I was talking with a friend who was engulfed in guilt for something she had done over 30 years ago, something that she wouldn’t even dream of doing today. As she spoke her eyes were tuned to the past, tuned to what she called a horrible mistake. Her present moment was tainted with horror as she relived what had led her to that act, angry that no-one did anything to stop her. She was looking at what she had done then, with her eyes today, with the wisdom and understanding that might be the result of what she now calls a mistake.
My favourite teacher, Byron Katie, says ‘there are no mistakes’. I have come to see the truth of it. The mistake only becomes it after the act. Have you noticed? We conclude we made a mistake when we realise something didn’t serve our purpose or moved us away from it or, when we realise it hurt us or others in the process. If we knew it was a mistake at the time AND we could stop it from happening, don’t you think we would? At the time, the best we could do was to do what we did. It’s as simple as that! The story we say after it and the guilt that comes from it, only comes when we have already changed because of that action. Once transformed from that act, we look down at our past self and in very simple terms bully it for not knowing any better. What we learnt from the past self, because of the past self, we use against it. The past self IS NOT the present self. We have transformed because of it, emerged out of it, so why on earth do we go on identifying ourselves with our past self and its actions and suffer in the process?
As I looked at my friend, all I could see was a beautiful, caring person. Her heart immersed in compassion and love for those she felt she’d harmed. How could she not see what I was seeing?
All I wanted to say was ‘Wake up! You’re dreaming!’What you’re seeing in the screen of your mind is over, finished. It is no longer happening. The reality of this moment does not include that action, other than in your mind. The reality of this moment however includes a wise, helpful and compassionate person living a life of continual serving and loving. Recognise the new you – see yourself now!
What do you call images and words that appear in the screen of your mind when in actual fact they’re not happening?