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That Nostalgic Dance

I don’t believe we would be human if we didn’t have nostalgia moments. Nostalgia seems to be a part of life. However, I have noticed that when I move into the past with longing and “what ifs,” I notice that I usually end up feeling emotional, or worse yet, depressed. Is nostalgia necessary for a healthy life focused on the present?

I had a Black Lab/German Shepherd named Poco. He used to stand up on his back legs and shake his head from side to side when he would become excited. Eventually, we would encourage him and say, “Poco, do the dance! Do the dance!” He learned that the command meant to do this funny jerking movement. This trick always made company laugh and smile. Poco died about six years ago of cancer.

Can we live life without a slow dance with the past? “Should I have married him?” “Should I have quit my job and taken that opportunity to start my own business?” “Should I have forgiven her and started over, wiping the slate clean?” “Wouldn’t life be better if she were still alive?”

Every year, I make at least one commitment that will last throughout January, if not the entire 365 days. This year, I decided to imagine what would life be like if I lived it completely in the now. I have been trying to act as if I can carry no part of the past into my future. Notice, I’m not saying I believe the past didn’t exist or that it wasn’t important to make me who I am. But I am saying that I no longer need to carry it with me into my future.

In hypnosis, I have always done a session for people who want to let go of something tragic. The session is based on the idea of walking down the long hallway of life, carrying a basket in one hand and walking through the seasons of life collecting objects that represent people, jobs, and relationships—both good and negative. Once you’ve reached the present, a huge gap stands between you and your future. To jump over the gap, you have to let go of the basket, because it weighs you down.

If you think about it, what exactly do you need from the past that will help you with the future? Could you exist without the residual past and all that it brings to your life? This conundrum has stumped many spiritual seekers in the past. I believe one can exist without the hindrance of nostalgia and the past. The only thing the past brings to me is an old road with signs—torn and tattered from the days before.
Can we paint the present and future with flowing beautiful strokes when one arm is holding a heavy basket and the other arm is trying to manage the efforts of balancing your body with the heavy load the past? We end up crooked and safeguarding the past, only to miss the opportunities of the now and the future.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com. Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed.

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