Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic
When I saw this picture, I thought “that looks like a house full of regret.” Wouldn’t you agree? As I reflected on the picture though, I thought about this idea of regret and how useless it truly is. Now I just see this house sitting and being with its surroundings, almost in harmony. I noticed how the grass was being allowed to grow tall and thick, the vines were climbing up the wall, and the picture it created was actually quite beautiful. With all that going on, how can regret be the main sentiment that exudes from a picture like this?
I recently asked a friend some advice on a new idea I wanted to try out. Her most helpful response was “Get smarter about it.” I feel like the house in this picture is incredibly smart because the ghosts that the quote talks of are from experience.
I started to hear the loud speaker saying Now. Here. This. This is a statement from Father Greg Boyle who runs the Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. It is the largest gang intervention group in the world. He often talks about the loud speaker like at the train station announcing Now, Hear, This. It reminded me that those experiences and “regrets” or “ghosts” from our pasts, all lead us to this place. They lead us to who we are Now, here in this place, working towards this goal. Often I get caught up in the past or present, I try to find a way to slow down and hear the loud speaker in my mind saying, Now, HERE, This. I notice my breathing slows, my headaches fade, and the anxiety welling up in my gut seems to dull.
Allow those experiences to make you smarter, not angrier. Choose to use those experiences, and not let them use you. Be smarter because your ghosts, be not full of regret, be full of wisdom. If all else fails…just be in the Now, be Here, be with This.