What’s Your Shrine to the Past?

Do sad people have in

It seems
They have built a shrine
To the past

And often go there
And do a strange wail and


One of my favorite poets is Hafiz, a fourteenth century Sufi poet. I became acquainted with his unique love poems to the Divine during my years of yoga classes.

This poem has often helped me pull out of a “should-a, could-a, would-a” mood. Once in a while I let the green meanies get hold of me, and I spiral downward into reliving past events—how I would have said this or that or how I would have made a different choice. Occasionally I wallow there. “Poor me. Look what you did.” Or “See how they hurt you?”

I relive the past and try to change the ending. Except I don’t have the power to do so—never will. Surely I could grasp that concept by now?

What is the cost of worshipping at this shrine? I spend energy and time reliving something that will not change. I create frustration and longing for a different outcome. I cry, “It’s not fair!” or “Now I know what I should have done!” All of it in vain.

What lessons are here for me? Looking back saps my energy for living in the Now. Returning to past events causes me to miss the beauty and wonder of Today.

And there are so many gifts in the present—I want to be ready to receive them.


Your Call to Action:

What’s in your “shrine to the past”? How often do you worship there? What will you do, who will you be, or what will you remember so that your visits to the shrine become less and less frequent?




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