Journey Monologues No. 11: Are you present? #mindfulness

Die to the past every moment. You don’t need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present. Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being. Feel your presence.
— Eckhart Tolle, Practicing the Power of Now

It is necessary to revisit the past only when it is affecting your present. Unfortunately, that is the case for many of us. Often we make decisions from our gut. Our bodies react to a situation based on our belief systems and thoughts. We then run our lives from that point.  If these beliefs – about ourselves and how the world works – are positive, we can function from a place of self-love, compassion, and support.

More often, these belief systems are negative due to some type of past trauma in our lives or some negative self-concept we reinforce. If this is the case then the world we are looking at may appear very dark and cold. If this is the case then we are running our lives from a fearful place - allowing past pain to affect our present.

The simple truth is you can’t bury your pain, move on and expect to live freely. It just doesn’t work that way. Rather you may find yourself to be your own worst enemy – beating yourself up at every turn for reasons you don’t recognize or even fathom. Instead of letting go of the past you may be wallowing in it - bringing it into every present moment of your life. This is when you need to look back.

There is a big difference between letting go of the past and burying it. One allows you to learn from it and move on and the other keeps you stuck.

If you start to look at everything in your life as a lesson then it is easier to dig through any old skeletons in your closet. Even the worst of trauma has something to teach us. Not that we want bad things to happen – they just do. It is best if we can learn from them.

What is it that you took from your past into your now? How is it affecting your daily life? Can you look at it differently? Can you use the energy from that situation to move your life forward in a positive direction?

Now, depending on how traumatic the past was and how long you have been harboring it, your life may look very different than how you want it to look. Here is where you need to develop compassion and patience for yourself. Perhaps you didn’t create the trauma but you must release it. And these things take time.

The important thing is to stay aware and stay present. This may require you to start small and expect setbacks. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better as they most likely will.

The end goal is to free your present moment from the pain of the past – to live fully in the now. Traveling down this road is not easy. That is why many choose not to do it. But it is worth it. You are worth it. Start now.