Rather than living in the past, how about …..Once upon a possibility? The past is almost as much a work of our imagination as the future. The past is a collection of experiences and stories. We live with our perception of what happened as a four year old, as a six year old, and as a ten year old. We can reframe our past to create a new future!
There are different ways of seeing things. For example, what do you see when you read the letters nowhere? Do you see no where or do you see now here? How you see everything has a powerful impact on your emotional system. Here's another – Which two days of the week start with T? Tuesday and Thursday, right? How about today and tomorrow? You see, there are different ways of looking at things. How many seconds are in a year? Too many to count? How about 12? January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd …
Realizing that there are many ways to look at things allows us to rewrite our life stories. We can revisit the past to reflect upon all of the things that we hadn't reflected upon or had reflected upon from the position of a child.
The first step in doing this is training your mind to focus on the positive things that have happened to you. Remembering that every bruise has a blessing and can be the impetus for great things is necessary. Some even say, "Nothing positive has ever happened!" Again, it's all according to how you look at it.
For example, I often hear biographical stories of mothers or fathers not being present when the person was a child. Stopping at this statement creates continual distress for the adult person when he/she reflects upon childhood years. When I ask, "Who was present?" I find that there are often an array of human angels in this person's life. These could be a teacher she connected with, a neighbor, a grandparent, or others. All of these people were less stressed than either of her parents and more available to nurture this young child.
Another common recollection is experiencing no joy in childhood. So, I ask, "What was joyful?" This puts us in a new perspective of the moment and the joyful memories are more easily recalled. This totally changes how the person sees themselves as an adult. It empowers those with a victim mindset. This does not mean that we totally ignore the painful aspects of our past.
It means we no longer give the past focus, energy, and power. We can go back and dream even if the person or people involved are no longer with us. We can role play and have a conversation and heal. Role play actually heals because the unconscious knowing where the healing takes place does not know whether the role play script is real or not. However, it reacts as if it were the real thing.
Healing is vital because it softens our judgment of ourselves and others, and allows us to own all parts of ourselves so that we have no need to project our unwanted or unacknowledged characteristics outwards on those with whom we have interactions. Ultimately, this brings us prosperity and happiness through healthy connections with others.
Next, I have included two shortened versions of life stories written by the same person from different perspectives. Both stories are very true. We get to choose which story we want to focus upon and carry with us throughout our lives. Remember this the next time you meet someone new who asks, "So, tell me about yourself."
I was born and raised in a small seaside village in British Columbia, Canada. My mother died of breast cancer when I was eight years old. At first, no one would tell me where she had gone. I knew she had been sick in bed, but I didn't know she would die. My father was withdrawn and angry for many years after we lost my mother and when she died, he covered his sadness by working long hard hours, coming home and drinking himself to sleep.
He had his own business and worked as the community handyman, but we still never seemed to have enough money. Some days I was hungry and if we needed food, I had to walk the two miles to the store, and carry the heavy bags back home. I made the trips to the store because Mr. Harper would not give my father credit, but he seemed to take pity on me and let me have the food even though I had no money to give him.
There were many times that I went to school wearing the same unwashed clothes I had worn many days before. I remember one cold winter day I had to go to school wearing wet jeans. I had hung them to dry, but since we were almost out of wood for our stove, there was little heat to dry the jeans. The other kids laughed at me and said I must have peed in my pants.
I wasn't the prettiest girl in school, either. My hair was long and tangled and I wore glasses that were out of date. I was very skinny and self conscious of my body. Most days I came home from school crying. Luckily, the next door neighbor had a dog, Charlie, that would sit at the end of my driveway waiting for me to come home every day. Charlie was my best friend. He was also very old, and one day when I ran home to see him, he was not there. I never saw him again. I was devastated.
I hated my life. I had nothing, and I always felt like I was nothing. When I was thirteen, a boy started to pay attention to me. This felt good. I had never had attention before. I gave into this feeling, and had sex with him. The next day he wouldn't even look at me. I found out later that he and his buddies had a bet that who ever could sleep with me first won $50. I felt sick. A few weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant. I knew that if I had to support this baby alone, I'd have to drop out of school and get a job. I felt my life was over. I'd never make it to the city for a better life.
I was born and raised in a small village, along the beautiful coastline of British Columbia, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Being an only child, I got all the attention in my family. We didn't usually have much food to eat, but luckily my father would sometimes get fresh fish from the people he did work for. My dad also taught me how to grow a garden, so we usually had fresh vegetables. I learned to cook at an early age because my father was away a lot of the time.
When the neighbor's dog died, my father could see how bad I felt. One day when I came home from school, I noticed his truck in the driveway. Thinking something must be wrong because he was never home that early, I ran up to the house as fast as I could. I went inside and found him sitting in his favorite chair with a puppy on his lap that had a big red bow around its neck! I was so happy that he cared that much. I had a new best friend, I named him Duke. Now I had a reason to go outside and play, I also learned to swim after I took Duke to the beach and realized he liked to swim.
One year for Easter, my grandmother bought me a new pair of shoes. I remember I was in grade six. I felt so proud when my teacher told me that my new shoes were beautiful, but not as beautiful as me! She was very kind to me. Some days if it was raining outside, she would give me a ride home. One day as I was getting out of her car, she said, "Here, I have something for you." It was a newspaper clipping about my mother who had saved a little boy's life many years ago when I was just a toddler. The little boy was her son! I was beginning to understand why she was so nice to me!
As a young teen, I dropped out of school, and got a job in a local grocery store to save some money so I could provide for my baby that was soon due. At the time I thought that my life was over. What was I ever going to do and how was I ever going to make my dream of moving to the city happen? Once Shelly was born, I realized that I had a new lease on life. Shelly taught me to love again. She gave me hope. I knew eventually we would both be living in a beautiful city!
A few years ago, I became aware of the life story I was carrying with me when I was doing seminars on Healing the Past. In my introduction, I would talk about my own past hoping the audience would realize that I could relate to pain. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was actually holding the pain energy in place by constantly repeating the sob story. Now, I tell the same story, just in a different way. You have an opportunity to do the same. Take some time and write both versions of your story. Don't go away. I think you will be amazed at what happens.