All of us recognize Springtime as a time of cleaning, organizing, reflecting ,stirring our memories and for some a new or revived romance. Spring carries with it a fresh start for those that are willing. Something inside resurrects within us and if we allow it, it even helps us to feel more youthful and energetic again. The question is; how do we take advantage of this season every year?
YOUR EXPERIENCES ARE NOT CLOSED EVENTS
It was William Faulkner that said: “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.” (William Faulkner, The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem) While “one” may not want to visit Mr. Faulkner’s declaration the same “one” cannot argue with it. Experiences in our life are what guide us, form us and transform us. Experiences are the spice of life and although some have more experiences than others, no one escapes them.
Another man by the name of W,H. Auden (A religious poet) said; “I am sure it is everyone’s experience, as it has been mine, that any discovery we make about ourselves or the meaning of life is never, like a scientific discovery, a coming upon something entirely new and unsuspected; it is rather, the coming to conscious recognition of something, which we really knew all the time but, because we were unwilling to formulate it correctly, we did not hitherto know we knew.” What Mr. Auden is saying is that down deep in the recesses of who we were created to be there is something we know through daily living subconsciously that can either be ignored or awakened. If ignored we loose our footing with the lessons of reality and if awakened, we quickly realize it may not be new but it is without a shadow of a doubt valuable.
We come to a place in life where we think we know what it is we want. We have worked at developing an appetite for certain goals. We have programmed our mind to focus steadfast upon what we believe we require to make certain things happen for us. We have come to believe in it so much that the expectations have perhaps buried relationships, valuable experiences that may include even a “once upon a time” strong faith in our Maker. We find ourselves mentally and emotionally demanding others to comply and we put pressure on ourselves to fill the profile of what we expect in our brain. We become so focused on what our brain believes we want that we slowly with time bury our past journey by pushing away the message in our life’s experiences. It is at this point that although we may not realize it, we have hard wired our brain hence loosing sight of what we desperately need. If you happen to fit this profile, you may be at a place in your life where you can see this plainly and are willing to address the possibilities of rewiring your brain or you may feel an inner sense of surviving your expectations and will continue to deny the reality that what you expect may not be what you need in life.
REWIRING OUR EXPECTATIONS We are taught in Psychology 101 that our brains are very adaptable and can be molded and readjusted. If this were not true, people would not be able to make major changes in life, i.e. interfaith/intercultural marriages, moving to other countries and assimilating there, learning foreign languages, converting to other faiths, political platforms etc.
Perhaps one may be intimidated by their past or one may feel that remembering something is too painful. Understandably, the suggestion is not to dwell on what took place as much as what the message was for our personal journey. Winston Churchill said ““Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” We want to continue but on our G-d given journey not someone else’s.
Why is reviving our experiences so important for us? Because we remember what needs to be remembered and it is remembering that brings awareness. It solidifies personally our life’s lessons. Too many experiences in life once the sensation lies dormant is over for us. Given our (often times) hard -wired brain and what we expect out of life can sometimes defeat us. The good news is that we all have an opportunity to begin the rewiring process. A person has three choices in life. You can swim against the tide and get exhausted, or you can tread water and let the tide sweep you away, or you can swim with the tide, and let it take you where it wants you to go. (Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Northern Lights, 1993) Our mind can be stirred to hunger what we need instead of what we want. If we can get to this place, we will find happiness and fulfillment in life.
WE MUST CULTIVATE OUR MEMORY BANKS
Miquel de Cervantes Saavedra (Spanish Poet) said “Time ripens all things; no man is born wise.” Wisdom is gained in time and through experiences. Spring time has a way of harvesting what has already been buried. The beauty of the flowers and the weather especially here in Los Angeles tell us there are personal memories to cultivate and it makes us realize that all our experiences are seeds for our future. Perhaps our awareness has been buried below the surface of everyday life. It has been wired into our own expectations instead of our needs.
Notwithstanding despite that, Spring energy gives us the wherewithal to; Cultivate, remember, become aware and open our eyes to happiness and fulfillment. Afterall, it is your life, and you were created to live it out. It is a scary prospect but a very real one. You are in charge of what you do with your life’s experiences and the lessons that have come your way. The honest question to ask ourselves is are we wired for what we want or what we need? While there is nothing wrong with having desires, there is something terribly wasteful about having them interfere with what we need because what we need aligns itself with our purpose in life. The only way to know the difference is to cultivate your past. It is waiting for you in your subconscious. "Go for it"
Elisheva (Irma) Diaz aka Irma Elizabeth Diaz is a public speaker, journalist and teacher. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org