50 years ago, in 1971, Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) published a book with the title "Be Here Now". It's still good advice. This reminder to be here now was brought to mind as I reflected on the general public's increased interest and acceptance of past-lives. The question that came to mind was 'Does knowledge of who you might have been 500 or 3,000 years ago help you in your life NOW?'
I recall experiencing a memory of a past-life where it was made clear to me why I have a fear of drowning. In that life, I was thrown overboard from a sailing ship by some pirates and was left to drown. It was definitely interesting for me to discover the cause of my fear -- yet, many years later, I still had a fear of drowning. Knowing where the problem started did not cause the problem to disappear. The fear still needed to be addressed in the present in order to be transformed and released.
In another instance, I was again reminded to "be here now". I received a healing dealing with emotions and all through the healing I was getting flashbacks of my life as a child... the memories that came to mind had to do with my childhood feelings of not being wanted, of not being loved, of being in the way, and so on. These floated to the surface in order to be healed and released.
Many times we seem to get stuck in the 'poor me' syndrome. I saw that I had been 'guilty' of this in the past. 'Poor me'... I was brought up by baby-sitters and then sent to boarding school. 'Poor me'... my brother and sister did not want to play with me. 'Poor me'... my parents did not show me the love and affection I wanted. 'Poor me', the nuns at the boarding school treated me unfairly...
What I understood is that those events happened to me in my past, in a sense almost as if it were in a past life. They really do not have any resemblance to my life now. I am now surrounded by loving friends. I feel wanted and needed. I know that I am loved and appreciated, and my life is good. So, the focus on the past is only stopping me from enjoying my present.
What's Done Is Done! Be Here Now!
Focusing on what was lacking in our past simply attracts more of the same energy in the present. In other words, if you spend your time remembering situations which were unpleasant and unhappy, then you will attract to yourself more of those same type of experiences.
Of course, seeing those thought patterns from the past shows us areas that we can choose to work with in our lives now. After I saw, once again, my childhood belief of not being loved and not being wanted, I was able to look at my life now and see that the old belief no longer applied. I can now reprogram my brain with the belief and knowledge that I am loved, first by myself and then by those around me.
So, be here now! Focus on what you like about your life. Think about what you would like increased in your life. Don't focus on the negativity of the past or on what you don't have. Think of what you enjoy and what you desire. Be thankful for what you have now, even though you may feel like you don't have enough love, money, time, etc. Be grateful for what you do have and see yourself as having more.
Be The Change You Want
If you want more love, be more loving. If you want more time, be more relaxed and enjoy the time you have. If you want more money, enjoy the money you have and always trust that you will have more than enough to meet your needs.
The past can be a source of entertainment. It can also show us certain recurrent patterns in ourselves. The important thing to focus on is "what am I doing with my life NOW? How can this knowledge of the past (whether past lives or childhood) help me be a better person and live a happier and more fulfilled life NOW?"
We have many things to take care of right now in our present. Let us BE HERE NOW and create the life we desire, right here, right now!
Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness
by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Deep within these 108 selections lie messages of profound wisdom in a contemporary and practical form that can lead to both healing and transformation. How we carry ourselves will determine the direction the world takes. Our world is continuously being shaped by our participation in everything around us and within us through mindfulness.
Info/Order book. Also available as a Kindle edition.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com