Integrating your past into your current self - what does that really mean? Why do I want to go about doing so?
The reason for this topic is because recently, we had some discussions with friends around forgiveness or not forgiving someone unless this person apologizes first. This created a friendly, but heated discussion around this idea of forgiveness.
There may be many reasons for forgiving or not forgiving one another, but the idea that was discussed is that by not forgiving , you really are giving away your power to someone else.
We talked about that it's ok to take a moment to feel upset about a situation, event or person, but it can keep lingering for many, many years. Some times, we may not even remember the event at the time. In other words, we let an event from the past, influence what we do today. While the past is already gone, these thoughts still have power over us. Sometimes the person has already moved on with their life, and we are still resentful. There are even times where this person does not even know that they have done something wrong.
I remember taking a hypnotherapy class a year or so ago, where we did muscle testing exercises where one could discover what level of resentment for family and friends are still stuck in the body. If you want to read good material on how the body keeps the score from the past, I encourage you to read Dr Joe Dispenza's work or the work of Bessel van der Kolk. The bottom line of this exercise was that I had tons of issues still unresolved from my past, some of them which I was not even aware of!
During my flight back on a work trip, perhaps triggered by our discussion of that week, I suddenly began to feel some stuff coming up for me that I had not forgiven people for, that was still lingering in me. The weird thing typically is that these things show up usually in a different way. For me, I believe it shows up during times of sudden change, or movement. This typically happens in airplanes , but I recall also no longer liking certain activities in a fair, and typically my stomach getting upset easily with bumps in a car... But this time , it came in the form of bumps during the airplane ride.
Since I was so much about talking about forgiveness and it's importance, it was time for me to walk the walk myself! I took time at that moment, to close my eyes and focus on my breathing (this is what I usually do in times where I want to do some inner work).
I felt moments from my past passing by during childhood, where I did not accept or believe that I was worth of being loved. And I discovered that I made this decision as a young boy seeing my parents argue and believing it was my fault, thus making the decision with the mind of a child to then believe I was not worth of love. This came up many times in different forms in my life that I now better understand. I also remember this being amplified by the fact that my ugly (now loving) sister came along, taken further attention away from me during that time where I needed it the most. This then dragged on into teenage years, which are already tough and having continuous fights with my parents. Obviously around different things, because I really did not know I did not love myself. I now know that I am worth of love and I am love.
At that time, and still to today, there are emotions left in my body, that trigger certain thoughts during certain events, or when I meet a certain type of person. The thoughts than reinforce these emotions and old beliefs, and I can get stuck in this vicious loop.
During this exercise and this time, I wanted to escape, open my eyes and not forgive and forget what has happened to me. But there was an inner voice, talking to me. telling me to stay with me , in order for me to process some of these emotions. After discovering what I mentioned earlier, I suddenly felt an inner peace. I felt the need to send a message to my mother and sister to forgive them and send them loving thoughts. I also had to forgive myself for holding on to those erroneous beliefs that I have been holding onto for a long time. I could finally let go of these past emotions and release them from my body, back into the universe where they came from.
This exercise to me was so invaluable, but not easy at all. And I know there are probably a lot of other issues still to be dealt with. There are layers that need to be taken off, one at the time. To slowly release all the old baggage and integrating all these old , outdated ideas into a more empowered current version of myself.
What are some old pains that you have not dealt with that keep coming back up for you? What are some of the actions you can take to forgive yourself for these pains? Who may you need to forgive in order to step back into your Power?
Last week I traveled back to Arizona for work and met up with my mentee Jack. I love to hang out with Jack because he makes me see things differently. In a sense, he's the one mentoring me! That's the beauty of volunteering. But that's not really the point of the post.
The idea of this post is to share what I have learned from him , listening and hanging out with him last week.
I oftentimes get hung up on not knowing the exact destination to which I am headed with whatever project, or goal I am working on. And as a result, I do nothing at all, or the farthest I go is spinning idea and option after option through my mind. This is so overwhelming at times that I do not do anything at all to move myself forward to my projects and goals. This then frustrates me further, adding nothing but self-pity.
But I believe this may be about to change for me, after meeting with Jack last week.
We were having dinner and afterwards we were planning to drive him back to his house in Phoenix, Arizona. The great thing about Phoenix at this time of year, is the weather is great, the roads are wide and open, and it's simply very nice to drive through any street there, with the window open and music playing. Jack told me this is what he does sometimes with his family. They just simply head out with no destination in mind, and merely are just cruising around for the pure joy of it. The feeling of escape.
This suddenly struck me. I am often so focused on a destination, that I forgot it's all about the journey to begin with. What fun is it, to just get out there, without any idea of where you are going and simply see where the road may take you. Especially in times where the destination or path to it may be unclear. I enjoyed our time together, simply driving around, listening to music and having a great conversation! Life and enjoyment can be found in the very simple things and therefore we often miss them!
I told myself that night, that I will no longer tolerate mindless wandering in my own mind, but instead just take one step onto the road, where ever that road may lead me at that time. Whether it's on the digital highway, a footpath into the forest, a walk around the block, or a drive into the unknown. It does not really matter where the destination is or the method of which you take the step. It's a matter of simply having the courage to taking that step in the first place.
What is one step that you can take today to get you started on your journey?
Easter 2018. I can not believe already 3 months have passed in 2018! Where did the time go!
Easter does have someone of a tough ring to it for our family, since it's a reminder of my dad passing in 2015 Easter. I can't believe it's already 3 years. It is also a good reminded that life can be over in a moment, and it's short , and precious and has to be enjoyed.
Recently, I have been 'in my head' a lot, feeling somewhat restless and frustrated, and not feeling 'home' here in Portland, where we moved to about 6 months ago, while there is obviously plenty to see and explore. It must be the weather... I know these are pure excuses, as pure as a chocolate Easter egg.
It most be some unconscious pain that has not been addressed. Until this moment, I have not fully dug up and excavated whatever demon this is, so far I've only dealt with it in a different way... Here are some tips on how you may overcome a similar struggle.
1. Take a walk into nature. It could be a park, a little walk around the block, it could be visiting a local coffee shop. The idea is to get out of your mind, by taking action. While this may sound simple, your mind may try to stop you and wants you to stay in your drama, this is where the mind is addicted to. Don't give in. Take one step outside. It will not magically resolve all frustrations, but before you know it, you forgot what was so upsetting. Take time to observe your surroundings. be present to sounds, sights, smells around you. There is plenty to take in and numb your mind from giving you frustrations.
2. Play some up-beat music. This for me is so super helpful. For some reason, If I play Latin music, I can not be upset or unhappy. The music simply wants me to move, even my mind so it distracts me from my frustrations. Whatever your music of choice is, use music to get and alter your state of mind. Instantly!
3. Take action. Whatever it is. Pick up a broom, and clear your home. Write a blog - it's a great way to get out of your mind and into your heart and gut. Look for someone to help, take a drive - it does not matter where to, it's a matter of getting your mind distracted and don't let it be a burden to you.
There you have it, in case Easter is not your thing, or if you're just frustrated or restless regardless of Easter, these are practical tips that can get you back into a happier mood. And finally, if you're unhappy - simply accept and embrace your feelings of unhappiness. It's ok to have them.. Please do not unload your unhappiness onto others. Simply accept your feelings, sit with them - notice them in your body... and just breathe. There will always be tomorrow. Just remember life is short. Enjoy it!
What tips do you have to get out of a state of frustration or restlessness? I look forward to hearing from you!