I just watched the movie "Sideways" this past weekend. I was deeply moved by it. The story of the two kindred spirits, who couldn't be more different, moved me more than I expected. It actually set a great many things in motion in my life. I guess no matter what happens to us, somewhere along the line we are going to be forced to deal with our deep regret and longing for a different past. As a matter of fact, that's what the most powerful definition of forgiveness expresses. Real forgiveness is not condoning someones behavior or condemning ourselves for what we've done (the best definition of shame I know), but forgiveness is releasing oneself from the expectation that we may have ever had a better past. Sounds pretty crazy, no? But when you think on it if makes sense. Our past is gone. It is now the water in the wake of the boat. To regret the past, to hold onto it (not forgive) is to violate the authentic self by "staring" into a void, a non-place. Somehow by holding onto it we experience a weird sense of safety, however illusory that is. This places us square in the middle of our lives, here and now, the only real place there is. This is the place of safety and joy. This moment. We have all experienced a sense of this presence called "Now" even if for a brief time. It's when we forget ourselves the most that this happens. How ironic. By forgetting ourselves (losing oneself in present time) we actually find our true nature. Our buddha-hood, as it were. But like good wine, the past gets better with time, if we can savor it like the light from a neighboring star. But if we keep staring, living there, then we've done ourselves a terrible injustice. I struggle with this everyday. I call it the "if onlys". If only I had a better career, if only I was thin, if only I had unlimited wealth, I'd be fine. The hilarious truth is that I do have those right now. I have everyone of them. I'm not being smart here. Take a moment, move past yourself. Inhale the past like a Pinot, as you watch the winds move by you, the clouds of your heart. Remember them. Remember them, right now.