Don’t let the past define the present. This is such an obvious idea that when I first encountered it my reaction was, “Of course! That’s not new information.” And then I promptly fell back into my normal way of seeing life that was through the lens of the past. I did this so unconsciously that I honestly didn’t see how powerful my attachment to the past had become over the years.
It’s unfortunate that relying on the past to understand the present is such a natural response. Therefore, we have to be more than a little vigilant to refrain from doing this. Repeatedly. For years we observed others making this choice in our family of origin. And, as might be expected, that constant pattern affirmed that this pathway was the correct one, the single right one.
We experienced the blowback of this pattern of interpretation in the workplace too, no doubt. It’s far more common, as well as easier, to wander through life relying on the past to guide us or explain whatever we don’t understand about the present than to look with fresh, uncompromised eyes at every circumstance that grabs for our attention. Allowing the past to explain the present saves time. So we mistakenly think.
Making The Decision To Let The Past Be Past
Making the decision to let the past be past, is the first necessary step we must take if we want to see the truth of our journey. And it’s not an easy step. In fact, we have to summon up a lot of willingness to even consider believing that the past is done with us. Kaput!
The past served us well when it was the present, and only then. Every experience has a very short life. Every experience lasts only a moment, in fact. A single moment. And not a moment more.
Making the decision to let the past be past, is the
first necessary step we must take if we want to see
the truth of our journey.
Can that always be true? Even when the experience is traumatic, like sexual, emotional, or physical abuse; or seemingly monumental, like death, a divorce, or getting fired from a job? In actuality, there is no time but the now. Ever. No experience is deserving of more than its moment. Its one tiny moment, regardless of the gravity of the experience. When its moment is over, it’s over. It no longer has any relevance in regard to any other experience. What a profound awareness to claim and then eventually celebrate. But we must. We simply must.
Perhaps you are wondering why this particular concept is so important, why I am devoting an essay to this one idea. There is an explanation, as you might expect. But only one. According to A Course in Miracles, time has no relevance, no existence even, except here in this classroom. There was no time prior to our adventure into this classroom, an adventure that in truth, never really happened!
The ego, which created itself, invented time and then kept us tied to it as a way of controlling us. Indeed, it has done a very good job of controlling us. And the more we focus on a specific experience beyond the only moment it can claim, the greater the power we give it. Thus, the more likely we are to dredge it up as a way to interpret additional experiences, all of those experiences that really have no relationship to any additional event.
The Tapestry of Life
Even though no experience from one’s past has any concrete relevance to a present experience (or one that might be wending its way to us at this very moment, each one being inviolate, of course), there is a thread in our tapestry that represents each experience we have ever had. And the design that is created by our many threads woven together reflects our very personal experiences, which are definitely unlike any other design.
Each tapestry, actually all seven billion tapestries, make a single picture, the picture of us. As one. The paradox is that even though each one of us is unique, we quite perfectly blend together and make one whole, one holy whole.
This awareness, for most of us, is a major shift in our perception, a shift that is described as “the miracle” in A Course in Miracles. We are living in the shift. We are creating the shift. We are the shift! Hallelujah.
Your journey is unique, as is mine. And
every one of us is necessary or the picture
of the Holy One is incomplete. The part
we are playing in the panorama is not
accidental at all. Let’s be grateful that our
part needs us, and only us.
©2016 by Karen Casey. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission of Conari Press,
an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
52 Ways to Live the Course In Miracles takes readers on a journey through simple ideas and affirmations for meditation. Karen Casey not only offers an explanation of the ideas, but also shares her own experiences with them―stumbles and all―offering proof of how helpful and practical they really are and showing that the goal isn’t perfection, but rather progress toward creating a life of love and peace.
About the Author
Karen Casey is a popular speaker at recovery and spirituality conferences throughout the country. She conducts Change Your Mind workshops nationally, based on her bestselling Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow. She is the author of 19 books, including Each Day a New Beginning which has sold more than 2 million copies. Visit her at http://www.womens-spirituality.com.