SOS BOOK - Chapter 2.6 Releasing our past
Part (a) Facing our traumas
Think back on your own life; right back to your earliest memories. How has it really been? HOW HAS IT REALLY FELT?... Often, we feel alone, vulnerable & insecure. We might feel totally out of place! It’s as if we don’t belong in our birth family, or even on this planet!
We’ve probably also had some traumatic life events, or perceived some experiences as being quite distressing. We might feel wounded and needing to compensate or defend our self in some way.
BEFORE CHANGING TO A NEW PARADIGM, ITS USEFUL TO REFLECT ON & RELEASE THE PAST.
Before moving forward, we should acknowledge the life-lessons we’ve had. If we can forgive our self and others, it's easier to take further steps forward. Another breakthrough is to forgive ourselves! We might eventually even become appreciative & grateful for all we have lived through.
TO TRANSCEND THE OLD, WE MUST EXPERIENCE THE EMOTION OR FEELING OF IMPORTANT PAST EVENTS.
Too often we just bury our suffering & traumas deep in our subconscious mind. We might put on a brave face, but inwardly, we are fearful of experiencing those ‘painful’ emotions. So, we repress them or keep them held down!
JUST A MOMENTARY EXPERIENCE OF OUR SUPPRESSED EMOTIONS IS REQUIRED TO CLEAR THEM!
By acknowledging our feelings in this fashion, we release them! Otherwise we just can’t move on from them.
HAVING THE COURAGE TO ACTUALLY EXPERIENCE OUR FEELINGS, SETS THEM FREE!
It might be simple, but it’s not easy to do! The brilliance of the Human mind also comes with complexity, so it requires perseverance and some bravery to work through it all. This is an important part of our Inner Journey.
Instead of just repressing our feelings, we can gently express them and hence send them on their way. It’s our choice! We don’t have to endlessly ‘process’ our emotions, as some might believe. That’s just a fallacy! It’s certainly not beneficial to constantly ruminate or dwell on all our suffering: to just go over and over all the thoughts & details in our mind.
BRIEFLY EXPERIENCING A POWERFUL EMOTION IS A PREREQUISITE FOR FURTHER BREAKTHROUGHS IN UNDERSTANDING.
Expressing our feelings & emotions is a basic human need. It’s inherent to being human, at the experiential level. It’s the human condition or ‘our contract’ so to speak! Experientially, humans sense or ‘feel’ their environment. So, denying or repressing our emotions & feelings comes at a considerable cost. If we deny our emotions we don’t fully experience & understand life, and this limits our future behavior & personal growth. We can’t evolve spiritually, plus we waste our valuable energy, keeping all those emotions suppressed. But usually we are not taught or told all this! We therefore waste precious opportunities to learn & grow. What a waste of a life-time!
MAYBE IT'S TIME… TO LET SOME OF OUR SUPPRESSED EMOTIONS SURFACE AND SAY GOODBYE TO THEM?
Do you want to free yourself of some hidden burden! Do you want to try? We invite you to do this exercise, as you read part (b) below. Use this opportunity to review your life for any obvious unresolved experiences. As you read part (b) below, look for what surfaces in your mind and what reactions are triggered. Then practice letting them go!
As always, you have a choice! You can again repress or bury any painful memory that surfaces. Or you can choose to experience the emotion, just briefly enough to identify it, before fully releasing it. Having experienced it briefly, just enough to identify or label it, then just release it. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t ruminate on all the associated mental thoughts that might come up. That just prolongs the suffering!
YOU CAN WAVE GOODBYE TO THOSE SUPPRESSED EMOTIONS, IF YOU WISH?
You can even ‘thank’ the experience for aiding your personal growth! Feel the welcome relief and the lessening of your emotional load. This could be empowering and a welcome release. However, if you feel this might be too overwhelming, or have any concern, then ask a trained counselor or psychologist to help you do this.
Part (b) Reviewing our life – a contemplative exercise!
We are delivered into this world abruptly and sometimes quite traumatically. As a baby we are totally dependent on someone else for our survival & needs. As a toddler, someone supervises us and often scolds us. We are shown how to behave, taught what to do, and even what to think! Someone is always trying to control or change our behavior! Then we are sent to school and forced to comply even more! We must sit still, be quiet and to listen for what seemed like ages. We are made to memorize facts and to regurgitate these in tests, to determine our future career. This is often how it seems!
We then battle through our later school years, just to keep our parents, teachers and peers at bay. It seems a hassle and a real struggle! We can’t do what we really want! There are however some good times, particularly with friends, but those moments seem fleeting. We can make the usual teenage protest: alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana, and perhaps some ‘party’ drugs. We search for some relief: some escape from our dissatisfaction, our frustration, our senses of emptiness. We play hard, or party hard for distraction, and use relationships or sex to numb the pain. Some relationships are particularly difficult. We can become disillusioned and disheartened. We feel we shouldn’t have to try so hard, just to fit in with someone else’s plans? At times we feel like rebelling or just want to give up. We can feel so sad. We dislike being manipulated & controlled. When we really take the time to look inwardly and reflect, we feel so unhappy and alone. That’s how our lives can seem!
THIS IS A PRECIOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR A BREAKTHROUGH!
Take your time. Sit quietly for a while, relax your body, calm your thoughts and now see what surfaces. Can you feel the inner-pressure of some emotion wanting to burst forth & surface? It can feel like you just want to cry! Let it surface. Have a good cry if you like. The relief we get after a good cry is from releasing the suppressed emotions.
Alternatively, we can feel the emotions as a sensation or a feeling of unease somewhere in our body. They have been pent up for far too long! If you can easily & simply label (or name) the emotion or feeling that’s good. If you can easily identify the life lesson that’s excellent. But that’s not essential and thinking about it further is not usually beneficial. Releasing the emotional buildup or pressure is what’s most important. Dwelling on the life-situation that caused it will only cause more emotion to build! Instead, be thankful or grateful for having released that inner conflict. Forgive yourself first and then to the extent you are able, forgive others involved. This does not mean condoning their role, but instead releasing your anger, hatred or resentment of them. Holding on to that only damages yourself!
AFTER ONE EMOTION IS RELEASED, DIFFERENT EMOTIONS MIGHT FOLLOW
When you feel another emotion wants to surface and you are ready, give it your permission to do so. You are practicing the important skill of allowing emotions & feelings surface to your conscious mind. Then, most importantly, allowing their rapid release and clearance. Be grateful for the emotional release. Try to forgive yourself for having held onto any associated guilt, shame or fear for so long. That has been so painful and has prolonged the suffering. You have been unintentionally punishing yourself as well. Eventually we might even be grateful for having experienced that life lesson! Start by trying to find some potential benefit to yourself or others from your experience. Well done in attempting this exercise! It’s a very important life skill to master! Keep trying. Good luck!