1. There is no actual past? OMG What?
That is right. In fact EVERYTHING that happens happens in the present – it can’t be any other way. Memories of events are thoughts occurring in the present. Anger or hurt about the past is happening now. Your present moment experience in the now is what keeps the past alive.
What is absolutely incredible about this understanding is that it shows you that the way out of your suffering is always in the present. You can change your perspective – now, focus on something different – now, feel your feelings – as they are right now.
2. Memories aren't the problem.
A memory is a thought, and a thought has no power or meaning whatsoever, unless you give it power or meaning. You have many thoughts about things that happened long ago, and these thoughts cause no problems. But some thoughts are thick and stick. They sometimes have deep emotions attached to them.
You have an emotional reaction to the memories and you think them over and over. You may even have beliefs related to them, for example, “I was right and so I am right in thinking this" or “I can't move on from this it's too big"
These thoughts and beliefs mean they are kept alive in the now.
3. “Healing” doesn't mean letting go of the memory
The goal of healing is to allow yourself to let go of the powerful associations with the memory. Not the memory itself. It means to disempower the story from the past so it loses power over you. It becomes transparent, with no meaning and no effect. You change your relationship to your thoughts so they don’t sit like a dark cloud over you.
Healing is not
- Ignore your feelings, this creates other problems eg. addictions
- Waiting for an apology or acknowledgment (stops happiness now)
- Waiting for time to heal all wounds, this doesnt change it
- Fall into pits of depression for days on end
- Changing the past which we know is impossible, you can’t change what happened but you absolutely can change your reaction to what happened)
4. The path to healing starts when you have had enough of how the story of the past impacts you.
Focus goes where energy flows
What you think about will be
What you focus on is what will grow
If you cultivate sadness, regret, and revenge, then they will become your reality.
If you want a different experience of the past, be open and willing to see through the story you have told yourself for many years.
Be open to energy moving through your body rather than staying stuck. Prepare yourself to feel differently. Contemplate not defining yourself by thoughts about the past.
5. If it's going to be it's up to me
Your happiness is your responsibility alone, not anyone else’s. You might be very familiar with feeling like a victim or out of control of the outcomes in your life. But this is a passive, self defeating position, leaving you waiting for words or actions from someone else, something you cannot control.
Taking responsibility means being open to recognising that you and you alone are responsible for everything in your life. You will start to realise some things
- what thoughts make you unhappy?
- What feelings are stuck in your body and heart?
- How do you make yourself suffer by recycling negative memories through your mind?
- Being stuck in the past means that a part of your heart is closed
This is a powerful starting place.
6. Telling stories keeps the past lodged in your mind, heart, body, and spirit.
If you want to be trouble-free? Stop telling yourself stories, get started by;
- Noticing how entranced you can be by the stories of drama and victimhood that appear in your mind.
- Just for a moment, let yourself lose interest in these thought stories.
- See that what is left is a pattern of physical sensations, maybe gripping, tension, or burning. You may never have noticed these sensations before, but they have probably been there for a long time.
- Now notice this: You are aware, and these sensations are appearing in your awareness. They come, go, and change, but here you are: aware.
- Take the perspective of awareness, and the sensations have the freedom to be. They aren’t ignored or suppressed. You aren’t so busy in the story that you don’t notice them.
- Now notice: Are you suffering? No, you are simply experiencing sensation as awareness.
This is freedom – no attention to the story, experience appearing and disappearing with ease. You: unchanging, clear, undisturbed.
7. Beliefs about healing can get in the way.
Besides getting stuck in the story, you might become aware of beliefs you hold about what needs to happen for you to let go. These are simply more thoughts that keep you distracted from the heart of the matter. Here are some possibilities:
- “I feel justified in staying stuck because they did this to me.”
- “It is someone else’s responsibility to make this better for me.”
- “If I let go, I’m somehow approving others’ bad behavior.”
- “I need an apology.”
- “Life is unfair.”
- “It was so bad that it’s not possible for me to heal.”
You life begins now, in this very moment…and now…and now. You can always start anew. Don’t feed these limiting thoughts, and you won’t need them to disappear.
Bring to your attention now that you are not your story and allow the healing in.