Free Yourself from the Past

How much of life do you spend each day in observation of the past? For many, the past exerts a pull on our lives with the immense gravity of a black hole. Why is this? Why can’t we let the past be the past and live in the present?

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana

There are many quotes which connect the future to the past, but unless you can accept and move on from the past there is no future, or at least not one that you want to live :-) Indeed, the past and future are mere illusions. The only moment that is real is now.

Who are You Without Memory?

Reincarnation is the belief that we live many lives but with the caveat of a fresh slate. Would it not be truly liberating to live each moment in this same manner? Our thoughts hold us as prisoners tied to the past.

In 2005, the National Science Foundation published a study which showed that on average we have 60,000 thoughts each day, 95% of which are repeated from the day before, and a whopping 80% of these are said to be downright negative. What could you achieve by freeing yourself from this self-imprisonment?

A Ship Leaves a Wake

Our past is akin to a wake. While it is true that a ship leaves a wake, it is clear that it is not driven by it. Can you say the same for your echo? How much of your identity is locked in this illusion?

Whenever we are faced with a new challenge, it is not uncommon for limiting beliefs to surface. These beliefs call into question our identity based on the past. “What did I do before?” and “How does this foretell what I will do now?” What if you were free to act based on the person who are as opposed to were?

The Clean Slate Protocol

Birth and death are the only two times in your life when you are truly free of the past. At birth, you step out of the fabric that is existence and open your eyes to the world for the first time without any memory. The same pattern repeats at death.

The remainder of your existence between the dash (Date of Birth — Date of Death) is one of continual suffrage from memory. Thoughts of past regrets, and the memories from which we form our identity, exact a high toll on our time here.

Let Go to Grab Hold

But, what if life has happened before? What if as you read this article the “I” that you are holding on to is only possible because of the memories that were released. How would your existence be today if you were still carrying around the memories of those that you once loved and those to whom you mattered?

What room would be available to love and be loved in this time you have now? Admittedly, the thought of letting go would seem an impossible feat, and yet none of what you now hold on to would be possible.

The Law of Impermanence is at work everywhere we look. Whatever is attained must be dissolved to make way for the next round of experiences, and this is true for our life and memories.

So, what remains?

This rebirth or clean state is the magic of existence. We each come out of the world to see everything for the first time with equal parts wonder and curiosity. This cycle is the game that is existence, one in which forms arise for a brief moment to dip their feet into the water that is life and report back the experiences to reality itself. What is important is to apply this way of thinking to your every day life and live from now rather than from the past.

This article was first published at MichaelSealyIgnites. Visit for related stories, free action guides, and to subscribe.