One day about 10 years ago, I was driving along in my car and an old familiar song came on the radio. It took me back years and in an instant I was once again 17 years of age.
I began to feel immersed in the reminiscing. You know that energy? A sweet sorrow – bitter/sweet… a very poignant feeling of wistfully wishing I was there again because it was so much better back then than it was now… ahh…yes how wonderful it all was then…
Or was it?
Was it really better back then than it was right now?
Because right now was pretty superb actually – I was just in the beginning of a fabulous new relationship, new house, and supremely happy, more so than any other time in my life.
Yet here I was wishing I was in another time and space, convinced by this reminiscing energy that I was better off then. So I asked myself in a no-nonsense way and realised that of course it wasn’t better then! It is just some misperception that makes the past seem better or preferable to the present. In fact I reckoned that in another few years I’d be doing exactly the same thing about this time in my life!
Such mind games!
Perhaps it is unreal yet it is also so believable and real in the moment it is happening. If we just take it a face value and not question, then we simply continue believing it. It stays real for us. So although the experience of reminiscing is not altogether unpleasant it does have a rather melancholy aspect to it and a strange addictive self-indulgent tendency most definitely leaning towards maudlin. Hmmm… I got more curious about the power of this energy and wondered how it worked. In fact, the speed at which my state of mind had changed once the song came on was remarkable and I began to question the reality of this experience we call reminiscing.
So I allowed myself to go back into the reminiscing feeling and very quickly I was feeling less content once more. Having done a fair bit of de-programming of cultural and societal beliefs already, I was equipped to deal with it. I questioned this energy outright: Is this Love? I asked myself. “NO” was the answer. “Well if it’s not Love, it’s not Real and I don’t need to believe it any longer. I let it go now”.
And, it left. Immediately and completely. 100% shift in experience – instantly I felt so much clearer with no energy of reminiscing to be found despite that the song was still playing.
I was left in no doubt that this experience we have of reminiscing is not helpful and is not the truth of who we are. It’s just another way to continue circulating discontent in our life.
This was a simple thing for me to do as I was well used to de-programming and was able to notice the shift in experience very quickly. The whole experience lasted less than the 31/2 minutes the song played. The key here is being aware of what is happening in one’s own experience and being in choice, not being in ignorance of what is going on and blindly accepting it.
Get in touch if you’d like to work personally with me on building up your tool kit to deal with this sort of stuff in the moment.
©2016 Lynn Paterson