A Life Worth Living

A spirit teacher shares gems of wisdom beyond
my capacity to fully understand; simple and yet
deep insights into life, as we each live it,
and how, He tells me,with a little effort
we each might live a life worth living.

Will I be pleased to be asked to share memories
of past experiences, He asks me.

What past experiences?

Your past experiences.

I couldn’t possibly remember them all.

Why?

How would it be possible?

To remember?

Yes.

Reflection.

But, my focus is on what I am experiencing now.

Why?

Because I must choose how to live today.
It’s too late to worry about yesterday.

What about tomorrow?

What about it?

Isn’t that my style of questioning?

Exclusively?

So, you have chosen to adopt a way not your own?

It is my way, once I have adopted it.

Why did you adopt a new response?

It seemed more appropriate to this particular
situation than possible past responses might.

Yes.

What does that mean?

It means that it’s never to late to change
the way we each respond to particular effects.

Effects?

Effects.

As in cause and …

Yes.

Is that the message?

What?

We each choose or at least contribute to
the next cause in whatever endless series
of cause and effect situations are
developing in our life.

Singular?

Singular.

Yes.

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Your story is my story

Spirit tells me that our personal stories must necessarily be incomplete and less than real.

How can my life story be less than real?

Who experienced it?

I did.

And who recorded it?

I did.

How?

Through memories. How else?

Someone might have told you your story when you were too young to be aware of how true it was.

If so, that was then.

Your story can never be then. Life stories are never then and now, unless there are two or more versions of the same story, and there always are.

Then how can we know our own story?

It is not possible. We are living interconnected life stories.

Then your story and mine may be the same story?

Yes, from different perspectives.

There is only one story

Spirit tells me that memories are remembered stories that we personally experienced, on one way or another. We may not have physically experienced them but, somehow, they each have left a deep and lasting effect upon us.

We may have read some of them, listened to, watched, or dreamed some others. Some have made such deep sense to us or we have felt such a personal connection to them that we have recorded them in our memory, or, more factually, they have recorded themselves.

No one story stands alone. Each are a part of and embedded within even larger or different stories. If so, they are remembered as part of more stories than one. This is as an important, or less important document being copied and then stored in different file folders in a traditional filing cabinet, or on a computer

Then how can we know which stories are really our own?

Easy.

How?
They all are part of one and the same story, of life being lived.

There is only one story.

Spirit tells me that our capacity to understand what is happening

Around us greatly expands over a lifetime. But, our awareness

Does not develop without experience and with reflection on that

Experience, with intent to understand why it happened and what

Effect it had on our development.

 

When we recall childhood memories we need to be aware that they

Are memories of a child, the child we once were. A child recorded,

Perhaps traumatic experiences, as seen through the eyes of a child.

 

Now, as an adult, we revisit the past and view the situations from the

Perspective of distance and, hopefully, developed maturity. In the event

Of a similar situation experienced today, we might respond quite

Differently than we did long ago.

 

A child is usually helpless and frightened in situations beyond her or his

Control or understanding. The memory of terror, felt as a child, would be

Possibly missing in our review.

 

Our personal collection of memories is as a history book. There is usually

No continuous, interconnected series of events recorded. And, what we

Do remember may or may not have contributed, more or less, to our

Present level of maturity and understanding of our life.

 

Then what purpose is served by our memories?

 

They tell us a human story that helps us relate to other human stories,

Real or fiction.

 

And we are more able to feel a connection with other stories because

They confirm our own life story?

 

Yes. It’s the collection that is the real story. Our individual stories make

Sense only as part of a greater one.

 

I think you’re leading me to something.

 

Yes, the awareness that there is only one story.

 

 

 

 

 

If Life is a Story

Spirit tells me that if Life is a story, and, He seems to insist,

In many ways it is, then the pages of past experiences

That we call memories, are as earlier chapters in our

Personal Book of Life.

 

If so, I ask, without necessarily doubting my wise teacher,

Then why did the past not even seem to hint at my

Present life or provide even a misty vision of what

My future might possibly be?

 

Lack of awareness and narrow focus, He sighs, and then

Begins to improvise Pete Seeger, singing ‘When will they

Ever learn”, from “Where have all the flowers gone”.

Memories as snippets of reality in a sea of fiction

Spirit tells me that most, if not all of my memories, that I

Seem to think of as original videos of past events and

Experiences are no more than snippets of reality

Within a sea of fiction.

 

Are you saying that I create or created my memories?

 

Yes, to both questions. We continuously up-date our

Memories of the past, to reflect our current understanding,

Unless we have become trapped within an earlier.,more

Rigid and less developed state of awareness.

 

But, I remember…

 

Yes, but do you also remember remembering whatever and,

If you do, then you will be aware that your current

Understanding has evolved, or it has not.

 

Knowledge is not Understanding

Spirit tells me that we live and share with each other

As teacher and student of wisdom, and that

Wisdom is understanding while knowledge alone

Is not.

 

Knowing what is what is not the same as knowing

Why what is what and how to use that knowing

To serve self, community, and Life.

 

A farmer usually knows more than what

To plant, when to plant, and where to plant.

Why requires understanding based on

Experience.

 

The same is true of compassion, He tells me.

The memories or personal pain compel us

To feel the pain of others, or we have not

Suffered enough. It’s as simple as that.

The past that we think we remember

Spirit tells me that the past that we think we remember, was not a memory then.

When we were there, it was a now, with memories of its own.

We may have lived the past that we remember, He tells me, but not exactly as we remember.

We now can look back and choose to see our then situation from the view of an observer, or stay locked into the more limited view that we necessarily had, then.