Literally speaking, there is no past. Now ... is the only time there is. Now ... is when things happen. Now ... is the only time I can experience.
In my mind I can imagine a past, but such imaging is happening now, isn't it? The now moment is still now and what seemed like the past is no longer present.
In other words, every moment is now and the past can only exist in my imagination. This is crucial to understand because I do not have to let the so-called "past" effect the way I am seeing my relationship partner now.
There is a world of difference between seeing a person with all of my past judgments present and seeing a person as that person is right now. The two ways of seeing show me two different worlds entirely.
In fact, I literally cannot see my relationship partner if I'm looking through the window of my past judgments. All I could see in that case is an illusion of my relationship partner, an illusion that doesn't really exist.
Would I want to go through my relationship reacting to an illusion? Or would it be preferable to be with the here and now reality?
I may not be able to answer that question intellectually. I might actually need to experience the difference and let my experience give me my sure answer. That is what I need to accomplish to enjoy the fullness of relationship joy.
I want to practice seeing differently as I come into contact with various people during the day, seeing them brand new and fresh, as if I had never known them in the past. I might even say in my mind, "I see you as you are right now ... as if I have no past knowledge of you."
Every time I see a stranger, maybe while in a supermarket checkout line, or while paying for gas for my car, or while talking to a receptionist, I think to myself something like:
"How would this person look to me if had no past learning with which to make any judgments?"
The idea is to keep practicing seeing people fresh and new, as if I myself knew nothing. Once I've had enough practice at this, I can easily transfer this practice to any relationship partner. Seeing a relationship partner as if I've never seen this person before will keep relationship problems from even getting started.
Maybe before retiring each day I give myself the pleasure of a meditation period during which I review my progress. When I remembered to see people in the now moment without interference from the past, how did it feel? How did people respond? What good came about?
I might even smile at my progress and think to myself:
"Wow! I'm seeing a different world altogether!"
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