How to stop making lemonade and release the past.
For the last two days the winds have been blowing like mad and the seas are bucking in deep swells and whitecaps. A couple of nights ago a group of students on a field trip to a neighboring island were stranded because the ferry that zips back and forth all day long couldn’t navigate the narrow strait. We have kept the doors closed because the chimes are manic in the winds and threaten to fly off their hook. The wind gusts and blows a continual tune on the open ended flagpole on the corner of the balcony while the waves far below crash against the rocks.
It’s a phenomenon that occurs quite often on the full moon. I ‘googled’ it and found references but no real explanation. I guess why it does doesn’t matter. That it does is evident and experiential. All full moons have their influence and, from an esoteric standpoint, influence for change – the end of things or the culmination. However, this particular moon in Scorpio (I really do not know what that means exactly) is being touted as the moon to finally sweep away all that does not serve you to make way for all that does. It is the transition to self-love in its fullest expression.
And I must say, nearly everyone I have spoken to in the last few days is dealing with cataclysms long since delegated to personal history which have come flying in on Valkyrie wings to be confronted. But is confrontation the right response?
I am in the process of reviewing the editor’s notes on my book and am reliving five years of very turbulent and challenging – but ultimately exhilarating times. But deeper than this review is the consideration of what parts of the past that predates my own birth are relevant to the stories and how do I convey that with objectivity – without the drama. It is resolution of the past that frees us. I am caught on the sidelines of one of these dramas – hence the tickets to Paris. The trip planned at the behest of another for a creative project which seeds were planted back thirty years. All at once ticket committed, the project was cancelled with no real explanation. Well, that is not quite accurate, there were too many explanations, which means that something deeper was at work – the winds had already begun blowing. And then suddenly with the precision of saber to jugular a very cryptic but clear public post of finality. And in the sweep went all the good bits – of which there were many – into the dust of the perpetuation of the past.
Now, I share this because if I may quote my own book, “Exhilarated Life”, the past does not affect you unless you think it doesn’t*. What I mean by that is patterns are the replay of memories charged by emotion. If we do not accept that reality, we continue to play out the patterns over and over and over again. Just the characters change up – and not always. A few days ago I shared a post that said “If the past comes knocking – don’t answer”. I commented, “past is past”. But in the light of the full moon, I wish to rescind that comment.
The past is written. It cannot be undone or done over. It is history. It can form us or transform us. Not by confrontation. Nor reliving. Nor ignoring. Nor kicking the door shut. When we slam the door we invite the growth of a fire breathing dragon*. But how then?
Recently, I watched an interview with Ram Dass and Thich Nhat Hanh on anger. I understood him completely based on my own experience when he said, (and I paraphrase) when you feel anger do not resist it because it is part of you. Hold it close to you. If your being is the Mother of Loving Kindness then anger is your child. Hold it and listen to it and sooth it and find out what underlies its pain.
“The past” is a ganglion of personal memories. Images, some accurate, most faulty, but all with emotion. Happiness, shame, anger, fear. It is the chemical charge of the emotion that continues to rattle around in cells of our body and guide us like a GPS into and out of similar tracks – unless we release the charge. Not through resistance but through embracement.
The dramas of our lives are never about what they are about. They are opportunities to release what does not serve us and embrace what does*. And what serves us? Whatever our heart truly desires to share with the world. When we are clear we are a beacon of light. When we are not certain of ourselves because we live by the unexamined scripts of our memories we are easily distracted from our own purpose. With the result that you have a ticket to nowhere.
The past few days we have been scrambling to make lemonade – take the lemon of disappointment and make it something sweeter. We have no reason, desire or budget to visit Paris at the height of the season. So we thought to use the ticket and maybe go to take a course on essential oils in Provence which had the hook of being part of our business plan – but not here not now. No matter how we tried trains and planes and cars, the expenses mounted and the cost to make use of the ticket trebled and quadrupled.
This is what happens when you navigate from a rear view mirror. We react rather than act. When you have a faulty foundation, it can never be made right. I’ve been hanging on to the cost of the ticket as if money was something in and of itself. It’s not. Money is exchange. And this exchange was the opening of the door so the winds of change could release the past. The ticket to Paris? Time to say good-bye.
*Some of the themes of this post are discussed in my book “Exhilarated Life – How to Find Happiness and Keep It” in the stories, Awash in Lemonade, The Dragon Dies, The Myth of Happiness and others.
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