How many times have you ignored your past? How often does the past knock on your door and you don't answer or, worse, tell it to go away? These strategies keep your past coming around, looking for the acknowledgement it desires.
The worst advice anyone has ever given you about the past is, "just let it go." The past won't entertain letting go until you embrace it.
Your past may not be handsome or pretty but you still have to go on a few dates with it in order for letting go to be its idea.
Your past will pester you until you say, "yes" to its demands; so invite it in for tea to have any chance of it leaving you be.
The following exercise comes from my friend, Jerry Stocking
. Not only is it effective in letting the past have it say, it is also a great exercise to do if you're having trouble getting off to sleep. I'm quoting from his blog post called, A MEDITATION TO CEAR YOUR PAST AND FUTURE
"To do this meditation, sit in a comfortable chair, hopefully not cross legged, and invite these pictures of your past to run like a movie in your head.
There is absolutely no need to become aware of them as they run. These pictures in your head are running even if you don't notice them. Encourage them to run, and run and run some more. With practice something like REM sleep will occur. Your eyes will flutter very, very rapidly as the old movies play.
At first you may not notice anything. But please trust the process. Sit for a few minutes each day with your eyes closed or partially open inviting your past to flash before you.
They say that at the moment of death your past flashes before you. This may be true for some people but for you inviting your past to flash before you will enhance the quality of your thinking.
This simple exercise gives permission to your past to be however it was. It makes peace with what was. This results in your past getting the attention and approval that it needs.
After as few as three days performing this simple exercise you will start to feel the cloud of your past lifting. You probably weren't aware of the amount of baggage you carried. But you will become aware of its absence as you lighten up and let go.
Get Ready for Clarity
As your past becomes more peaceful it won't harass your present. You won't be in a business meeting and all of a sudden be reminded of a past failure or even a success. You will cease to be haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past and you will live more fully in the present.
You will still have the past as a resource, but you won't have it as a ghost. One of the fringe benefits of this process is that it will improve your memory. It will also have you unconsciously reinforce lessons you may not have learned fully from your past.
You only need to do this exercise for a few minutes per day. With this exercise more isn't better because the past really does belong in the past.
As your past settles down and remains in your past you will experience mental clarity. You will be more creative, more spontaneous and more intelligent."
I encourage you to read Jerry's full post
for additional insights.
I'll end with something I call A POEM TO THE PAST:
When you have outgrown something that hasn't outgrown you
It will continue to visit and make you stew
Invite in your past and let it have its say
So that tomorrow won't be a replica of yesterday
All the best,