All the Baggage and the Old Wounds
When your father walked out on you, your siblings, and your mother, your life changed drastically. Now, decades later, it still lives on in your mind, as you remember how difficult things were, and how - about 15 months after he left - you caught a glimpse of him one day on the street in the company of another woman, much younger and less stressed-looking than your mother, who had a baby in her arms. Your father had just hugged her and kissed the baby, and you felt such agony. You also felt rage. And you remember it to this day. How could you forget how he affected all your lives?
When you found your high school love - the first girl you ever went to bed with - making out with your best buddy - you were both on the basketball team - something shrivelled up inside of you and died. With that one act she took away your self-esteem. It took you years to work your way out of that. And your best buddy. After a shoving match with him after having found the two of them there, you never spoke to him again. And you never found a friend again with whom you shared the way you used to with him - before you realized what a traitor he was. Even when you ran into that first girl friend again recently, now that you're both in your forties and you saw how she had gained weight and lost her youthful sparkle and attraction, you felt no sense of satisfaction, only pain in the memory of what happened that devastating day.
When your wife left you, taking with her not only the kids, but also the silver and the antiques, you felt impotent with rage. When she furthermore got sole custody because that’s how the system works, you were beside yourself. And of course she also got alimony and child support. Whenever you think about that, you can still feel your blood boil.
Have you noticed the common thread that runs through each of these vignettes? You remember what happened with a great deal of emotion, almost as though you were reliving the painful incident.
What's new about that, you may ask. Of course I relive the painful moment. How else could I react? Do you expect me to forget it?
Not exactly. Although there is an element of forgetting it involved in what I am about to write.
Hanging on to the Old Memories - Hanging on For Dear Life
What I'd like you to think about is this: by remembering, by bringing it back into your mind over and over again - even though you only do it once a week or once a month - you maintain the freshness of the pain. Reliving a painful situation in your mind is tantamount to reliving it in reality ... have you not noticed how the tears can flow again and again, or the red-hot anger can flare over and over ... even though decades have passed?
Of course, you say, of course the tears flow or the anger flares. After all, what happened was very painful...
Your Thoughts Attract
Let's switch to another topic for a moment: you've read about The Law of Attraction, the power of intention, heard about the movie or book The Secret, etc. Maybe you've even read some of the multitude of books about the subject. If so, you know the insistence of all these authors on one central philosophy: what you think about becomes your reality ... thoughts become things ... as a man thinketh, so shall he be ... and of course, all of these authors are encouraging you to imagine in your head, to visualize, or create scenarios in your head to the point where you can literally feel yourself inside of them, and feel the emotion or excitement that would be part of your life if your "scenario" were already a reality. They are basically stating that by so doing, that "scenario" you are so vividly imagining will eventually become a part of your life. That is the power of the law of attraction.
Here’s a verbatim excerpt from a previous article of mine:
The Importance of Forgiving & the Law of Attraction
Once you can forgive, the unfinished business from the past transforms into a mere memory that no longer carries any negative connotations to pull your power away from the present. It is at this point that you can begin to take cellular responsibility for yourself, i.e. you will no longer be harming your body in all senses of the word by keeping that negative power in the past.
Caroline Myss (from whose work I have borrowed the term cellular responsibility) pointed out almost a decade ago in 1999 in The Science of Medical Intuition, together with Dr. Norman Shealy, that it is also at this point that you can begin to create and manifest. In other words, no matter how much visualization and affirmation you are doing, those of you who have been vicariously reading everything you can get your hands on about the Law of Attraction or The Secret, you will not be able to create, until you pull your power into the present. Forgiving those who have trespassed you is one of the biggest steps towards that goal.
(excerpted from my article Cellular Responsibility: Getting Your Power Back).
Choosing Your Thoughts – Choosing Your Feelings
Now let's back track to our original subject. You reliving and remembering painful or traumatic experiences from the past to the point of physical manifestations such as tears of bursts of anger. Is that not the same as what I've just discussed in the previous paragraph, but in a negative version? You keep thinking about - visualizing - imagining - that event from the past to the point of making it a reality in your present life in the sense of how it affects you. In other words, it affects you as much as it might if it were actually happening now. So you have made it into a part of your current reality.
Is that what you want? Is that how you want to live your life?
Nothing stops you from hanging on to your anger or your pain, but only the decision to make new choices stops you from continuing on this desperate treadmill of pain. Making a new choice would be to say to yourself that for your sake, for your peace of mind, you will forgive whoever it was that treated you so badly, so that you can live a good life now. So that you no longer have to continue to relive the pain.
That is all it takes: a choice of dealing with the past differently. You decide, you choose, and your life changes. It is literally as simple as that. So when you get the old thoughts that lead you to the pain you literally say to them no, not today, thanks, I've got better stuff to do than to let you bother me again. Instead of you I'm going to think about what I want to accomplish, or I'm going to shift my energy or I’m going to focus on what is good in my life (even if it’s only the fresh, clean air where you live, or the lush vegetation, or the vibrant city about you, or the great libraries, or the football you can watch on TV). And by focusing on what is good in my life, I can begin to let go of the pain, I can begin to forgive, because from the place of feeling better, by re-focusing, I can understand that I don’t want to be in the place of pain, in the place where I hang on to all that hurt in the past. I know that the only reason it hurts now is because I am not letting go of it. So I choose to let go, to forgive, and to move on.
Do it for yourself, and not only you will benefit, but all those whose lives you touch.
For much more about forgiving and how it enhances your relationships, and about how this awareness can help you move towards spiritual partnership and inner peace, see my new book The Tao of Spiritual Partnership which is now available in paperback format. (The Kindle version is available here)
To download the first chapter, click here
From the Description on Amazon: More exciting than any other kind of relationship you have ever known, spiritual partnership is a path, a Tao, available to you so that you may transform your life. Spiritual partnership becomes background music to daily life allowing you to enhance the process of your growth and evolution.
This ground-breaking book addresses:
• relationship patterns that hold you back from a truly fulfilled life
• the strong connection between sexuality and spiritual partnership
• communication leading to true connection & lasting transformation of your relationship
It is precisely at the problematic crossroads so often encountered in relationships that we are offered the opportunity to create a new foundation based on mutual complementarity rather than need; a free relationship between two people who want to be together, rather than two people who need to be together. Needing another, we are told, is the measure of love, but for a fully conscious individual nothing could be further from the truth. And therein lies part of the secret and healing power of spiritual partnerships.
Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership
“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come."
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author (among others) of Time is an Illusion and Ecstasy is a New Frequency
REWIRING THE SOUL
For more about understanding the self and inner growth, also have a look at my earlier book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self (paperback or Kindle).
To download the first chapter, click here
From the Description on Amazon: Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.