Starting Over Post Pandemically
Starting Over Post Pandemically
I tested negative for COVID-19 again! The vaccinations appear to remain a fortress against this dreaded disease. The test results mark a strange and new kind of victory, another day of an uneasy success.
Here we are, two years plus into this onslaught. I look down at the mask hanging from my neck and wonder… When. Will. It. End?
So, how would I live in a pandemic-free world, and can I begin to do that today?
COVID has attacked the routines of daily living and violated our love for the familiar. Naturally, we long for things to return to normal, but instead of a return to normal, how about starting over? Starting over embraces living in love with the future—including the dreams, fantasies and hopes that become your goals and plans.
We start over by first making sense of the past and how we live in it. How does your attachment to the past keep you down and unable to live for the infinite possibilities of the future?
Takeaway 1: Your mind and body rely on their databanks of memories to keep you living in the past.
Your brain habitually loves making sense of the present instants by using memories of feelings. We like to call it life-experience. These life experiences might protect us but they also limit us and holds us back. What you are conscious of in the present moment is most often determined by a memory of a feeling you had in the past.
Takeaway 2: Operating in survival mode your body-mind-memory loves the familiar past.
It’s like for every situation we encounter, our brain rifles through its vast storehouses of past feelings and says, “Here, this reaction worked before in a similar setting, use it now.” We are so accustomed to living out of this scenario where the memories of the past guide, educate, and tell us what to feel, we don’t even notice it. We might like to call it the here-and-now, when actually it’s more like reliving the old-but-not-forgotten.
Takeaway 3: When the familiar past becomes a survival habit, your memories steal the future from you.
Here’s the thing: No matter how abusive or terrifying an experience was, you survived it. Your brain deems the survival an accomplishment and a “success” story. Those feelings you experienced at the time, whatever they were for better or worse, apparently kept you alive so your mind drives you to live by those feelings. Expecting another threat then becomes your lifestyle.
In sum, your memories steal your future by feeding you a steady diet of memories of feelings. In a twisted sort of way, you could say Life is a stroll down Memory Lane when it might better be described as an addiction to the past.
Starting over counters the notion that somehow personal growth can only be achieved through more pain than the pain you might currently live in. You have most likely gone through enough of that already. It does not have to be this way.
Blessing: May you feel today the way you want to feel tomorrow.
Daily Action: Choose a feeling word to identify a way you feel today that you also felt yesterday and the day before. What good or bad does this feeling do for you? How might you learn to recognize that feeling and name it?
Conversation Kick-Around: How much are feelings from the past occupying head space in you today? Comment below!
Next up: Memories do the crime; you do the time.3/6
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