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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

When the Past Haunts You

Someone asked this question, we all have to deal with the past so here's my response...

Q:
Why does the past always have to come back and make you suffer in the present? Is the past always going to be coming back to you? Does your past always haunt you for the rest of your life? Will your past ever stay in the past?

A:
Sweet Girl,
These are such big questions. There are several layers to all of this.

First of all, all of life has purpose and meaning. Sometimes we get the wrong idea that we’re supposed to live happily ever after. We are supposed to enjoy the gift of life, but it’s not like in the movies—like you solve one challenge and then you’re free to have fun. We do get fun, but we’ll always have the next test too. It’s just part of what makes up this crazy and wonderful life. We’re supposed to grow, and the tests we come up against actually shape us to be better and better. The issue is the way we meet the tests. But then, you knew this, right? ☺

There are different ways the past comes into the present. If it is through the memory of past events, you can change your thinking to leave the past in the past. There are different ways to do this—it could be that time heals it or it could be that you learn how to release memories that don’t serve you.

If you find that the past is repeating, then you have a whole other challenge to find out what is going on: what do you need to learn? Here’s a little example: let’s say someone puts a raw egg on the table and it rolls off, falls on the floor, and then breaks. If she keeps putting another egg in the same place, it will always roll off. She has to learn that she either needs to put the egg in something that won’t roll, or put the egg somewhere else. Lessons will keep repeating until we change. We have to change the way we react to things.

The thing about bad memories of the past is that you can actually change the way you relate to them. You can send the images that haunt you in your mind’s eye away when they come up, or you can take the you that is in that memory and make that younger part of you safe right now. Do not under estimate the power of imagination.

Be gentle with yourself and be sure you are surrounding yourself with kindness and strong boundaries. This too shall pass as you grow in life experience. We all fall on our faces and then we just have to get up one more time. I know you’ll rise! Big, big hugs!

Love,
Aunt Laya

6 comments:

MaryAnn said...

There is always nothing but the truth to your gentle advice. Sure do love reading them. We can only change our ownselves, but you will be surprised at all the changes around you once we do change our own selves. Blessings to you Laya Saul. MaryAnn

MaryAnn said...

P.S.. Maybe , Just maybe the Past does not haunt us...maybe WE are haunting the past, that is better of just left alone, so than maybe we could wonder ...Why do we continue to haunt our past, what purpose is it serving for us today..what do you think., I feel that sometimes it is romantizing the past to want to return to it, even if painful or happy..returning to it somehow gives a bit of comfort to the present..our choice is to return to happy days or sad ones.....just a thought?

A Yid said...

Hi Aunt Laya, I'm happy to have found your blog! We miss you here in D-Town. Regards to your wonderful family.

Aunt Laya said...

Hi Yid! It's always nice to find you online, amazing guy!

MaryAnn, You make a great point, maybe it is us haunting our past. I think people are often trying to make sense of the past, trying to relate to their memories and they don't know how to release or transform the hard stuff. As we mature with life experience this can help sometimes to let go or get a perspective, but even then, many people have memories they just feel stuck with. Sometimes people do romanticize the past, and sometimes it's just about how to deal with certain experiences... where to "file" them in our memories.

Sometimes people have past memories of hurts and when they are older, they can't imagine that they "let" that happen to them because now they have an adult perspective, so they have to work out all the feelings that rise up from the hurts. I know for sure these things can be transformed but it does take experience and guidance to know the path. Does this make sense?

Thank you always for your thoughtful contributions MaryAnn. <3

Best blessings,
Laya

MaryAnn said...

You know Laya,

what we consider as memories (good or bad) are/were all a learning opportunities throughout our lives. I find that when I did not learn what I was supposed to from an experience, I tended to think and bring it to upfront of my mind. So, I think that there is no good or bad, but all events that occur in our lives, and they make us who we are today..and we are all great people.. sometimes, our experiences even influence the professions we do, and so much more..The beauty of mind, body and spirit..just magnificant and all with a purpose. Mary Ann

Aunt Laya said...

I received a comment with a question that I thought was worth answering but I do not want approve the post since the poster leads to a website that is not something I can support. Still I support each person's growth, so just in case it was asked sincerely, I'll post it here and answer it.

Q i have heard that when we aren't happy with the presence that we tend to go back to our past and let the bad memories that we have of it haunt us more, can it be true? ~YAG

Dear Yag, It can be if someone is unhappy or happy that a memory from the past can come forward. Sometimes we are trying to relive the unpleasant event to make sense of it or to see if there could have been another outcome.

The idea is to be able to release the pain of the memory, learn what we must learn, and move forward a richer, more sensitive person.

One technique that is having a lot of success is called EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I know people who have had some great success with it. I've used it myself. The key is to find someone who you can work with comfortably and safely. Get referrals. Also, there is a wonderful book called "The Journey" by Bradon Bays that has her personal story along with a guide to using that technique. You can find a professional to work with or share the experience with a trusted friend (take turns guiding each other through the "journey" which is in your mind's eye.)

I hope this helps. Many blessings,
Aunt Laya