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How To Forgive And Heal The Past — Part 1

“women's white top” by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

Surrender To The Truth

“All healing is first a healing of the heart.” — Carl Townsend

In order to experience a life of happiness, joy and fulfillment, we must learn to heal aspects of our past which we are resistant to. Our resistance to “what is” or “what was” will continue to be the source of our suffering as long as we carry the pain and hurt within us. Many people find it difficult to forgive for a multitude of reasons but chiefly because they feel weakened or vulnerable if and when they decide to forgive. Coming to terms with forgiving the past may be a painstaking process for many, since they feel that in doing so they diminish the pain and suffering that they experienced at the time. Owning our pain and suffering by carrying it through life is one way of remaining Parked, since we become a slave to the past by drawing on these memories and experiences — these only serve to remind us that we were victimised.

I wish to offer an alternative perspective on what forgiving and healing the past means. Forgiving and healing the past is about our journey toward freedom and happiness. It is about releasing the burden of hanging onto an event or situation that occurred many years ago in the hope of living a richer and more authentic life, unburdened by painful memories. Recognising that we may have stuffed down a painful memory is the first step toward healing and reclaiming the past. What we are talking about here is a total acceptance of the past and not being shameful or embarrassed of what occurred.

Oftentimes, people feel victimised by their experience and in doing so take ownership of their hurt by carrying it around like a suitcase. This permits them to feel sad, depressed, and angry or other negative states. Victims never heal and if we wish to carry the title of being the most coveted victim in the world, I can assure you that no one will award us that prize as a trophy. Only we have the ability to take responsibility and ownership of the way in which we respond to the past. It is worth noting that healing and forgiving the past does not deny us the hurt that was experienced at the time. Rather we are choosing not to carry that experience into the present moment and into the future.

We have a choice whether we wish to heal the pain or choose to be right. We cannot have it both ways, for life will assuredly acknowledge us either way. Forgiving and healing the past is not an easy process and can only be approached with an open heart and mind. We must be willing to surrender and let go of the pain which we have owned and held so close to us, pain that has become our identity.

So the first step in forgiving and healing the past is surrender. We surrender to the truth that we are prepared to heal the trauma we carry. There is no denying that the healing process may be painful, since it reignites many painful emotions. Therefore, we must approach the healing and forgiving process with a compassionate heart. The process of detaching from thoughts and emotions allows us to see the ‘what is’ within each moment. Approaching our forgiveness toward healing the past should also be met with the same detachment and compassion. As our emotions surface and reignites, we may be forced to change and label these emotions, this is not what the healing process is all about. Healing means accepting, regardless of whether the experience or situation was good or bad. Healing does not mean labelling or judging the experience, for in doing so it disallows us from letting go of any painful emotions. Kindness and compassion towards oneself is of the utmost importance in order to free ourselves from the painful memories that keep us trapped in the past.

“pregnant woman surrounded by plants” by Josh Bean on Unsplash

Stop Cling To Your Fears

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” — Caroline Myss

The past is all but a figment of our imagination. To bring it into the present moment means that we miss out on the beauty and splendour of what this moment has to offer. Our perceptions and experience are being expressed from the past in order to shape and create our present moment experience. The mind is adept at drawing on historical events in order to decide how to give meaning to the current moment. This comes at a price however. The price is that we are not fully awake and aware to our present moment, since we are referencing the past in order to shape the NOW, which ultimately creates the future.

For example, if we have been emotionally abused in previous intimate relationships, then we have created a thought memory and emotional association around this experience. We have painted onto our mental canvas the truth that intimate relationships ultimately lead to emotional abuse. We will be drawn to find evidence of this in each new relationship. Surprisingly, it only takes one positive experience with a partner to prove this incorrect. Our past conditioning has perpetuated an experience which has proved true for us and thus perceives it as accurate. What we fail to recognise is that we form a perception of reality rather than the truth.

We must make it our priority to let go of things, people and circumstances that we have found difficult to forgive. Our motive should be based on our own self-interest and to be at peace with any emotion that remains bound to the past. People who live in the past like to re-live and play out their story. They feel that without their story they would be left empty inside. Their story creates an illusion since they identify with it as being real. We are more than our stories, whether they are based in a positive or negative experience. These are constructs of our mind which allow us to feel something that we are not. By dropping the storyline that we have held for so long, we allow the truth of who we really are emerge. We are eternal beings, one that is not bound by labels and stories, such as those that we commit ourselves to.

When we approach life from this perspective, we see that the illusions that we created serve a purpose; to feel safe behind this veil. However, this is not who we really are. There comes a point in our life when we must drop the façade in order to acknowledge our hurt and pain. Stuffing down the pain will only allow it to magnify since we are feeding that which needs to grow. We are giving it importance and life by telling it that it is important and willingly become the victim. It is like taking in a wounded dove and nurturing it for some time, only to discover that we have grown attached to the bird. Despite it being healed, we cling to it in the fear by letting it go we will be sad and empty inside.

The dove was born to fly and roam. By holding onto the belief of this false self, it keeps us trapped in the past, rather than being fully alive and awake to the present moment. Those who are not alive to the present moment will find any excuse to substantiate their situation, since reconciling the past is far more painful than acknowledging the truth. But why live this way? Why show up for life full of luggage hoping to add to our suitcase as we go along? Our luggage is full enough and needs to be emptied of our sorrows and pain in order to lighten the load.

“man wearing chambray button-up shirt in forest” by Afa Ah Loo on Unsplash

Unconditional Healing

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” — Helen Keller

Peace and joy can only be found in the present moment. We have probably witnessed this when we hoped for something or someone to make us feel better. That is because we placed our happiness in some future event or thing hoping that it would heal those parts of us that were in pain. No-thing, person or circumstance will bring us happiness and fulfillment, and this is for a number of reasons. Firstly, we are wishing for something outside of us that is already there, yet fail to acknowledge it. It is like magicians performing their illusion right before our eyes, only later to reveal their secret. We discover that the illusion was not magic after all. It was just trickery of the mind as our awareness and senses were not orientated toward the illusion. Our future happiness offers the same illusion.

Secondly, we are turning our attention away from what really matters and that is contained within us. This would be akin to bandaging our ankle in the hope that our headache might go away. When we divert our attention from what is real within us, we acknowledge the pain and suffering by saying: I see you and know that you are in pain. Yet we do not allow a story to emerge from this witnessing.

To Navigate Life successfully and not get stuck into a Parked state, we need to be mindful of any part of us that causes us suffering. You see, the suffering itself is not about the story of pain. Rather, it is an invitation and an awakening to return back to wholeness. This is our default state and yet, we are likely to have assumed and picked up stories about ourselves. These stories have come from outside influence, in order to create a mirage of who we think we need to be. Subsequently, when we are out of alignment with this wholeness, our ego automatically kicks in, in order to substantiate and validate this state. This is much like the bully who stands up at school defending his right to be a bully. Our ego assumes control in much the same manner.

Forgiving and healing the past should be approached with no other motive than unconditional healing. Many times people approach the healing process with the intention of unburdening themselves of past trauma in the hope that they will begin to feel good about themselves. Alternatively, they may also feel that forgiving and healing the past means wiping a clean slate and that all their troubles and concerns will melt away. This is obviously not the case and if we approach our healing from this perspective we will certainly be discouraged from continuing the healing process as other parts emerge. Similarly, forgiving and healing the past does not mean forgetting what happened to us, since in doing so means denying that the past actually happened. Healing is a process which involves bringing peace and love within the present moment to any thoughts, beliefs or emotion that keeps us trapped in the past. We are trapped since we are not fully engaging in life.

Our repressed emotions also take up valuable energy since many of these emotions remain trapped within our muscular system and organs. Bringing the past into the present moment means bringing past memories and emotional trauma and igniting them within the present physical body. Dr John Sarno, showed that the emotions of anger and anxiety had the potential to create back pain within the clients that he saw. As he approached the healing process from a non-physical perspective, the client was able to heal by making peace with these toxic and destructive emotions that were taking up valuable resources within the physical body.

Another well recognised physician working in this area is Dr. Don Colbert who wrote the book Deadly Emotions. Dr. Colbert takes us through the various deadly emotions as seen from a physician’s point of view and how they cause physiological destruction on the human body. He invites the reader to understand the deeper meaning behind the emotion and how to release and heal these toxic emotional states.

Call To Action

Do you want to lead a remarkable life? Are you committed to taking action despite your fears and doubts? Have you had enough of not achieving the success you seek? If so, download your FREE copy of my eBook NAVIGATE LIFE right now, and start your amazing journey of greatness today!



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Tony Fahkry

Tony Fahkry

Self-empowerment Author | Renowned Speaker | Expert Life Coach. Discover How to Reach Your Highest Potential Here: https://bit.ly/3Kkjds4