Take the experience of the past and use it in the present moment. Don’t spend any time back there. There are no answers in the past because all the power is in the present moment. Sometimes you have to go back there to piece together what happened, but if you stay back there for any length of time it’s a big trap because that place doesn’t exist anymore. Your mind can live back there though. It’s like being caught in a time warp. You are stuck in the spider’s web of the past event that hurt you and all your energy goes back there to re-fight these fights or relive these events that no longer exist.
Unfortunately there’s a therapy culture that revolves around this type of regression. The idea is to find painful experiences in the past and bring them to light by discussing them. The point of going back, is to accept that it happened, but that takes a millisecond. Nobody’s saying the past didn’t hurt. Everybody’s got a past that hurts. The most important thing, and I’ll say that again: The most important thing is to live in the present moment, taking yourself forward into the future, moment by moment, day by day. I will also add, that I know from experience that this is not easy. It takes great courage and the practice of living gracefully under pressure.
I personally know people who have been going to therapy for years and continue to go, talking about the same event over and over again. Of course, dredging up these past events causes them even more depression. The solution then, of course, is to write a prescription for anti-depressants, which just numb the person out so they are just not coherently bothered by anything. The problem, however, still exists. It is simply masked by a chemical adjustment of the nervous system.
My teacher tells a great story of a woman who came to see him about a problem she had with her mother that was causing her depression. He gave her a very specific meditation to do and she did it. It worked wonders. She came back to him and told him how great it worked, but she was still depressed. He asked her why and she said, “Now I have nothing to talk with my therapist about.”
It’s not the fault of these people nor is it the therapy culture that’s giving it to them. It’s just what they know. I don’t think there’s a therapist out there that would disagree that meditation is a useful tool. To them, however, it is a nice aside, like a trip to the spa. Very relaxing. Yoga and Meditation as a regular practice is a healing tool which can bring you into the present moment and allow you to heal, here and now. The one major drawback with yoga and meditation as a miracle cure, is that you actually have to show up and do the work each day. It’s not as easy as simply taking a pill.
“I get up in the morning, I do everything I have to do that day as accurately as I can and I go to sleep at night.” –Harijiwan
You must have a field of action in which you are constantly moving forward to achieve sacred space. It’s this field of action that creates the sacred space of your life that can only be had in the moment. In each moment, you do the absolute best that you can do, eliminating everything else unnecessary in life. This is the Way of the warrior — living moment to moment, one day at a time, ever forward into excellence toward the future.
“The warrior eliminates all unnecessary activity from daily life.” –Carlos Castaneda
A little over a week ago I got news that a very good friend of mine with whom I graduated West Point, had lost his legs and an IED explosion in Iraq. I was shocked and saddened, but immediately after, my mind went to strength and support and healing prayer. This is because I know the kind of man he is. I know no other way to put it than to say that Greg is easily one of the top ten toughest mother!*&#@*’s that I know. He’s not going to blink an eye. He has always been the kind of guy who just drives on through all difficulty, as strong as he can. He is a true warrior. I wasn’t surprised to get an e-mail a few days later, saying how he was riding up and down the hallways in his wheelchair, with some famous Harley riders who came to visit Walter Reed that day. The attitude is, “It happened, it’s over, let’s move on to what’s next.” It’s inspiring and it gives me pause in comparison to the difficulties I face in my life.
You need a methodology so you can live in the sacred moment. One technology to accomplish this is, of course, yoga and meditation. Yoga means union, to yoke or join together. Yoga and meditation join all the parts of you in the present moment so that the mind stills and the light of the soul can pour forth making you radiate the best of yourself, here and now.