Healing Your Past
Many people carry painful past experiences with them like badges of honor. It’s as if they say, I survived this and that gives me meaning. And that’s okay. But what does it do to their life moving forward?
That depends on the meaning they give the event they survived.
The very idea of surviving something implies that it could have destroyed you. Some things can destroy us emotionally, some physically, some spiritually, and some cognitively. But unless an event ends your life or removes your ability to think cohesively, you always have control over the meaning you give it.
I know, I said that already. That’s because it’s important. So please pay attention and remember this:
You Always Have Control Over The Meaning You Give Events.
And that’s key to healing your past!
Even now, if something terrible happened to you in the past, you can make the choice to give it a different meaning. You have the power to change something from an anchor that holds you captive in the past to a sail of hope that carries you into your brilliant future. And it can be as simple as asking yourself the question, What meaning can I give this (that event) that will empower me and help others?
Let’s do this together.
*Warning: you might want someone with you for moral support—and to help you stay in the present moment—when you do this the first few times. A counselor, therapist, or good friend are all great choices. If none of those are available, you can start with a smaller event, something that’s nagging instead of devastating. Once you master this technique it gets easier to do and in time you’ll be able to do it at will and you’ll even do it with events as they happen.*
Think of something from your past that’s painful to recall:
Here’s mine. This is something I haven’t thought of in years and when I remembered it I felt that emotional twinge that tells me I’ve never fully dealt with it.
When I was eight I had a step-father who thought it was a good idea to show my older brother and me just how powerful a 44-magnum handgun was. So he took us into the woods near our home and found a wild rabbit that was peacefully eating with its back to us.
He pulled out his 44, took aim, and shot the rabbit. The rabbit vanished in a puff of fur. To see that innocent life ended so violently was horrifying enough, but as I fought to hold back my tears—because I knew they were a sign of weakness to him—he walked my brother and me over to the place the rabbit had been just moments before. Then he laughingly showed us the pitiful remains of the small animal. I’ll spare you the details.
At the time I felt scared, small, and powerless. Whether it was his intent or not, killing that rabbit in front of me and my brother felt like a deliberate display of power, like a threat from a man who easily outweighed me by two-hundred pounds, and who I feared already. I also felt sad at the senseless taking of the small animal’s life.
Since I’m doing this with you, I’ll now ask myself the question, “What meaning can I give this that will empower me and help others?”
The meanings I choose now are these:
I learned valuable lessons that day, that help me and allow me to better serve others.
- I learned that in the core of my being I know how valuable life is and that it should never be wasted—no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it is.
- I learned about the power of empathy. I truly felt for that small creature and mourned for its passing.
- I learned how something that might seem trivial to one can have life-altering meaning for another. That means we should always be cognizant of the potential impact of our actions on others.
- I learned that we should never abuse our power. No matter who we are or what we can do, we should never deliberately harm others.
So, with these new meanings I forgive my step-father and now release the pain of the event.
I sincerely hope you try this method. It can be scary, it can even be painful. But if you do it carefully, in the presence of those who can help uplift and support you, I think you’ll find it works wonders in healing your past, giving greater meaning to your present, and opening your sails to an amazing new future.
You are The Master of Your Destiny!
Copyright © 2014 Roland Byrd — All Rights Reserved