Present Moment 3: Making Memories

by Underdue Support on November 3, 2011

All of us have memories of various times in our lives.  Sometimes they are of good times and special, fun events.  Sometimes they are memories of sad times or loss.  Experiencing your present moments doesn’t mean that you have no memories.  On the contrary, it is often things that happen now that remind us of things that happened a long time ago.  Memories are important in defining who we are. Letting ourselves remember other times is part of embracing all of our life experiences, good and bad.  We are not trying with these exercises to get you to leave your past behind.  We are trying to get you not to live there.

When you work to stay in the present, you are really working to create memories. I read about a middle aged man who always thought his father should have taken the time to fix the cruddy bathroom in their house. Somehow he never got around to it. Instead they spent time as a family taking trips or enjoying picnics and time together. He decided as an adult that it wasn’t very likely he would have sat around remembering the wonderful bathroom in his home the same way he sat around and remembered those great family vacations. When you stop and pay attention to the now, you are creating memories – for you, your children and your family. I suspect if we thought about that each time we were trying to decide what to do next, we might make very different decisions.

So the point here is to use the present to create the memories that you can embrace as you move into the next present moment. Remember your past, experience the present and create the future. Don’t live in the past and miss the present, thereby creating a future you don’t want. Or, don’t be so concerned about the future that you miss both your past and your present. It’s about balance, folks. If you stay in the present, you can turn and look both directions. It’s kind of a circle of life thing. Yeah, corny I know. But just because it’s corny doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

So, your exercise for today – look at everything you do for the next week and think about how your child, spouse or family will think about that very same event 10 years from now, 20 years from now, when you are talking to your grandchildren. “In every deliberation which must consider the impact of our deliberations on the next seven generations.” This quote is often attributed to the The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy. Maybe we need to start using that rule to measure our present moments.

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