We wouldn’t be human beings if we didn’t feel nostalgic once in a while. We easily miss the present by getting lost in the memories of the good old times. Undoubtedly, we need to learn how to stay present to our daily experiences in order to discover the authenticity and depth of the surrounding reality. I wonder though if a tad of nostalgia can help us be more prepared to live the present?
I believe in the healing effects of mindfulness. By learning how to stay focused on the task at hand, we can become more aware of our emotions and improve our wellbeing.
One mindfulness technique is to focus on the breathing in our body whenever we feel we lose touch with what’s going on at the moment.
For example, whenever I realise I am too much into my thoughts and don’t cherish the presence of my toddler, I take a deep breath, I leave aside any other task I might be doing and delve into playing with him.
His laughter is melting my heart. I feel blessed for sharing that moment with him.
Yet, there are moments when nostalgia kicks in and I let it be.
Nostalgia is human
I want to feel the “don’t forget the loved ones” type of nostalgia.
It’s my way of keeping in the heart the people whom I dearly loved once but who passed away. I indulge myself in the past where I can still see their faces and hear their voices.
It was a sunny day, one of the first days of late Spring, as it usually is in Helsinki. I was with my toddler at the playground and I started a game of the mind. I imagined how they would play with him.
My grandfather would have played hide and seek with him.
My uncle would have cracked some jokes and did a few hocus-pocus tricks.
My grandmother would have just waited for us with some pancakes when we returned from the playground.
Sometimes, the past and present are one
Where were we? Ah, on the playground, my son is playing in the sand.
The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, compensating with some cold, for the warmth of the sun rays.
Without the past, we wouldn’t have the present. Thanks to the people who loved us once, we have a frame of reference for loving in the present.
I believe that it does good to us to invite the past in the present every now and then. In my case, nostalgia comes with a precious reminder that love is the only thing which is eternal. I received it in abundance, now it’s my time to pass it on.
It does good to us to travel back in time as long as we are able to maintain a faithful memory about the past. If we are truthful to the past, we can tell better how we turned into who we are today. And we’ll feel more comfortable about who we are today.
We were not perfect back then. We are not perfect now. But we can try to become the best that we can be.
How about you? Do you get nostalgic often? How faithful recollection of the past do you believe you have?