Last Friday night I was sitting in my living room, relaxing and reflecting on the long and difficult week I’d just been through. At such times, I tend to reflect back, not just over the difficult period, but over my life. One of the things I’ve discovered is my ability to move in and out of people’s lives, much as the fish from my zodiac sign move through water. Sometimes I am remembered, but often it feels like a case of out of sight, out of mind. This particular night, rather than considering how I felt about that, I was thinking more about my legacy. Though I have a while left to live, at 46, it’s likely I’m at, if not past, the half way point.
So, in the midst of these thoughts, I realize I’m hungry, and as I often do on Friday nights, I order take out from a local Chinese place. I get my shoes on and get in the car to go, and all the while I’m thinking about my legacy. Will anyone besides my family remember me? Will anyone remember the good or the bad I’ve done while I’m alive? As soon as I asked the question, the answer came like a bolt of lightning – Yes. The earth remembers.
Everything we do becomes part of the memory of the place we are when we do it. Just as we remember what we do in a particular place, those places remember what is done there. People don’t often realize this is the case, but a place’s memory is accessed by how it feels. The energy of a place is the accumulation of the place’s memories. When you walk into a house and feel warm and welcomed, or you walk in and feel cold, or oppressed, it’s a sign that people were welcomed there a lot, or people were cold or angry a lot.
It’s not just houses, it’s everywhere we go. Parks, workplaces, restaurants, golf courses, beaches, night clubs and bars, carnivals and amusement parks, ghettos, big cities, small towns, cemeteries, battlefields – everywhere. This, in part, explains why so many places are so unpleasant to work at. Stop and think about it. At 8-5 jobs, on Monday a lot of the office drags in, half asleep and not wanting to be there. This happens week after week after week, until eventually almost everyone is experiencing this, whether they realize it or not.
I’ve used the experience of an unpleasant work environment, but the positive side is true also. Someone may come home to their spouse. They get home, are greeted warmly, have a loving relationship, and are happy there. As this happens again, and again, and again, pretty soon other people start to notice how nice their house feels when they visit. The visitors may not be able to put a finger on it, or even be aware that they are happier in this place too, but it happens.
Is there someplace you like but the energy just doesn’t feel the way you want it to? The good news is, you can change it, but usually not overnight. If you want to change the energy of the place, the solution is simple. Start doing the kinds of things there that are in tune with the energy you want to be there. Do them regularly, and with the intent of establishing that energy. Notice that I said it’s simple, but I didn’t say it would be easy. Perseverance is a necessity. If you’re trying to change a strong memory, it’s going to take a lot of regular, consistent work to change the dominant energy to something else.
I just want to leave you with one last thought. They say integrity is doing the right thing when no one else is around to see it. The truth is, this idea is only partly right. There may not be anyone around to see it, but your acts, and the intention behind them, are imprinted in the place where they are done. What we do produces effects, whether we’re aware of them or not. What is the earth remembering about you?