The Importance of Leaving the Past Behind
© 2019 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved
At whatever stage you are in life, it is crucial to leave the past behind. Some people worship the past and get locked in. Some, at midlife, are still repetitively celebrating a major sports victory they had … in high school. Some people effectively worship the past by continuing to recite the wrongs done to them. Some spend a major part of their time and energy attending support groups, reading books on their issues, journaling, discussing their trauma with friends, and going back to support groups. Some relive their mistakes and their guilt, daily reviewing mental videos of roles they believe they mis-played in a previous relationship or workplace.
There is nothing wrong with processing trauma, bad experiences, or mistakes. In fact, there is everything right with clearing the unpleasantness of the past. But the point of processing these dynamics is to become free of them. Further, when we vividly remember an unpleasant time, our body produces afresh the chemical compounds that naturally accompany the emotions we are reliving. So we get to be stressed, sad, and tired all over again, physically as well as mentally. We can find ourselves in ongoing exhaustion and distraction from the daily habit of thinking of what a victim we are or what a screwup we were.
The point of “working your stuff,” through counseling, support groups, journals, and deep conversation, is not to develop an ongoing dialogue about what a victim you were or are. The point is not to develop a permanent identity as a victim, or even as a person who screwed up. Rather, the goal should be to develop an energizing and ultimately joy-filled life, with fresh, healthy, and nourishing activities and relationships. If your life becomes centered on your recovery from past damage, trauma, sadness, grief, addiction, or guilt, all those support activities can become a garden of comforting sympathy, rather than a wonderland of forward movement in growth and love. There should come a time when a person comes to the zero point, no longer digging through the bad old experiences.
From that new base, a person can look around the Universe of Existence and begin crafting a new life, based on goals, passions, friendships, satisfaction, and positive growth. So how do you really want to live your life? What do you want your conversations to be like? Do you want your conversations to be based on the good and the enjoyment you are working in the world, or do you want to be forever marveling at your past wounds? Sometimes friendships based on woundedness will seem worn out. They, too, may need to be left in the past.
In your week, how much energy do you spend reviewing the past? What might that energy be better spent doing? Is color, music, movement, or fresh writing calling to you? Is redecorating, gardening, or yoga calling? Consider drawing a line in your journal today, or beginning a new one, about the new life you are building, without continuing to notate the burdens and fatigue of past pain and recriminations. Try this affirmation to support yourself in breaking through into positive living: “I bless and release all past failure, fear, and alienation. I give thanks for my dream job, health, and life.”
Now celebrate yourself and your ever-evolving fresh life. And remember to enjoy!
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert with a natural healing practice. She also is an ordained minister whose passion is helping people find their Peace Within. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, available on Amazon, plus Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire. IPW is available on Amazon in full-color glossy format. Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, also on Amazon in full-color. For full-color PDF versions, contact her office. For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: firstname.lastname@example.org.