing ourselves of the habits of mind that keep us so locked into the past that we cannot move, cannot fully benefit from today’s experiences, cannot soar! My whole system is set up to help me learn to do this, if only I will let it. I have experiences–today. They bring up emotions–today. I accept these as offering me something to learn–today. Like a child, I eagerly seek out the learning–today. I joyfully update my “habits of mind” by completing my learning–today. I am immediately finished with that lesson—today. I am free–today–to move on to other things, gaining joy along the way. If I don’t learn the lesson–today–it will return in future today’s. I will know it is a re-run because the pain I experience along with it will be greater in that future today. The pain will continue to increase until I learn the lesson. The system is so simple. Yet, out of fear and not understanding or knowing, we do not face our learning and joyfully complete it. It is my ferverent desire that readers of my words will be inspired and enabled to change their lives so completely–each day!

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