Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is Our Past Powerful?

I was wondering the other day about things that happened in my past. While studying psychology I learned that we can suppress things that continue bubbling in the deep and then break out one day making a big bang.

But is it really this way? Do those events have the ability to stay alive and bubble by themselves? Knowing the philosophy of happiness, I would say straight away, "No! I am the one keeping them bubbling!"

But why then do I have events in my past that still result in negative emotions when I think of them? Why are there a couple of events that I consistently end up with when I explore something that just happened?

I used to believe that I needed to investigate and really talk through something before I could let it go. I also had this fear that if I didn’t talk enough about it, it might start rotting inside making damage.

Then I realized something very significant, something that sounds really a basic now that I think about it. It was a huge break through for me a couple of days ago. I realized that I am actively keeping alive my belief about the past event; this in turn produces the same feeling over and over. What happened in the past is far gone; it has absolutely no effect on me anymore. However, when similar events happen now, the belief that I adopted at the time it happened continues to act as catalyst for the same feelings I had then.

Blame My Childhood
So many people blame their childhood for what is in their life now. By this they give power to events that are far gone and make themselves victims and weak.

Every moment each of us has a new start and the opportunity to feel completely different from the moment before. Children are so good at this. One moment tears are flooding down their cheeks and they seem very sad. The next moment they get what they were crying for and they are the happiest little guys.

So it is not the past causing our feelings, but our beliefs that we keep active that cause our feelings. Wow, I've heard this many times, but it finally clicked!

The great news about it being our beliefs about the past and not the past itself is that we can change our beliefs any time. I was talking to someone about keeping a new belief and making it strong. People can get discouraged by thinking that when they change a belief it is done forever. But the next time something happens they feel the same way they used to feel and it doesn’t make sense: “I just changed this belief, how come I feel the same way again?”

Well, the old belief is a deep and well traveled path. As we walk the path of our new belief, we make it deeper and the path of the old belief becomes overgrown with grass. It can be easy to go back to the old path at the beginning, but by making a conscious effort and reminding ourselves which path we want to travel, we get practiced at using the new one. Before you know it, the old belief is long forgotten and the new one is well defined and strong!

So, my belief is that the past has no hold on us at all. It's simply the beliefs that we developed in the past that persist. Those we can change in an instant. It is important to be easy with and celebrate ourselves as we move from belief to belief. This way the journey of changing paths will be fun and pleasurable.

So enjoy your freedom from the past and have great fun playing with your new beliefs!

1 comment:

  1. Barbara, thank you for reminding us about the basics of beliefs and how it is us that recreate the past over and over again, and how we can stop doing this by asking ourselves: "why, do I want to hold on to this situation by playing the situation over and over".


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