How to Handle The Past
In order to move forward on your path, you have to understand the baggage of your past. A lot of what is fidgeting around right now in that black plastic bag behind you was born back then. In order to bravely look at what’s inside, you have to understand the emotions that give it life. That’s the only way it will stop chasing you.
Ways To Handle The Past
In living your life, you can choose to ignore those emotions that tie you to your past. That’s not going to work. When you push away those feelings, you lose sight of what can be. You can stuff them deep inside…but days, weeks, months or years later, those emotions are going to bubble up to the surface in negative ways you may have never expected. You can try to run, but they will chase you and consume you.
You can also be one of those people who wallow in your past. Do you live, sleep, eat and breathe your past, trying to either relive it or change it? That’s not going to work, either. You will overwhelm yourself so much, that you will take away the purpose of having a past in the first place. You also lose today in the process.
Did you know that EMOTION is the only thing linking you to your past? If you want less tension when the past revisits, you must bring it forward into your world to understand it and extract the best from it. It may seem impossible, but it’s important you be responsible both for you and to you.
How To Handle Past Emotions
Think of a past experience that haunts you. Now, let’s walk back to your plastic bag. Untie that knot you made sure was nice and tight. Open the bag, reach in, and remove the emotions tied to that experience with both hands. It’s going to writhe like a snake, or buck like a wild stallion. That’s ok. Hold up the heartache, the fear, the anxiety…the grief.
Look at it. Cry. Yell. Ache. Acknowledge what you feel. Give yourself permission to feel these, then…
Take a deep breath and ask yourself why you feel the way you do. Dig for the underlying meaning why you felt such loss or why it hurt so much. What was that watershed event that started this entire life size snowball of anger, hatred, fear or dread rolling down the hill?
Keep both hands on those emotions, and dig deeper. See if you can understand the value of having that past experience and the attached emotions in your life. What has it taught you about you? What do you now realize about yourself and the way you are affected by this that causes you to act or react in a certain way? Give yourself permission to feeling your feelings, then look at the security your past is providing for your future.
You have just experienced how working through your burdens teaches you to honor YOU. Your past has value, regardless of how imperfect it is. Understanding that is the only way you will find the security for your tomorrow. What you have experienced and the lessons from it connect you to others and prove you have a strength and resilience you didn’t know you had. That’s how you honor you. Think about it: If you could imagine a world for you without the restraints and constraints of the past, you would not choose to change anything about you. That’s because your past is part of who you are, what you have to offer others and what will help you shape your future. You wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for your past.
How you handle it is the key.
The People in Your Past
If you are going to let go of yesterday, you have to learn to see the treasure of it, regardless of the crisis you remember in it.
Tackle it this way:
Look at each person in your life who brought joy to you, who hurt you, or who took something away from you in some capacity.
See them as having a MAJOR impact on your life and as someone you want to KEEP in your life. (This part can be hard, if they truly hurt you in a huge way.)
When you can truly see the gift of the situation or the person BEING THERE in your life—what they taught you about you--you know you have learned to “let go” of the burden that person or situation carries with it.
Here’s why it is so:
You have experienced life. At times, you have felt misguided. You felt you knew inside it was the right passage for you. You just KNEW it was God handing you this gift, but it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to.
The Guides say it is in those times you were taught the importance of not always seeing and believing things as they ARE. You cannot always look at the OUTCOME. You must look at the treasure of experience life, the importance of putting you in your life, and the balance of having a life beyond you.
How The Past Fits in With the Rest of Your Life
You cannot understand the pages of the book you read today if you don’t understand the value of the pages you have already worked so hard to create and balance…and you will never understand the value of what you have learned this day if you have no reason to live it, hold onto it, and hope for it for tomorrow.
A key point about working through your past is not to linger on it as a burden. Look at it as a saddle for the ride ahead of you. It will keep you secure in tomorrow, and it will give you a greater ride with less bounce and more enjoyment.
The past is an arrow pointing you into the future. It provides guidance as to what is best about you. Take the time today to look at those emotions for what they have taught you about you. If you have to, put them back in the plastic bag and revisit them another time to work on them some more. They will probably lose some of their punch, until you can confidently leave them behind to steer your own world.
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