“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?” — Jack Kornfield
Whilst it’s said the past needn’t determine where we’re headed, we create a prosperous future by referencing the past through a new landscape. We don’t need to drag the past along with us like a worn-out ornament, but see it through the eyes of compassion and forgiveness. We ought to take what is valuable from the past to alter our experience of the future. You are not defined by your past any more than what happened to you yesterday. The past has taken place but from this present moment, it is a figment of our imagination. We cannot touch, see, nor experience it but only replay it in our minds. It was the Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren Daishonin who once said: “If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present. And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present.” It is why forgiveness, kindness and compassion are essential when rewriting a new karmic script for the future.
It is possible to experience exuberant joy and fall in love with being alive, irrespective of what has occurred in our life. The obstacles and challenges we experienced are not the impediments but are in fact the way. Our pain, hurt and misery are the keys to heal what is buried deep within us. As the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill once declared: “If you are going through hell, keep going.” The way out through pain and heartache is not to run away from it or stow it deep within our mind since that makes it come back stronger. To overcome the wounds of the past requires us to experience them now in the present moment through the eyes of forgiveness and compassion. These higher vibration states which are bestowed in love are the soul’s eyes looking at itself through a canvas of love and equanimity.
To rediscover joy and fall in love with being alive requires we let go of hurt and disappointments while refusing to drag along excess baggage not relevant to our future. I often mention to coaching clients and audience members a three-word mantra to describe this process: Remember. Release. Renew. So we remember the past, however instead of witnessing it through the eyes of pain and suffering, we rewrite a new script through the eyes of forgiveness and compassion. To release means to let go of dis-empowering thoughts or emotions associated with the past since we cannot create a new future with these negative states following us. Renew invites us to appreciate the lessons imbued in those experiences, so we can see them through a new lens. If we wish to rediscover joy and fall in love with being alive, we must let go of that which impedes upon this way of life. Only then will we discover the fountain of joy that has been living within us all this time.