Do you find yourself frequently referencing your past? Do you use past experiences as a justification for your current actions? I’ve worked with many people who are trying to get “unstuck”, and don’t realize that it’s their holding on to the past that’s creating their current limitations. The thing about holding onto the past is it doesn’t allow you to move on. Because every bit of energy you are using to hold onto the past is a bit of energy you don’t have for creating you present and your future.
Most people hold onto events that have been judged to be strongly negative or positive. These can include past hurts, betrayals, abuse as well as conclusions like “That was the best sex I’ve ever had!” or “I’ll never find a woman/man/job/home like that again.”
Either way, the past dominates the present and dictates what’s possible and what’s not. It’s a bit crazy that we limit ourselves that way!
Say you’re holding onto an old hurt. That’s something that most of us have done at one time or another. Can you remember how it felt to go over it and over it? How it became a kind of obsession that was always there? How much energy and time did it take up? If you’re like many people, it consumed a lot of both!
So what’s the value of holding onto old hurts? For many people it’s based on the idea that holding onto a past hurt creates a protection against future hurts. If you keep it in your immediate awareness, then you won’t get hurt again; if you let it go, then you could be blindsided. This is all based on the idea that you can’t or won’t be aware enough to know when someone is going to be abusive. What if you allowed yourself to know what you know about every person and situation in your life? Being aware is really the only security there is, and if you are willing to be aware, you will know when to stay away from a particular person or job or event, or, if you are required to be around them, how to be with them in such a way that you are more in control of the situation.
Some people will hold onto past hurts because there’s something about the trauma drama they like; they want someone to blame for their lives, which keeps them in the victim position and it’s a great way to victimize and manipulate others. This actually creates the separations and the divisions that end many relationships. How many of you have lived with people that have held onto the past so that they could use it to make you wrong? You may even have done the same thing, because you thought that was love or that’s all you’ve ever been around.
Holding onto the past is always detrimental in one way or another. It requires judgment and judgment is, by it’s very nature, destructive.
Even holding onto the so-called positive events from the past creates huge limitations in our lives. Have you ever known someone with a successful sports past who is constantly reliving his or her best game? Or what about the fading beauty queen? Or the retiree who is always talking about when he was the president of the company? Not only is it boring to be around these people, it’s easy to see that they aren’t really living! Even a seemingly innocuous statement like: “That steak I ate at the Sundowners last year was the best I’ve ever had.” will limit you. Your judgment about the steak prevents any “better” steak experience from showing up. A steak is one thing, but if you’re making statements like that about a job or a past relationship you can really get yourself stuck!
Part of what sticks many of us to the past is the prevalent idea that we “should learn from our experience”. Applying past experiences to present situations doesn’t work for two reasons. First of all, no current situation is ever exactly like a past situation. If you are trying to apply your experience with men, or women or Catholics or big dogs, or lawyers, how unaware of the person or situation in front of you do you have to make yourself in order to pretend they are like the person or situation from your past? This is another instance where being present with what is will is what will create more. Secondly, relying on past experiences prevents you from receiving anything new. It is said that the native Indians in the Americas could not even see Columbus’s ships because there was nothing in their experience that matched the idea of there being big boats on the ocean. Anytime we rely on our experiences, we limit what can show up to only that which has already shown up in our past. You make the past the source of all future creation. What if your experience didn’t really matter? What if it wasn’t actually cogent or significant? Your experience really is how you look at the past as relevant.
We make it relevant, but it’s doesn’t have to be!
These ideas can be applied to any specific area you are having difficulty with. If your money situation isn’t what you would like it to be, you might look at where you are referencing your past and drawing conclusions like: I’m just not good with money.” or “I never make enough to get the things I would really like to have.” As long as you are living from your references to your financial past, you will not be able to create anything different. The same is true with relationships, health or any other problem you are having.
Coming out of living from the past is actually easier than it may seem. One of the tools of Access Consciousness is the willingness to live in ten second increments. Living your life in ten second increments takes you out of living from the past, and rockets you into the present.
It goes like this: If you had 10 seconds to live the rest of your life, what would you choose? OK, That 10 seconds is over, now what would you like to choose? If you were using this tool, would you still create the trauma and drama? Would you still create the yuck and unhappiness? Probably not!
By making a commitment to yourself to not live from your past, but to be present and open to all possibilities, you open a door to being able to create and generate the life you truly desire to have. What might be possible for you that you haven’t even considered?