Twenty years ago, my family and I vacationed near Seaside, FL.
We had a lovely time driving there, setting up our temporary home in a condo on the beach, and enjoying our time away from the demands of work and school.
Unbeknownst to me, back then, I existed in the shallow end of life.

Now, I’m visiting Seaside with two dear friends, whom I affectionately call “cousins,” and waves of memories have begun to capture my attention.

Then, my daughter was nine years-old, my son only a year, my wasband (the man that was my husband) had more hair, and I was still reclaiming my pre-baby body. A one week vacation, at the beach, was part of our yearly ritual to recharge from the exhaustion of life’s day-to-day grind.

Now, I walk around Seaside and the memories of the earlier visit becomes increasingly more vivid. My cousins and I stopped to order lunch at the same beach-side counter I long ago placed an order for my daughter’s favorite food: chicken fingers. My body-vessel was pulsing with memories of Then, while I attempted to stay present Now. And no, I did not order chicken fingers.

After lunch, my cousins and I walked through the open-air market and meandered through the quaint shops I had strolled through, two decades ago. It all looked the same, as if time stood still… except for the prices.

Then.
Now.
Everything is the same.
Everything is so different.

Surreal and Real.
Illusion and Reality

Two decades!
Where did time go?
How can I be standing here, Now, yet feel as if there, Then?
Since time does not exist, I am aware that I am experiencing parallel realities.

Then, I was asleep. I thought I was a separate person because I had a separate body, as did everyone else. Then, I was comparing myself to others, thinking I was superior to anyone not vacationing at Seaside. While at the same time, I felt inferior to those around me, because we were actually staying at a nearby beach, called Seagrove, since it was less expensive than fashionable Seaside. I was embarrassed that we couldn’t afford to stay in Seaside. Clearly, shame and pride had accompanied me on the trip.

Now, I am Awake. I feel an incredible connection with the
ocean, the sand, the shops, the people. I walked around experiencing waves of energy, much like waves in the ocean, moving within and around me. Now, I am aware that I have a physical body made of body parts that are comprised of trillions of cells made of atoms that houses the quantum energy we call God. Because everything is made of this exact energy, I Am Aware that I Am One and interconnected with All That Is, in an eternal non physical way. Yes, I Am One with Seaside, and Seagrove.

Feeling Oneness is peaceful and profound.
Every-thing and no-thing, felt at once.

Twenty years ago, I was shopping for T-shirts, or any item that I could take home as proof of my time in “Seaside.” Then, I cared about what others thought of me as I prepared to impress them with my expensive souveniers. Surely, they would think well of me, and maybe, if I was special enough, they would have wished they were as lucky as me, to have spent a week in Seaside. Then, I could have been someone very special in their eyes.

Now…
I Am Seaside
I Am One and connected to All That Is
I Am Love
I Am Energy
I Am Wind
I Am Sand
I Am, That I Am

Then…
I was not at Seaside
I was separate and disconnected
I was fear
I was a body
I was swayed by then opinions of others
I was, in my mind, living in a castle made of sand
I was what I bought

Now, I forgive the ignorance that encircled me, Then, like a fortress where I remained vigilantly outer-focused.
Now, I am grateful for the awareness that strengthens my connection within, which keeps me grounded and inner-focused.

Ever since I began to study A Course In Miracles (ACIM), I began to understand that the journey to awakening is a visit through time, to undo time. ACIM says that time, then, goes backward, to an instant in which we chose to believe we were separate, alone, and afraid, so we may relive it again, and again, and again, until we choose to perceive the situation differently. Since my Journey started, I continue to experience many of the same things I did in the Past, only Now, I can choose to reframe them through love or fear. As illusion or reality. I can experience them unconsciously, again, or consciously, a new.

Now, while in Seaside, I went back Then, in my mind to relive the Past and influence the Future. This time I chose again, and  experienced the memory as the peaceful, joyful and free Being that I Am Now. I decided to love that we stayed in Seagrove, Then. I chose to forgive the insecure person I was, Then. I chose to simply love, and enjoy the beauty of Seaside, instead of shopping for proof that I was there, Now.

Today, I enjoy life from the depths of my Soul.

Then, I didn’t know who I was, so the opinions of others shaped me.
Now, I know Who I Am because only the opinion of Creator guides me.

Then, my joy, safety, peace, love, worth, and truth were fleeting and conditional,
because they were established by my ego.

Now, my joy, safety, peace, love, worth, and truth are permanent and unconditional,
because they are established by God.

Illusion.
Reality.
I Create it.

I love Seaside… Then & Now!

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