As we pass through our life we leave a trail of experiences behind, these experiences form our past as we know it. Beyond our own life is the past in general or in other words, history. Both individual and general history have bearing on our life as we experience it in the present moment. It is history itself that determines the way in which we manifest in the present. Personal experiences leave their mark and in some cases a scar, which carries on imposing an influence upon us, whether we see it or not. It may not seem obvious, but general history can also have a strong bearing on the way we choose to live our life. Take for example the legacy of slavery. The history of slavery, particularly recent slavery is a difficult one to forget. Beyond slavery there are wars, the holocaust, the witch trials and many other unforgettable, but horrific events littered throughout history.
In this video we will focus on the individual and how an unhealthy focus on the past can destroy and sabotage a promising future.
Humans beings naturally desire a sense of justice and fairness in life. Deep down we believe in karma or at least we have hope in the existence of karma. We have trouble accepting the unpredictability and suffering experienced during our lifetime. For some, life is an ever-flowing breeze of seamless events and experiences, with very few bumps in the road, while the experience for others is one of pain, suffering, failure, heartache and injustice. For those who feel that sense of injustice, for the unreasonable and unfair challenges experienced throughout their life, there is a perpetual need to to draw attention to the associated past. This however is a common but grave mistake. By placing a overwhelming emphasis on what we might consider to be 'the negative past', we diminish the energy needed to create a brighter future. The negative past instead becomes the justification for the sense of hopelessness one feels and the apparent inability to take the necessary action to build a better future. We end up in an endless cycle, doomed to blame and perpetuate negative feelings and behaviours, which by default lead to more of the same. A sense of entitlement overcomes us, encouraging the false belief that somehow karma will come to our rescue. The is seldom the case, as most continue to experience the endless struggle until it eventually becomes them.
Imagine you are lost sea after your boat sinks. You float around at the mercy of the currents for several days. Eventually you experience a stroke of luck as the tide moves you towards an isolated island. You drift ever closer until you are only 100 metres off-shore. All you need to do is swim and you will almost certainly make it to the island. You instead choose to rely on the current, hoping you will simply wash up on the beach, but you don't. Slowly the current pulls you away until the island is again only a spec in the distance. Why wouldn't you make the choice to swim?
This scenario is no different than the one experienced by those who choose to remain in their negative past. With a little effort and some courage you will make it, but you have to let go of hope and instead have faith in yourself and what you can achieve. The sense of effortless entitlement must be extinguished from our minds in order to remove the excessive and unhealthy focus on a negative past. We must eradicate the need to exert energy on a lost cause and instead channel that life-force into a meaningful pursuit which aligns with our identify. No matter what the justification, no matter what the past struggles were, no matter what the extent of injustice, it is important to detach the sense victim hood and entitlement. This is not to suggest that there isn't in fact any validity to these issues, but rather an attempt to re-focus individual resources for the purpose of progress.
The point is to avoid the inclination to dwell on a past already lived; to work towards an ever emerging future. If there are unresolved issues stemming from the past, rather than becoming lost in the suffering, we can instead be part of the solution. We can divert our energy into our own hopes, goals and dreams, whilst positively influencing the outcomes in the lives of others. The greatest truth lies in the fact that the past cannot be changed, it cannot be undone, nor altered or re-lived. To hold onto something that is well beyond our control, is one of the greatest mistakes one can make. We must instead embrace what we can control and have influence over.
Admire the good from the past, acknowledge the bad, live in the present. Direct your energy forward into the life not yet lived, rather than backward into a past that cannot be undone. Embrace your future.