by Erika Townsend
Often when we become complacent in our relationships, we reminisce on how things once were. Whether it was with your current partner or with an ex, we seek happier times that give us refuge from the pain of a growing or dying relationship. Although our trips down memory lane are not always intentional, they always bring us back to a place of familiarity. As a fan of this summer’s film Sex and the City II, I could relate to Carrie’s chance meeting with her ex Aidan as feeling like a mirage. According to the Encarta World English Dictionary, the definition of mirage is “something that appears to be real but is unreal or merely imagined.”
Unlike Carrie, I have never been to Abu Dhabi traveling by camel, but a girl can still relate. That’s because all of us, female or male, have had moments in our lives when we were thirsty for something more in our relationships. Love. Sex. Excitement. Passion. Loyalty. Peace. Commitment. It seems as though we are hard-wired to want more.
But anytime we venture into the past via memories, we journey to a place that no longer exists. We cannot change nor recreate that exact moment and that is why many of us can find solace in our memories. We can embellish the details and create fairytale endings. Through try as we might, we can never change the past.
So what’s a better response?
I have found the following quote by Bil Keane, cartoonist and creator of “The Family Circus,” very empowering: “Yesterday’s the past and tomorrow’s the future. Today is a gift – which is why they call it the present.”
With the past at our fingertips and our futures out of sight, one can get frustrated in the here and now. Yet the moment we are trying to escape is actually the only moment that matters. It is the only thing that is real. It is the only thing that we can touch, see, taste, smell, and hear speaking to use right this instant. There are no roads that lead back to yesterday and you will miss your tomorrow if you are stagnant today. You must be careful of the traps that mirages can bring. While the past and future might be nice places to visit, do not sabotage the blessings that lay at your door today!