Setting the Past Free
"You can't have a better tomorrow if you're still thinking about yesterday." Charles F. Kettering
So many of us let what we did in the past impact the present moment. Because of this, we often times are not fully engaged in what we are doing. Instead, thoughts and emotions about what we did wrong dominate. While it's certainly honorable not to repeat mistakes, it becomes a different story if we beat ourselves up over them. Doing so is sabotaging each new moment. This kind of sabotage could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. This means we do make the same mistake that we intended to avoid. It's better to forgive ourselves for what we did so that we can free ourselves up to enjoy new experiences.
Over a decade ago, I attended my boyfriend’s brother’s wedding. I drank too much and became intoxicated to the point of not remembering what I was doing for the most part. Although glimpses flashed through my mind for some time after that of me running around. By the end of the night I went to the hospital due to a separate medical condition that I couldn’t effectively manage while intoxicated.
Later I was told about how I ran up to the mother of the bride and knocked her over. Needless to say, I spent years beating myself up about how I acted that night. It started with the next morning when my boyfriend and I went to a late breakfast with some of his family from the wedding. During that point in my life, I felt very shy and not in touch with my emotions, at least not in a way that I felt confident in sharing them. Extreme embarrassment plagued me the morning after and for a period after that. Even though I wrote an apology shortly after the wedding and gave it to the couple before they went on their honeymoon, it still took me years to get over it.
My past actions influenced each new moment for years interacting with my boyfriend’s family and how I felt about myself. With the consciousness I have today, if I could go back to the wedding, I would have gotten everything out on the table during breakfast. I would have acknowledged how I acted and apologized for it immediately instead of feeling bad and being triggered about what I had done every time I thought of the situation or anyone at the wedding that night. Then, I would have been able to forgive myself much sooner rather than feeling guilty for years and awkward during my interactions with those involved.
Ultimately, forgiveness is what freed me and allowed me to move beyond what happened that night. These days I prefer to handle situations as they come up so I am free to enjoy my life and not be triggered by past mistakes. Actions speak louder than words in this case.
Start by forgiving yourself and those from the past. Then, to support moving past the situation, use a positive thought, such as "….I'm better than I used to be" like Wayne Dyer used to say. Focus on that. The more we focus on something like this, the easier it will be to redirect more of our attention to the goals of now.
In fact, anytime we think a negative thought and catch ourselves doing it we can say something like “Cancel” and then think the new thought or affirmation we have chosen. This will help create new thoughts and pathways in the brain and we’ll start to notice ourselves having fewer negative ones. We will shift our vibration to a higher, happier one. Once we can do this for ourselves, others too, will start to change how they see us. Although how others see us is always secondary to how we see ourselves, it's definitely another motivating factor in putting all our power and energy into being in the present moment. Being in the present moment is actually the point of power because it’s the place where we consciously create our lives with intention and this can be either positive or negative. We decide.
Affirmation: I release thoughts about the past and future and allow myself to be present in life.