Many times my readers ask me about how to deal with the pain of harmful memories or a shameful past that they have experienced and how to get into a better state of mind in their future. It’s a very valid question and one that I feel is often dealt with incorrectly.
The most important thing you must realize when talking about the the past is that it is just a concept that you are experiencing (and therefore creating) in the present moment. Just like the future, the past is one of infinite possibilities that you are choosing to create or experience right now. Therefore, the past is not something that “happened” but more accurately something that is “happening” right now.
Why is this so important?
When you realize that you are actively creating your past right now, you begin to see clearly that the present dictates your past, not the other way around, which is how most conventional people think.
The best illustration of this concept that comes to mind is the boat analogy introduced by Alan Watts, which goes something like this: Picture yourself on a boat cruising through the water, facing backwards towards the rear of the boat (or “stern” for you nautical junkies!). The boat moving through the water is like your life in the present moment. As you face the rear of the boat you see the wake behind left behind and eventually fading away, which is like your past fading behind you.
Now here is the important question to ask yourself; is the boat creating the wake or is the wake driving the boat? Of course you can clearly see that the boat (your present moment) is creating the wake (past), not the other way around! It is impossible for the wake of the ship (your past) to drive the boat (present moment).
This example very clearly illustrates the point that your present moment is creating your past which is a very powerful concept to experience. Once you realize this, you can begin to shape your past, as harmful as it maybe, to a memory which is more in align with your true self.
Notice, I am not suggesting that need to completely ignore or erase a memory. That would prove to be a very difficult feat for many. I am more suggesting that you redefine your past beliefs to assign a better meaning to the memory. Remember, a memory is simply a life circumstance that inherently has no meaning, other than the one you give it. You can choose to observe the past as something positive or negative, its entirely up to you.
I understand this concept is much easier said than done, so I would like to offer two easy exercises for putting this into action.
The next time you have a negative memory that is bugging you, simply look at it as your consciousness reminding you of a belief that you have that is out of alignment with your true core self. Think of it as a free “tune up” for your soul. If you focus on this fact and not the negative meaning you are giving to the harmful event, you automatically start to give the whole memory a positive spin. Keep redefining the memory in this way and you will start to eventually feel much more at ease.
The second exercise I urge you to try is to simply take the bad memory and reimagine it happening in a way that you would have preferred. For example, if you had a bad fight with your spouse, play out that scene in your head as something much more desirable, such as you and your spouse doing a fun activity together or simply enjoying each other’s company. When you do this, you begin to feel the emotions and state of being which you prefer, which after all is the ultimate goal. If you keep this feeling going, you in essence, trick your subconscious into believing that this memory was actually a pleasurable experience and your current state of being will follow suite.
As always, I hope this post has brought some value to your life! Please feel to leave comments or questions and I will be sure to respond as soon as possible.