Why You Should Forgive And Heal The Past

It Is Our Light, Not Our Darkness That Most Frightens Us

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” — Marianne Williamson

Your emotional connection to the past is a vital ingredient to how you perceive life. To forgive the past is paramount in moving ahead mentally and emotionally. Many people experience life trapped and haunted by their emotional links to the past where they recycle their memories into the present moment. Allow me to highlight via an example. On a personal level, my connection to self-love evaded me at a deeper level. While I understood it on an intellectual level, at a soul level I found it challenging to embrace. Upon closer self-examination, I realised the source of my emotional disconnection was a false belief formed when young.

I was afraid of water as a child. I was left behind in swim groups while the other kids advanced forward during swim lessons. I unknowingly painted an inaccurate belief I was not good enough, later comparing myself to other children who could swim well. Fast forward to adulthood, I began to see this theme emerge on many occasions. When writing or speaking I noticed the inner dialogue of not being worthy of this position. I convinced myself there were others who were much smarter and talented than me. I felt unworthy of success. My inner critic offered many reasons to substantiate my inaccurate beliefs such as “Who I am to be talented, wise and smart?” The inner chatter dominated the landscape of my mind for a long time. “Who am I not to be those things?” I would remind myself.

I remind you of the passage by Marianne Williamson aptly name Our Deepest Fear in which she writes “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

If the concept of God frightens you from connecting with this passage, replace it with what you identify with. You may call it universe, source, light or nothing at all, that is fine either way. The passage serves to remind us of our own inner brilliance. My journey of inner discovery revealed I had wrongly labelled my inability to swim to being unworthy. I further complicated this by invoking the suggestion I was unworthy of love. You see how convoluted a story our minds will conjure up? It is only through introspective examination; I came to realise that a young child of six years has very little knowledge about life to be passing judgement on himself. It took a great deal of courage and faith to release this belief and create a new empowering one. My aim in writing this piece is to help you identify similar beliefs which you may have created early in life.

Your Memories Do Not Define Who You Are Now

“You will begin to heal when you let go of past hurts, forgive those who have wronged you, and learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes.” — Unknown

If you notice a pattern which you wish to change, it may be attributed to a falsely created belief. Drop it if it no longer serves you. How will you know? Look closely at the aspects of your life which cause you distress. Is it relationships woes? Is it money related: health, career or something else? You may notice the same patterns over several years while unable to navigate your way of out it. Limited beliefs will have their source at the unconscious level of the mind. You may continually repeat the same mistake and it is only in hindsight you see very little explanation why you behaved that way.

The below list are examples how limited beliefs may show up in your life.

  1. You unconsciously spend money you don’t have and wonder why you continually struggle with your finances.
  2. You repeatedly attract the wrong romantic partner.
  3. You sabotage your relationships when things are moving in the right direction.
  4. You miss out on job promotions, even though you work just as hard as the person who gets them.
  5. You unconsciously gravitate toward unhealthy foods when you start a new health regime.

The above points are indicators you may hold an unconscious belief related to that area of life. In clarifying those points, here are my suggestions in that order to what the unconscious belief may reveal.

  1. Unconscious belief: receiving, self-esteem or unworthiness.
  2. Unconscious belief: low self-esteem, unworthiness or fear.
  3. Unconscious belief: fear, change, fear of the past or success.
  4. Unconscious belief: fear of success, self-esteem, unworthiness.
  5. Unconscious belief: fear of failure, self-esteem, unworthiness.

The key is to know which belief to work through to release the past memories and hurts, which haunt you in the present moment. A good analogy for clearing the past would look like this. Imagine a person who refers to their past successes or failures. They might use the words: “I used to be…” or “I used to do…” What they’re telling you is: “I am an amalgamation of my past success and/or failures and I choose to relive them in the present moment.” They are defined by their past mistakes or success while not engaged in the present moment. The present moment is your key to the future. Your memories are purely that, a figment of your imagination. I’m not suggesting you deny your memories, rather don’t continually draw on them to define yourself NOW.

This article raises your awareness to your thought process. I hope to open your eyes to thoughts or beliefs which are holding you back from achieving your greatest potential. I invite you to read my article titled: How to Improve Your Self Esteem, where I raised several points on using self-examination to work through the unconscious beliefs once identified. Make a vow to forgive and release the past to live a deep and meaningful life. Refuse to be a victim to your thoughts and emotions. You’ll know you’re making progress when you see those unconscious habits fall away, thus experiencing your heart’s desires. Create a space in your heart for that which you seek in life and continually fill it with love. Whatever you look for awaits you on the other side of your fears and doubts – so claim them now.

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2 Responses to Why You Should Forgive And Heal The Past

  1. Samantha says:

    excellent article – when I did finally forgive and released my past I felt a heavy load was lifted and walking much lighter.

    Thank you Tony

    • Yes it’s interesting how our body stores elements of the past. When we release these emotional connections, we feel ‘lighter’ and free. Well done!

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