Forgiveness and the past is not my strongest suit. I've been told that, due to who I am, I will always bear grudges…
not exactly the most healthiest way to live!
On top of that, I can't even mention some of the past stuff stuff that has held me back in life, for legal reasons..
so that doesn't help either!
And just to put the icing on the cake, (don't you just love that phrase), I constantly suffer from anger and rage due to images in my mind, and being (at times) unable to control them.
So believe me when I say, certainly over an important topic, that I was very tempted not to write anything on the past and forgiveness of it.
So why bother then. Why bother wasting internet space on something that has little practical value in ones life.
Firstly , because this topic is relevant and current now, more than ever. I'm seeing a lot of hurt people out there, with a good degree of what is known in some circles as, ‘learned helplessness'.
‘Learned helplessness' is a term given when it feels like you are stuck with someone or somewhere, career or otherwise, without any way out.
Its kinda a big deal, and promotes depression, anger, as well as lack of confidence.
I'm seeing a lot of, ‘learned helplessness' wherever I go, and it kinda bothers me.
Because we are creative beings, able to mold, or (at the very least), influence our future.
So why don't we do it?
As I said, we believe that we can't.
And one of the reasons that we can't is due to the past and its grip on us.
That's number 1.
Number 2 is that, despite not fully healing my past (being honest here), I have learnt many ways to come to terms with it.
Yes, I still suffer from anger and rage. Yes, my blood sometimes boils over similar events, But as each day goes on, I'm getting better (sleep dependant, of course;-).
This allows me to focus more on my goals. This extra mental space that I have earned has allowed extra creative thoughts to flash into my mind for inspiration.
Or put simply, I have more, ‘hard drive space' and as a result, perceived extra, ‘processing power' to do the stuff that I want.
That is the power of letting go of the past!
It frees up mental space so you can focus on other stuff.
When you let go of the past, your beliefs that are rooted there are changed. You start doing new stuff, new momentum kicks in. You feel like a new you.
But letting go of the past feels like you are justifying what has happened. You say to yourself, ‘If I forgive this person, I feel like I have authorised what they have done. It is justified'.
I can appreciate that.
Here's what you don't know. You are not justifying their actions, merely reclaiming your inner peace over them.
For some people, not forgiving the past allows then to keep the resentment it has to offer, which allows them to be righteous in front of other people…
which makes them feels good (only temporarily).
I know, because I have had this feeling myself. I've been righteous, and felt great…
…for a short while. Then I felt crap afterwards.
This is going to sound kinda mad, but I know some people who carry bitterness in themselves, yet love being righteous to get that dopamine kick when they need it.
Of course, this is a temporary high, and it soon wears off.
Be careful of these people, because they will burden you in one way shape or form, and may even suck your energy. Some, ‘energy vampires' may fit this category.
But what happens when you do start to forgive the past?
What you will find is a funny kind of acceptance that promotes peace and eventually cultivates mindfulness (By the way, that is why some people are unable to practice mindfulness, images of the past come up…).
Yet I don't know about you, but whenever I get into the state of mindfulness, I feel empowered not dis-empowered. My peace increases (not cosmetic, like a mini-dopamine high that righteousness sometimes brings, but a deeper, more fulfilling feeling), as well as increased mental clarity, and my inner will-power returning.
Of course, if you do practice mindfulness on a regular basis, the chances are that you are slowly letting go of the past anyway.
In which case, keep going.
But what if you can't become mindful. Then what?
Try the below to see if these work.
EFT is all about tapping certain parts of your body, and reciting a few simple affirmations. By doing this ritual, you will increase your energy and feel more better about the situation. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this. I've used this myself with a job interview, and going back to my former college (I wasn't the biggest fan due to some stuff that happened). To read more about EFT, click here.
I was an expert at this over a decade ago, and thanks to social media, it is easy to see why!
But comparing your journey to somebody else's journey, without even knowing all the facts, is like trying to see inside their brain without an operation. It's just not going to work.
Stop comparing your life with somebody else's! They have had their fair share of ups and downs, I can assure you. Someone very wise once said, that if we all bung our negatives into a pile, and study other peoples, were would gladly take ours back…
Don't forget, social media is nothing short of a highlights reel. Nothing more!
Depending on your situation, this can be a tricky one, and is not the easiest thing to pull off if you are really stuck in your emotional glue.
But basically you try to be as neutral about the person/event as you can, and see the positive over it. Not that this is easy. By seeing the positive, or the, ‘blessing in disguise', you are able to slowly heal that aspect of yourself.
This may take numerous attempts, so don't be surprised if the bad feelings come back after a while. Keep going. If you can do this on a regular basis, you may be ready for…
Loving Kindness Meditation
This is a form of compassion meditation, and is useful in helping you get over people.
The exercise is quite simple… you simply sit/lie down, close you eyes, take a few deep breaths, think about someone who has pissed you off (should be quite a few people by now;-) and say to yourself that you wish this person success and happiness and try your best to feel love/compassion for them.
This sounds quite mad I know, yet it is surprisingly effective, and there is even evidence to suggest that this type of meditation may actually reduce the signs of ageing (click here for details).
Seeing The Funny Side
Of course, if you really want to mess with your psyche (just kidding;-), you can even look back at the person and event with humour (if you can…again this is very dependant on what your situation is).
I was hesitant to put this in, as it is very difficult initially, to find the funny side without feeling that you are loosing the plot (and some peoples histories are more serious than others, so no offence intended if you have been a victim of abuse, for example). However, like the above, it can be very effective at dissolving fear, anger/rage and promoting peace.
I've sometimes allowed my anger to flood my body, be with the anger for a while (where there was nobody around) and then when the episode passed, laughed at myself while saying, ‘there you go, had to get it out of my system'. I wasn't repressing the anger, just merely controlling the, ‘hose'.
Writing In A Journal
I was also hesitant in writing this one, because I don't do it, but I've read that it is effective in helping you come to grips with your past, so thought it would be worthy of a mention.
Essentially, it will be like writing a diary, and can be helpful in putting what is in your mind out into the open. I've read that this can be an effective way in promoting peace, and promoting self-healing. Give it a try.
Let me know how the above works for you, as I do like reading inspiring stories on peoples triumphs. If you would like more information on meditation, and how to increase the chances of intuition and self-healing, please click here.