I’m going to start this post, in the present moment, by bringing in the past.
Yesterday, in a therapy group, after every person had checked in, uninterrupted, somebody identified this common theme:
How the past comes into the present and affects us, in many ways
which I wrote up on my whiteboard as
past –> present
… as you can see in this photo.
Speaking for myself, I know that the past has been affecting my present in many ways, including:
- I have trouble wearing my CPAP mask, at night, to help me sleep, because of memories of the many anesthesia masks I encountered in the hospital, as a child.
- I had trouble, last night, at the So You Think You Can Dance concert, as I was trying to see, when the person sitting behind me tapped me on the back and said, “Could you please not lean forward?” I’m not sure why this bothered me so much, but I’m sure it’s related to my past. I dealt with it by moving over to a nearby seat, which was empty.
- I have trouble doing a portion of my job that I find so difficult (probably because of past associations) that I have (over-)dramatically announced to my managers: “it’s killing me.” My managers and I are trying to figure out ways for this NOT to kill me.
Why am I writing about these past –> present things, here and now?
As a way to understand them. As a way to get some sense of control over them.
Why am I writing in incomplete sentences today?
Because I’m anxious, I think.
Why am I anxious?
Because I’m getting my teeth cleaned today.
Why is getting my teeth cleaned so anxiety-provoking?
Because I have gotten endocarditis — a very serious heart infection — three times before, and the doctors think this has been caused, each time, by bacteria that exist in everybody’s mouths.
Why have i gotten endocarditis three times, because of bacteria that everybody has in their mouths?
Because I have a very unusual heart — with a leaky valve (among other unusual things) — that makes me prone to endocarditis.
I can’t control or change the past. What can I control, here and now?
My fear, by reminding myself that
- I have gotten my teeth cleaned hundreds, if not thousands, of times and
- I have only gotten endocarditis three times and
- I have never gotten endocarditis since my doctors and I instituted my current method of teeth cleaning, which involves getting intravenous antibiotic before the cleaning and getting my teeth cleaned once every three or four months.
Ahhhh. The above list is an example of how bringing past–> present can help.
What other aspects of the past to I want to bring into the present, in this post, before I end it?
Let me check my notes, from yesterday.
I wanted to share this song with you, today:
I’m going to bring the past–> present again, by acknowledging that some people who read these posts have told me they do NOT watch the music videos I include here. No pressure to watch that one either, but it IS particularly awesome (I think).
Here’s another example of past–>present, with the pictures I took yesterday, as I went from voting –> work –> So You Think You Can Dance:
Why did I take those photos? Do you have any guesses, about any of them?
One more way to bring past –> present, in this post. Last night, I saw this past favorite performance repeated, in person:
Thanks to Zack, Valerie, and the other amazing dancers from Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance, to all those I encounter (including people who tap me on the back and ask me to sit back in my seat) who help me learn, and to anybody else who brings their past into their present in any way — including you!