The first time I heard the phrase: ‘we live in our past’, I didn’t ‘get’ it… But, upon realizing how our mind ‘works’, I understood. All that my mind knows, is what has happened before. It’s the most amazing recorder and player ever. Not only has it recorded everything that I’ve ever seen or heard, but it also recorded the thoughts, feelings and emotions that I had in each moment – who and how I identified myself within each and every moment of my life. And, whenever I see, hear, read, smell, or touch anything, it basically does a quick search for anything similar I’ve ever experienced, finds it and, brings it forward as a ‘thought’. It brings the whole package, too: the images, feelings and emotions are all combined in that thought or, series of thoughts. It evaluates, compares and calculates how I experienced those ‘memories’ to whatever it is I’m experiencing now and, forms an opinion about the perceived current experience. This is how the ego has defined itself, in accordance with the sum of the opinions formed about one’s self. Thus, I am simply the manifestation of my own opinion of myself.
The mind never stops, either. If there’s no external stimulus to work with, it will continuously bring thoughts forward, based on current mood, surroundings, etc., until one gets attention then, automatically sorts and finds more thoughts that could be relevant to the one getting attention, in order to continue that ‘thought process’. It will also bring thoughts forward that project into the future. It’s amazingly fast at editing – cutting and pasting images, thoughts, feelings, emotions and, opinions from the past – and then, at hyper warp speed, plays it out like a movie – complete with images, voices, and opinions.
And, it’s real easy to get caught up in all of this going on in my mind. That’s ‘what it does’. That’s its purpose – its programming – to keep me preoccupied and distracted, participating within and as past experiences, instead of remaining ‘here’ in each moment. And, everyone else’s mind is doing the same thing – all of the time. That’s the mind consciousness system at work.
This morning, I ‘planned’ to go into town because we needed some stuff. I started to make a list. I knew that I would have to go by the feed store to pick up some dog food and bird seed so, I wrote those down. As I wrote, I ‘saw’ this mini movie projected within my mind: I ‘saw’ the road, an image of the outside of the store, the parking lot, the dock I would back up to, the trailer in the parking lot where they store hay. (Do I need hay for the doghouses?, I asked myself.) I ‘saw’ images of the inside of the store, the couple that owns it (They’re seem like nice people.), the view into the warehouse side of the building, the ping pong table the owner keeps in the back – every detail pieced together from previous memories – like an instantaneous flash in my mind. I would have to make 3 other stops while in town. As I continued writing my list, with each item, within my mind I ‘saw’ images of each store and the locations of the shelving and the placement of the items on the shelves, where I would find the needed item(s).
I caught myself participating in these thoughts – in the simple act of doing a little planning – and I stopped my participation. And, I realized that in many, many past instances of planning, such as for vacations/trips and, even meetings at work or, company coming over, I had allowed myself to get lost in thoughts/future projections. Projecting myself into situations, conversations and events ‘in the future’, all based on past memories/experiences that had been recorded and stored in my mind. I realize that I do have to make plans but, I don’t need to participate in future projections. They’re just distractions. They’re not real. They have nothing to do with this moment.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to get ‘lost’ in thoughts.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to daydream about future events when making plans.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to participate within future projections, instead of realizing that they are the mind’s attempt to distract me from what is ‘here’, in this moment.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to participate in future projections, instead of realizing that the future will play out as the manifested consequences of the accumulative effects of my acceptances and allowances within my current reality.
So, I stop. I endeavor to be self-responsible and stay here, within the current moment, in breath, and no longer participate within and as future projections and, instead, I will be self-directive in each moment.