Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Today Is The Best Day of Your Life!

                    The premise of the movie, 50 First Dates.

You may remember a movie that came out in 2004 called 50 First Dates, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. It was a cute little romance about a young man who falls in love with a woman suffering from a brain injury resulting from a car accident. The twist in their affair is that every morning when the woman wakes up, she starts the day new, not remembering anything that occurred since the accident. Essentially, every time she meets the love of her life, it’s like meeting him for the first time. This provides both the humor and poignancy of the plot. But it also provides a little food for thought: What if you woke up every morning and it was like the past didn’t exist?

I don’t want to carry this theme to an extreme. Obviously, we learn from our past. Personally, I don’t believe there’s a road I’ve traveled that has been wasted, even the hard ones, even the ones I’m quite sure resulted from my own lapses in judgment. And also equally obvious, I’m so grateful for precious memories, especially those involving my children.

But sometimes the past haunts me in very subtle ways. There are tapes that play in my head—maybe an errant lesson incorporated from my childhood, a hurtful comment carelessly made I’ve allowed to penetrate my self-esteem and heart, a regret, old beliefs that I’ve accepted as truth, slightly off messages I’ve learned about faith, feelings of rejection...and on it goes. I’m sure you could fill in a few of your own messages that continue to feed behavior and beliefs you no longer want in your life.

But what if today you woke up with a form of amnesia and all you knew was today...what choices you want to make...what doors you want to open and walk through...what writing you want to try or music you want to make...what beliefs you want to incorporate or let go of? 

What better time for amnesia than January 1st ? 

At the level of the spirit, everything is always unfolding perfectly.

I love the continual immediacy of this statement. As I sit down to eat, head out to run an errand, run into someone at the grocery store, fold laundry at the Laundromat because our dryer broke and replacing it is not in the budget, as someone comes to mind and I send them a note, or I struggle with family illness, and, yes, even as I write an article, post or book--at the level of the spirit, everything is unfolding perfectly. I don't have to cling to the past or worry about tomorrow. I just have to let today unfold. 

If I allow my heart to settle on that thought, it changes my view about 2014. If we let go of the past--continually working towards an amnesia that rids us of all our yukky, negative recordings--and let today unfold perfectly, what doors could open to us, recognizable and ready to walk through? 



Happy New Year,


Julie

50 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Julie.

    I do remember that movie. So often, we hang on to the bad things from the past without realizing how much they affect us.

    You view on things is like me not remembering as often as I should that God's mercies are new every morning and as I like to say, new day, new opportunities.

    All the best for 2014 and may every day be one filled with joy and wonder.

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    1. Perfect verse! I'm so glad you reminded me of that. Thank you.

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  2. Ohhhh... I LOVE this thought, Julie. I too feel haunted by moments in my past---and it's so easy to hold onto those and let them paralyze me. But this amnesia thought is great. So inspirational!

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    1. Easier said than done, but I love that I can start fresh at any minute and be open to what is unfolding. It's exciting and invigorating!

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  3. I guess we all have things in our past we would rather forget. I love the idea of a new start, I'm trying to look on the new year as a chance to make some changes. Happy new year, Julie.

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    1. You too, Suzanne. There is something so symbolic about the change of a calendar and the start of a new year-- a feeling that encourages us to evaluate and look forward. I hope all the changes you're thinking about prosper you!

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  4. Julie,

    I feel on some levels that it would be easy to erase the memory bank and start over. But as tempting that would be for me, I have to admit that the today person is built upon past person. I am like everyone else and would prefer to have not made mistakes but it is the learning that came from those mistakes that ensure that I will not repeat them.

    I am human and have done horrible, disgusting things. But I don't do them anymore because I learned. If I didn't have those memories, I would probably dive back into that terrible world on a daily basis. There would not be anything holding me back. So in this respect, I think I welcome the guilt and memories of pain because it keeps me moving forward.

    Happy New Year.

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    1. I agree-- to an extent, which is why I included the second paragraph about exactly that. Pain, whether self or other inflicted, produces all kinds of good stuff including compassion, empathy, and as we both mentioned, the lessons learned. But I love the idea of new mercies every day (as Joy reminded me above in her comments) and love the idea that we are not defined by our past but are set free. The past-- its memories good and bad-- can sometimes keep us from being released into what God would have for us now. Today. Tomorrow.

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  5. Getting caught up in the mistakes made, is so easy to do, and yes, I wish I were better at forgetting and moving on. A beautiful thought and one I am trying to incorporate in this wonderful New Year! Wonderful New Opportunity!

    Wishing you all the best Julie - today and always!

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    1. I think, well at least for me, it's a discipline of mind but also a deliberate daily filling up of new thought, and new "food". I do a lot of reading, meditating, journaling in hopes, I guess, of filling my mind with renewal rather than rehashing. I agree -- much easier said than done.

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  6. Oh, I remember that movie! I really enjoyed it...maybe I should see it again soon.

    Sometimes I wish I could just forget all the bad things from the past, but I think overall I'd rather not. I like to look at them as "learning experiences" that have shaped me into who I am today. :)

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    1. Yes, I so agree-- the amnesia idea, as I stated in my second paragraph, only goes so far-- we need to learn, and there are many precious memories I want to hang on to. I think it's the destructive stuff that we chew on and let define and shape us negatively that we need to let go of. In doing so, we allow what's happening now to unfold in our lives. Have a great new year!

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  7. Think we'd probably end up accomplishing a lot more and attempting more new things.
    Happy New Year, Julie!

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    1. That's what I think, too. And happy New Year to you too-- let the music play!

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  8. Julie, I completely and wholeheartedly agree and believe spiritually everything is always unfolding perfectly. And as you said, what better time to start applying an amnesia strategy than right now at the start of a new year. Out with the old, in with the new.

    Happy New Year, my new friend. It's nice to meet you for the first time. Due to amnesia, I don't recall if we've had any previous acquaintance.

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    1. You get ma "truly make me LOL" award for this comment. Happy New Year friend!

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  9. Interesting question, and I have no idea how I'd choose. Since I've become an adult (and especially since my sister died) I've always tried to make choices based on not having regrets, which means taking risks that I might not normally take. I don't know what things I'd have to change to make different decisions now. Maybe not listening to what others think as much, but even that has limited effect on my decision making. Now I'm going to be thinking about this for awhile! I hope your New Year if full of wonderfulness!

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    1. I'm so sorry about your loss. It sounds like you already value this concept in your heart.

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  10. Wow, what a liberating idea. I'm with you on the 'we learn from the past' truth, the past has made me who I am. But sometimes the past is a huge weight. I may try and see what starting over would be like.

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    1. I think I'm a creature of thought habits and this will take time, but I find it a liberating thought too. Happy New Year!

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  11. Very inspirational an thought provoking post. I totally dig the idea of learning from the past but not letting it define our future. I am very hopeful of the what the future holds in 2014!

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  12. What a wise post! Great idea - to erase all the perceived slights and real hurts I suffered in the past, forgive everyone and start anew. I don't think I should forget my own mistakes and regrets though; those are lessons and should be remembered.
    Thanks for the inspiration. Happy New Year, Julie!

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    1. Olga,I agree, the past shapes us and teaches us, but the yukky stuff that clogs our hearts and writing needs to go. Happy New Year to you too.

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  13. Exactly! That's why I try so hard to live in the present, but it's hard to put into words. :-)

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    1. It is and hard to keep in mind when you're feeling overwhelmed.

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  14. Beautiful Julie. At some point in my thirties, I decided that every door that was either opened or closed for me led me to a present that suited me just fine. Some doors that I tried to pry open would have been horrible paths for me to take. So now, in my forties...I am much calmer. Rejections still hurt, but I assume at the end of the trail, it will all make sense.

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    1. There is beauty in aging, I agree! (Thank goodness because when I look in the mirror, the external variety is fleeing!) I need to be more in tune with doors, I think.

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  15. I have to admit, there are a few things...okay, maybe a lot of things...I'd like to forget. But I sure wouldn't want to throw out the good memories with the bad. Starting fresh, however, is a good thing, We should try to do it every day.

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  16. Great thoughts, Julie. I love that quote, too, by the way. Every day is a new day, and we have the choice to live in the past, or to Choose Joy each day as we go about our business. I choose joy.

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    1. Yes, and adventure without fear or hindrances. Me too, Lisa.

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  17. Unlike previous New Years, Midnight rolled around and it was like a cleaning breath. It is time to start afresh indeed. Let's rock this new year! :)

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    1. Some years are more like that than others. I too am ready to look forward and march onward. I agree-- let's rock it.

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  18. Hi Julie,

    A very thoughtful posting, indeed. And we wake to the infancy of this New Year. Hopeful that compassion breeds compassion. Inspiration breeds inspiration. The Now can be a magical place. I embrace the Now.

    May 2014 be all you wish it to be, my friend.

    Gary :)

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    1. I am learning to embrace the Now-- it saves a lot of stress. :) Blessings to you, Gary.

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  19. Hey you!

    It's been good to let my days unfold perfectly offline for awhile. Other than pop-ins on social media few and far between, I've loved it. Of course, the holidays and other things kept me occupied. And I came back online early for that short/anthology.

    I've been working towards this mindset for a time, now. It is so reassuring that despite my screw ups, everything is unfolding perfectly. Despite the pain and doubt, again, it unfolds as it should.

    Lovely post and great subject to start the new year. Have a great 2014!

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    1. I've been offline too Mike and relishing in the non-pressure of it all. In fact, it's prompted me to balance my time a bit better (although today would not be an example of that!).

      I love how you said this: Despite my screw ups, everything is unfolding perfectly. Despite the pain and doubt, again, it unfolds as it should.

      Amen, Brother.

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  20. Amnesia on January 1st. I love that idea! I think there's a book in there somewhere...

    Great movie. Great post. Thanks, Julie.

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    1. Hmmm-- there might indeed be a book!

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  21. Love this post! Every day a new beginning. What a powerfully freeing way to live. Happy New Years!

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    1. Six days into the New Year, and I've already had to remind myself of this (why oh why did I do that thing yesterday?). Sigh.

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  22. Awesome post, Julie. I'm glad I stopped here today. This post reminds that I do not have to hold on to the past, especially the negative things.

    I'm holding on to this thought:
    "Personally, I don’t believe there’s a road I've traveled that has been wasted, even the hard ones, even the ones I’m quite sure resulted from my own lapses in judgment. And also equally obvious, I’m so grateful for precious memories, especially those involving my children."

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    1. Yes, the past as a teacher, but not a condemner. I needed to remember that today too!

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  23. Wonderful sentiment to start the year with, Julie. I appreciate it. I'm also impressed by the prolific smooth flow of your writing - every time I visit.

    Be well and stay warm.
    xoRobyn

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    1. That's such a kind and affirming compliment. Thank you! I am trying to keep in mind the fervor with which I wrote this piece-- it was so motivating!

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  24. I love this quote. Great image too. I feel inspired to do something great! Have a great 2014 to you and yours.

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    1. The quote was good for me too. Happy New Year, Stephen!

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  25. First, happy new year! I think we all have different kinds of "tapes" from our past. When the shadows left behind from those "tapes" bug you, perhaps you can consider that those who direct negativity toward others are usually struggling with something, and that they may treat others according to how they quietly feel about who they are on the inside.

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    1. I appreciate the idea of incorporating our feelings and moving them into a place of empathy. I think that is spot on. Thanks for stopping by Cynthia.

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Thanks for being a part of the conversation. I love reading your thoughts and feedback.