YES / AND

Hi, I'm Mike the camera / other things person.

I'll use this area as a place to say things.

I'll start off with a manifesto of sorts (even though that word is really over the top) that has my mission statement found therein.

This is taken from an email that I sent a friend of mine:

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YES

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Those are all the things that have happened in your life so far.

They are all the same, in their elemental form. Things that have happened.

Some things are bigger than others. Thicker. More noticeable.

These are important, pivotal things that stay with us. Memories of friends and family and life-changing events.

These stay with us, but these live in the past.

These live in the past.

Which means they are dead in the present.

We are alive in the present.

We say YES, all of those things have happened.

AND.

And is being at peace with your past and using all of the YES as foundation for the rest of your life. What’s stronger than things that have actually happened? Build upwards from truth.

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Here is the wrong way to look back.

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We give certain memories greater, more substantial shape than others. Then, when we look back, this is all we can see.

Since this is all we can see, it carries tremendous influence on the present.

This shouldn’t be. No memories should produce an inappropriate level of impact. It no longer lives. You do.

Since they live in the past, they shouldn’t dictate and operate in the future because they don’t exist right now.

Only we do. We have agency and can make a tangible impact. We can invent right now. I am a generally happy and delighted person because I see that in any moment, I can invent and create something. I can think, I can learn, I can assess, and I can choose what to do next.

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Your past is a pool of water.

Tidal waves are created based on our emotional mood shifts.

Waves are powerful and scary and they can swoop in and take us away. Sometimes we wholly submit to the physical force of the wave. A wave of sadness comes in and it controls our navigation. A wave of happiness blinds us from the reality of the situation. A wave of fear or anger causes us to be untrustworthy, antagonistic, and on the constant defense. We deflect and we avoid.

We need to temper the past and understand it for what it is now.

Yes, the past affects us, because right now is a product of everything has happened in the past.

Which is why the past NEEDS to be respected. But the past does not guide the ship.

We move forward with what we’ve learned from the past and act as we feel is the best way towards continued positive living.

We, in the present, are the navigators and captains. We've encountered all kinds of waters before, and we are wiser and better captains for it.