Letting Go of Charlie Brown Days

Every now and then I have experiences, some good, others bad, where I cling to the moment -- afraid to let them pass. I want to wring everything I can, good or bad, like squeezing a wet dish towel and not leaving a drop for later.

Prom queen days, for example. Like being in high school, walking in with your crew, head held high and music in your wake, feeling magnetic, magical, in the proverbial flow. Every one of your jokes draws laughter, every wink elicits a smile, every move is set to perfect rhythm. You are Princess Di, Michelle Obama, JLo, but with a style all your own. You wave, twirl on a dime, and silver stars flow from your skirt to light up the night.

Those are the days I want to replay over and over, afraid to let go because, well, how could tomorrow be better? How can you get those stars to flow again? Stars that I need, without them the world's axis seems a bit off.

Alas, we've all had our share of Charlie Brown days, too. Days like when your father was so out of touch with what is cool that he made you wear the most despicable looking shoes that any child has had to endure in third grade. You figure he probably bought them from some hobo on the street for $3, and he only made you wear them to assure that you will never be that prom queen or have any friends. For some reason, you're convinced that your father has conspired with your enemies to shame you for all eternity. Negotiating out of the shoes is as hard as an act of Congress, and now they hurt your feet. So you are stuck in a never passing storm, stuck in perpetual overcast. The music has stopped. The sun will never shine again. The moon has taken the night off.

And for some God-forsaken reason, we can't let those moments go either. We hear the mobs taunting and laughing at us in our faces over and over again. This horrible movie is played on a loop we can't stop watching.

In the Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, the Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, and countless other consciousness books, writers emphasize that life is lived in the moment, in what is happening now. In each moment, this is where everything is. Not in the movies filmed through memories, good or bad. We just have to be brave enough to turn off the projector.

It takes practice to stay present, to be awake. To remain vulnerable and open to whatever shows up, no matter what happened before.

In truth, there are experiences that I thought at the time were bad but, in fact, actually turned out to be good. It may have been painful, but as Carl Jung has stated, pain precedes consciousness. Even the times that were so good that I thought they could not lead to anything better, in fact, always did.

They always do.