Thoughts of what was and what used to be can trap us and steal us away from the life we are living now.
Most of the time these thoughts race around the negative experiences in our past. They can even render us immobilized emotionally.
They prevent us from moving on and thriving in our life.
Shaking off the effects of bad memories that include betrayals and emotional and physical trauma is not easy. But it is both an act of will and an act of love toward ourselves.
It doesn’t matter whether the context of the experiences we have had are accurate in our memory — it matters that they feel accurate to us. They are the reality we recall, and so they are part of what has shaped our outlook, our perspective, our dreams, and our beliefs. In my book Voices from the Old Earth I give a story in the first chapter that describes this exactly. The character narrating it is named Gideon:
“I once watched a child fall into the water, and his father made no move to help. ‘He’ll float,’ the father said, ‘and then I’ll save him,’ for he lived, you see, by the laws of physics. And of course the child did float and his father pulled him out of the water and he was fine. Those were the father’s laws, and so they worked for him. For the child, that terribly rational perception wasn’t true, just like his mother’s useless panic, which worked for her. What was true for the child was that no one came right away. That is what he remembered, what became a law in his life.”
Hannah clapped her hands together.
“Exactly. Gideon has described it perfectly. There are laws that govern everything, but we make them. The only reality is our own perception!”
He turned toward Hannah with a blank face, so empty of expression, and it frightened me, the soft voice he used as he spoke.
“I was that child.”
Yet to live well we must be free of the power the past holds over us. It is the human experience — this matter of finding a way out of whatever has given us pain, grief, and deep sadness.
But no mistake, it only happens when we want it to happen, when we are willing to say yes to who we are, to love who we are, as we are, for we are made by God in the image of God, and when we feel this, we come home to the precious being that we are, and know this is what we have done. We FEEL it.
Avenues for Helping Us to Thrive
An entire industry of self-improvement and personal development has emerged since the late eighties and flourishes now. It has transformed our perspective about what can be done to make life more authentic and to help us get back our own power, which we very often give away by focusing on negative memories and feelings of the past. I mention this in my post on The Vampire Effect of Negative Emotions. The people involved in this industry have, without exception, emerged out of immense personal crisis with revelations about how we can thrive in life, no matter what is going on, and they give away many free seminars, webinars, and tools to help others do this.
You can visit some of these people at these links: Margaret Lynch and Nick Ortner with Tapping, Louise Hay and the power of affirmations, Marc Allen and the magical path into personal fulfillment (Marc’s guided visual meditation on this is HERE), the late Wayne Dyer on allowing celebration of who we are, Anita Moorjani on her Near-Death experience and what she learned on the Other Side, Donna Eden and Wendy de Rosa on energy healing (Wendy’s powerful meditation on healing from abandonment through the root chakra is HERE), Pema Chodron on the power of facing what scares us in life, Dr. Hew Len and the ancient wisdom and forgiveness in the Hawaiian Ho’oponopono, Eckhart Tolle on living in the present moment and allowing Presence, and Karen Newell on the power of sound and binaural wavelengths to heal anxiety and grief. And there is the one-man powerhouse of personal development and change — Tony Robbins.
What comes across in reading and listening to these leaders are two things, especially: one, they each came out of a past experience that was either life-threatening in some way or so debilitating that they could readily and willingly have succumbed to defeat. They didn’t. They found a way not only to survive, but to thrive. Then they paid it forward, developing methods and programs others could use and benefit from by engaging in life in the present moment. In every case, that is the core of their philosophy and teaching: helping us to let go of the effect and influence and far too heavy weight of the past on our minds and hearts — the things that prevent us from living our true life purpose and destiny.
What makes this matter most of all, though, is that each of these leaders offer not a solution they possess for other people, but a way for others to find the answers within themselves.
The best of these leaders see themselves as facilitators and guides, but insist that the way to true and positive release from the past is something we already know, deep inside.
We already have the solutions to our problems and fears, so often derived from past memories and experiences. We already have the ability to let go of the past, to experience revelations for ourselves, and to trust what lies within us for the answers.
These leaders and movers and shakers in this new industry — the good ones — can be identified by this fact: they do not have the answers for us — they have the methods they have developed to help us find the answers for ourselves — even if we have blocked this before because of our inability to let go of a past we have held too close.
Doing that is how we get to live our life NOW in wonderful ways.