We’ve all heard it said many times and in different ways, to “Let go of the past and live for today.” It sounds great. But how are we supposed to do that when we are the culmination of all of our past experiences, and not even only our own experiences; we also carry family and cultural experiences as well. We use those memories as justification of who we are and why we do what we do. We put all of that into the mix that we call “Self.”
But, is that really you? Now, right here in this moment?
Have you taken any time to really think about the idea of who you are? Have you ever thought about evaluating whether or not you are in fact the sum of your collective experiences? Or are you more than that? Are you more than a collection of memories and ideas? More than a set of long held beliefs that may no longer serve you?
That is a good place to start when wanting to learn to live in the now. Perhaps this sounds like a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. You can keep it simple. Perhaps start by just paying attention to some of the choices you make every day and seeing if they are really your choices, or if they are learned.
Let’s look at a simple example. Perhaps you never order broccoli because you say you don’t like it. But do you actually know that you don’t like it? Have you tried it? Or maybe your Mom didn’t like broccoli so she never ate it, or served it to the family and always commented that she didn’t like it if the subject ever came up. So you learned not to like broccoli. Your dislike of broccoli may not be genuine. It may be an idea that you adopted from your mom and is not really your truth.
My point is to look for your automatic responses and to take a few seconds to evaluate them to see if they resonate as true for you now. In this moment. Whatever they are about. Food, the kind of books you like to read, or the television shows you like to watch. Even whether or not you like to attend sporting events or participate in them personally. Take a few seconds and see what is genuine for you in each moment.
This is an easy, yet powerful way to get in touch with now. With the you who you are now.
When you find a learned response, you have a wonderful opportunity to find out the truth of it, to see what your genuine thoughts are right now. Take a moment and see if you can remember where the response came from and then you can honor it for how it served you to this point. Then you can decide if it is really true for you now and let it go. If not, then perhaps embrace it even more if it is true. You can let it move forward with you into the future if it feels comfortable, because now you know you can re-evaluate any response at any time and see if it is still true.
The funny thing is, you may find out that you don’t know how you really feel. You may need to test things out a bit to find out what is true for you now. You may choose to order the broccoli steamed, or with cheese sauce, or sautéed with slivered almonds. Who knows what you may discover?
But when you take a moment to look at your responses, then you can make an evaluation and find your truth. And then you are living in your now.