Dreams have a funny way of bringing things to the forefront of our minds. Funny, and yet bitter-sweet.
I dreamed last night, of events unfolding, playing themselves out as if I didn’t make what I’ve come to believe as my greatest mistake. I saw, for a moment, a glimpse of what life could be like, had I done things differently. It was beautiful, it was magical, but it wasn’t real. Somehow, deep inside my mind, I knew it couldn’t be real, that at some point, I would have to wake up and push all of this aside.
I know, I’ve probably said it before, that you can’t live in the past, it’s what happens now that matters. Well, this event is what had taught me that nugget of truth. A ghost from the past, if you will.
I hesitated. Because of certain similarities to events I had experienced in the past, I hesitated. I didn’t give my all. Because I couldn’t commit fully to what was going on around me, because I was still living in the past, I caused a lot of damage. I felt terrible for so long, until it finally scabbed over and I was able to recover. Viewing that dream, however, ripped open the wound anew.
This had me lost in thought all day, observing different trains of thought running through my head. (Yes, I do think about thinking.) Because of that one singular event, I vowed never to have it happen again. I would learn from my mistakes and become even more in control than I ever dreamed possible. I searched for reason, for a way to understand the world around me, to understand myself, and to hone my rational thought so I could commit without a second thought.
This is what led me to the two-fold path of Zen and Objectivism. One, at least for me, would not be complete without the other. Zen sterilizes the field, clears and opens my mind, preparing me for new experiences, and helps me to keep my wide-eyed wonder in life. This is what makes experiences all the more vivid. Objectivism, the other side of the coin, is what then fills up the space, with nothing more than is necessary. It’s a reminder not only to collect what is important, but to remove what isn’t.
Hesitation only invites death and decay. To stop moving allows roots to grow around our feet. Live your life, don’t relive your past. Seize the day that stands before you and claim it as your own.
The past cannot control us, if we are to truly live. Let the memories of the past be simply the bridge that takes us from the present to our future.