I gained access to an email account I've not used for over 3 years yesterday (I'd lost my password). I found what I needed soon enough, but I went snooping around in past messages. I read a message I'd received in 2007.
Within seconds I could feel my energy changing, the life draining out of me, the flooding with upset emotions, the thoughts about how useless I was at handling that situation back then. The past came in to rule my present. I felt overwhelmed. My physiological, emotional and thinking states were altered. It affected me all day, disturbed my sleep last night and lingers somewhat today.
But, if I trace it back, I know enough to know that opening access to that email account was a high risk strategy. If I was 'mindful' enough I would have known, as I should do, that looking at old messages was fraught with danger. I 'could' have chosen differently and closed out of the programme once I found the thing I was looking for.
There's nothing I can now do about something that happened 6 years ago involving someone I've not seen for years. My life is being lived in the present. I need to learn from the experience.
In the past I would try to eat and drink my way out of the discomfort. Now, I walk. Today, I'll try to live more mindfully. Is this easy? Of course not. But, really, is there anything else to do?