I looked at each photo for necessary "tweaking." It was like going through a slow-mo life review, preceding my arrival on Planet Earth and moseying along through the decades. I could feel the presence of the people, places and events. Emotions swelled and dropped as each photo was observed.
They say that when you die your life flashes before your eyes. In metaphysical circles it is believed that this happens to help us understand what our journey was about and how we handled our assignment. Near Death survivors typically return to life with a new awareness of mistakes made and a purpose for their lives, gleaned from their "life review" experience.
It is different when the life review is "self-induced" through photographic reflection. I smile at the happy, carefree times of my youth. My eyes sting with tears viewing the faces of people who have passed on. My heart swells with pride at images of my children and their accomplishments and activities; and then aches from pictures of a smiling bride and groom making doomed vows with blind confidence. Anger flares up from old unhealed wounds, regret stirs in my gut for precious moments lost through faulty choices. I am reassured of good things I have done by smiling faces of love and appreciation. It is a journey, to be sure.
The hardest things to deal with in this life review were unresolved anger and regret. I was pondering this during my morning meditation and reflection. As Divine Order would have it, at the very moment my soul cried out "What can I do?," I recalled something I once read called "Shadowy Figures." The writer spoke of a dream of shadows but equally can apply to the shadows of our past experiences. You see, we have options in how to handle shadows of anger and regret. We can:
* Deplore it: use attack thoughts to blame whoever we believe is at fault.
* Ignore it: hoping that by not dealing with it, it will go away. Yeah...right!
* Explore it: Try to see the big picture beyond personal opinion; see it through the other person's eyes, weigh it in your heart to see how valid your thoughts and feelings are.
To those options, I would like to add:
* Restore it. With the understanding gleaned from our exploration, we have the option to forgive others for real or perceived offenses, or to make amends for intentional or unintentional offenses of our own. In doing so, we will assure that every life review will be happily anticipated.
* Release it. It is not necessary to hang on to EVERY photo you ever took. We do not need to be eternally reminded of mistakes we have made. Thanks to photo editing we can crop those reminders out of our photos or if all else fails, delete!
So, you may want to get out your photo album, and maybe you also will have a healing experience.