Our past makes up the matrix of who we are in this moment.
It is the past, our experiences that give us knowledge and wisdom in the present, in the now.
Or our past can keep us trapped, stuck in repetitive cycles, like spinning tires in the sand – when we don’t let it go.
4 Parts to Leaving the Past Where it Belongs
To me, this rule has four parts:
- Leaving individual hurts, resentments, traumas, mistakes, regrets, and the like in the past, where it belongs
- Leaving relationship hurts, resentments, traumas, mistakes, regrets, and the like in the past, where it belongs
- Leaving individual happy moments and the like in the past, where it belongs
- Leaving relationship happy moments and the like in the past, where it belongs
Leave Our Individual Past – Both Pain & Joy – Where it Belongs
Our individual past can affect how we navigate relationships in the now if we haven’t healed, embraced, released, integrated or just let it go. As an energy healer, I cannot escape my past because personal blocks inhibit my ability to go within and hear my intuitive voice. As I go inward and remove blocks that keep me from connecting with love in the now, I grow as an effective healer. I grow as a woman. I grow as a wife.
I truly understand the importance of this because I have personally experienced how removing energetic blocks of childhood pain, once held in my body, has freed me of issues these blocks were creating in my marriage, and in my life. I am working on healing my past to integrate it, and leave it where it belongs… in the past, with an embrace of love.
Letting go of past relationships has also been part of my healing path. Comparing past relationships to the current one is certain death to the loving energy between you and your partner.
Hanging on to individual happy moments, happy memories in my past can keep me from being happy in my now, especially if this moment isn’t as exciting as my past moments of snorkeling with nurse sharks in the Maldives. My now may not have as much excitement, but my now has an abundance of some other kind such as the beauty of the forest surrounding this cabin I’m staying in or the peaceful beauty of the falling snow.
My past – both the pain and the joy – are a part of the woven matrix of my being. Being present and in the now, I have the clarity to call upon the wisdom and knowledge gained from my past, to help me live an authentic life.
Leave the Relationship Past – Both Pain & Joy – Where it Belongs
There is the past of the relationship itself, that can effect the now.
Hanging onto painful arguments, words, and moments does nothing but keep the marriage, partnership, however you label your relationship with your significant other, in misery. It also keeps you in misery. Wayne Dyer compares holding onto anger to being bitten by a venomous snake – the bite has happened, but the venom is in your system, slowly poisoning you.
The bite of the painful argument, words and moments are over. Holding onto anger, hurt and resentments is the poisonous venom that is slowly killing you, and the marriage.
Hanging on to past happy times while the marriage is a comfy neutral, can blind us to the potential of the now and the magic within everyday life of the relationship. Comparing this comfy neutral to past adventures and romance, wishing the marriage would once again be that way is, in my opinion, a call to action. Love is a verb. Love is action. Action in the now. Maybe there is something missing in the marriage? Or maybe not. Maybe what is missing is the inability to see the potential in the now?
There is magic in ordinary moments.
I believe that the past makes me the unique person I am, but I am the now with all the wisdom and knowledge gained. I am a woven matrix of complexity, transparency and love, while healing to leave the past where it belongs.
I asked my husband to write his thoughts on this rule, because of the personal tragedy he endured just over seven years ago of losing his partner to ALS. I believe his perspective would be a valued one as many people have lost spouses to horrible diseases, tragic accidents, wars, etc. Yet, after their tragic loss they have started their life over again with another person, to once again find love.
Michael is currently in the home he shared with his partner who died of ALS, preparing to sell it. He is steeped in his past, in his personal tragedy, as the house is also where she died.
Michael’s Thoughts – Letting Go of the Past – After Tragedy
Sometimes, the best thing to do… the right thing to do… is to let go of the past. I have never been very fond of this particularly overused little bit of self-help advice though because, sometimes it is more appropriate to embrace one’s past. Of course it is easier to honour the happier more positive moments, but for me there is merit to embracing the darker, sadder or more tragic times in our past as well.
Not a single one among us can say that they have not lived through some form and degree of hardship or suffering. If we drill deep enough into our psyche, each and every one of us will have some form and degree of PTSD. And this quantitative PTSD will obviously be different for each of us. The sadness and personal troubles in my own life were not as horrible as some have had to endure. In my case, because the form and degree of my suffering and subsequent PTSD was not utterly overwhelming, I can reflect on it and be grateful for the lessons it has taught me and for shaping the person that I in this present moment.
I choose to embrace my past, to acknowledge the importance of unhappy events in the past to creating a reality that is anything but unpleasant. This decision to embrace or release the past has to be a subjective one. It has to be an entirely personal decision because people are built differently emotionally, as well as physically and mentally. We’ll have different ways and means of processing tragedies.
I have been living alone these past four months, in the home that I lost my partner to ALS in, just over seven years ago. There are no ghosts in this house but there are memories in every room and inside every cardboard box full of stuff. I have been insulated from these memories for six of those seven years because I was away from this house… this town… away from Canada. Emotions are triggered by memories of a particularly painful moment, and there is nothing to do but allow those emotions to flow. This is, in a very real way, what it means to embrace the past.
Embracing the past is not the same thing as living in the past. One can find meaning in the present because of things that happened years ago. My past belongs to me. The collection of experiences and events that make up my life happened only to me. Our history… our separate and distinct pasts are fully subjective experiences and though it may be true that we can not see the forest for the trees… and that we might not always take our own best interest seriously… it is important to allow oneself to feel.
I think the process of embracing or letting go, however the case may be for me, is something with a foggy beginning and a faded ending. I am in the middle right now and nothing feels foggy or faded. It is a time to feel these emotions and allow these memories to flow freely.
Healing Into The Now
Healing into the now, in whatever way works for you, is the greatest gift to yourself and your relationship.
Stephanie & Michael, 💙
Originally published: March 1st, 2020
About me: Stephanie Wells
I’m a Reiki Master Teacher of Usui Shiki Ryoho – the Usui System of Natural Healing. I was attuned in Levels I, II & IIIA in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. During a 6 week stay in Mararikulam North, Kerala, India I was reattuned in Levels I, II, & IIIA as well as acquiring my Level IIIB Master Teacher attunement.