Sometimes we’re haunted by the past, even after we’ve accepted that it is unchangeable. The memories of times where we were treated badly or behaved badly ourselves can echo in our present and thus distort our futures. These echoes can deprive the future of joy.
Some of us carry a lot of baggage from our past, and that baggage can be very heavy. It’s composed of old grief and guilt, what-ifs, and regrets. Sometimes the pain of the past is so severe it can ache inside us. Telling someone to “let go of it” is easy, but doing it can be very challenging.
Letting go of the past can seem like a betrayal of the people we loved and lost in the past, or an attempt to forget the good and the bad. Remembering the good times while suppressing the memory of the not so good times can also be difficult. It can seem like an act of disloyalty to stop carrying around the painful memories of the long ago.
Really, in this entry I’m talking about a negative way of re-experiencing the past that reduces or kills our chances for a contented, happy present. It’s a form of anti-mindfulness. After all, it’s very nearly impossible to bring your attention to the present moment when your focus is on a sad past.
We are not required to tithe any part of our present or future to the sorrows of the past. That’s a form of fictional balance. It is a common distorted thought, and it’s an incorrect thought as well.
The best way to nullify the pain of the past is to let it go and live well in the present. That brings honor to the memory of those loved ones who are lost, either to death or time, separation or all the vagaries of life that exist.