Let’s talk about time.
Einstein proved that time is relative. In his Theory of Relativity, Einstein proved that time actually does move at a different pace, depending on if you, yourself, are moving. It’s a complex subject that I am in no way smart enough to understand, let alone explain but there is a cool video on the topic if you’re interested.
But what I do know, what all of us know, is that our perception of time can make it seem to go by like a bullet train or a sloth. It can go by in what seems like an instant if you’re enjoying yourself. Who hasn’t had a vacation go by with lightning speed only to be back at work faster than you can say, “Una cerveza más, por favor!”
But we all are also very familiar with when time slows to a crawl. Most often experienced at the dentist, while doing your taxes, or in work meetings at 4:00 on any given Friday.
Of course, time is passing at the same speed. An hour spent with a CRA auditor is the same length of time as an hour spent on the beach in Waikiki. It’s our perspective that changes.
What baffles me, though, is when people choose to let those long, painful, uncomfortable hours from the history of their lives impact their lives today. I’m not talking about trauma or the time, work, and challenge it is to overcome any kind of trauma. That’s a beast of a different nature.
What I’m talking about is when people let unpleasant, unimpactful events of the past impact their happiness of the present. Let me give you a fictional example.
Imagine a person who sadly recalls that time back in 2011 when they were enjoying a sunset off a beautiful beach somewhere when out of the blue, their partner broke up with them. Not a long-time partner, mind you. Someone they’d been seeing for a couple of weeks. They recall it with vivid detail now, in this moment, while they are watching a beautiful sunset off a gorgeous beach. The splendor of today is reduced by the pain of the past.
Why? Why give that unfortunate moment any more of your consciousness? It was crappy. It was days/weeks/months ago. Done. Leave it exactly there. In the past where it belongs.
But I know so many people who seem to revel in the ‘misery’ of past experiences. They let those moments define who they are now and rather than write their own stories, with their own happy chapters, they relive over and over the chapters where others wrote the plot. And the plot didn’t end well for them.
I wish I could wave my magic awareness wand and lift the burden of those past experiences from these people. Life is too short and often too difficult to be giving any more of your spiritual or mental energy to the negative stuff. Maybe it’s an optimist/pessimist thing. And as you know, I most definitely categorize myself as an optimist. But I wonder, is it possible to help a pessimist change their woeful ways? Or is that just an exercise that would turn the brightest optimist into a crankier version of themselves?
I guess only time will tell.