Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beginning Anew All the Time!

No matter how old you may feel, you are not old. My great grandpa is old. He just turned 99(!!) At his birthday dinner someone asked him how it felt to turn 99 and you know what he said? "The same way it felt to turn 23." This venerable badass lives alone, has a Facebook and just got his license renewed for another five years. Sometimes he has so many bridge dates with cute little casserole-baking ladies that he doesn't have time to see us. I witnessed him fist bumping someone recently. What?! Who is this guy?


My grandpa attributes many things to his advanced age and great health, and I have my own theory. While some people opt to slow as they age and begin to contract away from the world, he has remained active and engaged with life. He never plateaued, reaching a point where he felt he had learned and did enough and was done. At 91 he got his first computer, took every class for it in his retirement community in a month and was immediately writing emails and his memoirs. He has yet to slow down.

In massage school, our teachers would ask us to come to class and empty our cups: yes, we had learned a lot the day before, but there is always more to discover. My grandpa seems to always have an empty cup, hungry to learn and experience more. Although he misses my great grandma, his beautiful wife of so many years, he is unburdened by longing for the past. The man is a force of nature in perpetual forward motion. Every day is fresh.

The curious picture above is of an Osho card that surfaces periodically, much to my chagrin. Every time it comes up it reminds me to let go of memories I have become mired in. Even unpleasant memories somehow become comforting overtime and I cling to them for dear life, as if I can change the past if I stare at it long enough in my mind. How silly! Here's a bit from the commentary:
"It’s time to face up to the fact that the past is gone, and any effort to repeat it is a sure way to stay stuck in old blueprints that you would have already outgrown if you hadn’t been so busy clinging to what you have already been through. Take a deep breath...and bid it a fond and reverent farewell. Life is passing you by, and you’re in danger of becoming an old fossil before your time!"

There comes a point where we have to allow what's done to be done and accept that even if we were to recreate a memory, it could never be exactly the same. And it should not be! What's the fun in replaying the past? We can't relive or change anything that's already happened. We can only attempt to make amends for hurts rendered and find peace in discord stirred. Hopefully we can also get a little wiser in order to live in a more thoughtful, peaceful manner moving forward. After all, how can we hope to shift our outcomes if we keep making the same choices over and over? That's just crazy.

Whatever you're clinging to, be it happy or unhappy, let it go. The present is not the past and the future will not be either. Like my grandpa, you can hope to remain quite youthful if you empty your cup every day and approach the great mystery of life with curiosity and a fresh beginner's mind. Do not allow past conditioning or experience to dictate your future. You can make new memories that have nothing to do with who you were or what's already happened. Tomorrow is unwritten. Anything is possible...if you allow it to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment