When we look at the world, we see our thoughts. There is nothing we see that does not have a story attached to it. The story may be a memory (a cup bought on vacation; a gift from a treasured friend), or it may be an opinion (I like this; I don’t like that). But whether we are aware of it or not, we attach stories to everything we see, and those stories all arise from the past, because the past is all we know.
Our stories are not necessarily bad things. But they are only stories. To see something fresh, something new, as if for the first time, as if you had no idea what it was and no opinion about it–that is to see something truly. When you stop seeing only the past, you are open to possibility, to the future.
This is why all the sages counsel us to be here now–to stop dwelling on our thoughts of the future and the past and to be in the present. Because to be in the present, without limiting it to what you think it is or should be, is what allows you to make the best decisions, to express yourself fully, to enjoy the flow of life around you.
Enjoy your stories, but do not forget that is all they are. Let them go if they aren’t serving you; create new ones. Start with where you are, and with what is possible.
Everything begins here.