Monday, February 4, 2013

The Ghosts of Things Past.

While I lay claim to no religion, I am a very spiritual person. I don't attend any church but I pray nightly and sometimes several times throughout the day depending on the circumstances.

My method of praying is a bit different, but it works for me. I find myself just talking. Not necessarily like I'm talking to another person (i.e. friend or family member), but more so like I'm talking to a counselor. I lay out just what it is I'm feeling, thinking etc. I go off on tangents and sometimes I'll end up falling asleep while I'm praying. That might seem bothersome to some people, but to me, it's a testament to the fact that I reached a level of peace that night that lulled me to sleep. And I usually continue where I left off the next day.

In my prayers over the weekend, I found myself reliving a lot of things in my past. The point of the prayer was not originally intended to be a regression session, but to see the lessons that I had learned and appreciate them. However, I quickly found myself falling deeper and deeper into the past. So much so that I started to have the same feelings that I had at the time of the events, almost as if they had happened yesterday. My mind began to fight as hard as it could to pull itself out, but it was seeming quite hopeless and I fully expected it to be a long night of tears and memories.

But suddenly in the midst of the chaos, I had a revelation. It goes something like this.

We all have graveyards in our lives. Graveyards that house the bodies of the many things in our past; pains, mistakes, failures, dreams that never came to fruition, etc. And just like in the real world, we visit these graveyards from time to time, just like a person visits the graveyard to honor someone they've lost. But often times there is a glaring difference in the visitation to an actual graveyard and the visitation of our past graveyard.  Those that visit the grave of a loved one do several things. They often sit and think back on the good times they had with that person, they bring flowers to honor their memory, they talk to the person who has passed and express how their feeling, they may cry, they may laugh at a funny memory. But there is one thing that they don't do. They don't dig up the grave, open the casket and jump inside with corpse. They realize there is no purpose in that; their loved one is dead. Not only that, but were they to do so, they realize that nothing would await them but a stinky mess.

So why, when we visit the graveyards of our pasts in our minds, are we so quick to grab a shovel and go to work? It's as though we feel compelled even after all this time to try and revive the body. We often find ourselves reliving every single moment of pain and heartache that resulted in the death; the phone call from the investor saying all of the money was lost, the choice to drink and drive resulting in the loss of a life, the words that were spoken in anger that ended a marriage, etc.

And so it happened, I was doing that very thing on my midnight dig, when I was suddenly stopped by these words: "Stop. It's dead. Leave it alone. You don't have to dig up the grave to honor the memory or remember the lessons you've learned. Read the tombstone, pay your respects, and go."


  1. This was a great post, Leslie. Thanks for sharing. This one will help me a lot during those grave-digging moments.

  2. Good advice. Grave-digging is a stinky thing. Love you much.

  3. Good stuff girl...good stuff...