If It Could Only Be Like It Never Was - Grasshopper
Memories are deceiving. They are colored by predispositions and faded by time and edited of their flaws before we watch the rerun in our mind's eye.
The older I get, the less I remember. When someone reminds me of a situation, it does become a bit more clear but the full essence of the moment has become distorted to some degree.
Bars aren't the only places full of people who want to harken back to the thrilling days of yesteryear. The sentiment is everywhere. The truth is we don't remember the days as much as the moments. "I'll never forget the time that little Billy drank water from the dog's bowl" is the moment. We tend to extrapolate that moment, along with our attendant feelings, across the whole time frame and label it "the good old days."
The good old days had other moments that we tend not to, or choose not to remember. The cycle of upside and downside was as prevalent then as it is now. As a hedge to the current downside, we may dig back to the "moments" to bring us back up. This is manufactured happiness.
To quote Jerry Stocking:
"If you in any way seek to avoid the downside, you will miss at least half of life."
Memories can be wonderful things and provide a lot of enjoyment and entertainment but to quote the late singer, Ricky Nelson from his song, GARDEN PARTY,
"But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck."
What we did to avoid the downside back then is the same strategy we use now. The piece we neglect to notice is that the downside gives the upside it's up. Reminds me of a story . . .
Mel Karmazin, current CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio and former head of Viacom/CBS is reported to have said to one of his longtime lieutenants who was retiring to play more golf, "Golf isn't as special when you play every day."
The downside is as important to our existence as the upside. I'm not suggesting that you wallow in the drama of the downside. I'm recommending that we notice it and allow ourselves to feel it because it's the only way to keep it from hanging around longer than is natural. Notice and feel the feelings of the downside and let them flow where they flow. Impeding their flow is akin to holding a beach ball under the water. When you let go, it's going to pop up.
Adding to the downside by putting it into story form and telling it to anyone willing to listen, keeps it around much longer than need be.
The fact that we have more downside in our lives is really of our own doing. When we attempt to impede it, we elongate it.
Each time you pretend the dirty clothes aren't there, the pile gets bigger until you have a dreaded mountain of clothes to wash. If you wash clothes every day, you'll never have a pile bigger than your perceptions can handle. The same is true for life's dirty clothes. They do exist and they need to be acknowledged. When we practice washing them on a regular basis, the quicker they wind up in the clean pile.
Life is a balance of up and down. We upset the natural balance of things by pretending that it can be any way other than it is now.
Acknowledge and allow yourself to experience the downside and you will quickly restore the natural balance to your life.
If you truly want more natural upside in your life, embrace the downside.
All the best,
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