Forgiveness is giving up hope for a better past.
No one can change the past. Holding on to bad memories ensures a repetitive cycle of similar incidents that continually hold us hostage to self-protection, cynicism and self-doubt. Letting go of the emotional connection to past events that caused fear, anger, or guilt allows us to experience our present state of being with the attitude that we can do, be and have anything we want.
Why? Because our brain utilizes the memories of our past experiences to analyze, interpret and judge what is happening in our present state and determines whether we see our glass half full or half empty. Furthermore, our present emotional state governs our future because like attracts like.
For example, take a moment to remember a particular event in your life that elicited the emotion with the lowest energy state – guilt. Allow yourself to relive the incident in your mind. Notice how your body feels. Are your shoulders pulled forward in the protective position? Did your breath become shallow? Joints feel achy and headache coming on? If so, it’s because your energy became dense as you pulled it in for self-protection. You begin to have feelings of lack and inadequacy. You begin to dwell on what you don’t have and the uncomfortable feelings of emptiness and desire begin to permeate your being.
Now lets try another exercise. Think of a moment when you were happy or elated. Again, allow yourself to feel the emotional state of the incident. Feel how your body lightens, shoulders pull back, breath deepens and your energy expands. You feel more at peace, energetic and capable. Gratitude permeates your being.
Now that you have attained a more positive emotional state, we’ll go one step further. Think of people who are always “happy go lucky”? They don’t take things too seriously and their life seems to flow flawlessly. As problem solvers, they focus on the solution instead of the problem. They constantly express gratitude for what they do have. What do you think they will attract into their life? You’ve got it – more of the same!
It is well established that our health depends upon our mental state. Many of our physical and mental dis-eases (hyphen intentional) manifest because an inability or unwillingness to let go the past events that predominate a perception of the present moment.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Neuro-Linquistic Programing (NLP) are techniques that disconnect negative emotions associated with memories. A New Earth by Ekhart Tolle is a fabulous book that helps one live in the present moment and create a positive state of being. An additional resource is the entertaining and thought-provoking movie “About Time”, which reminds us to see the sweetness of every moment and to recognize the extraordinary magnificence of an ordinary day.
Remember, no one can go back and make a better past, but anyone can start now and make a better future. Here are some additional tips for improving your present moment:
- Try starting each day by listening to Jason Marz’s brilliant song, Living in the Moment or Happy by Pharrell Williams.
- Keep a “Gratitude Book” and make entries to it each day. Refer to it on the days you experience setbacks.
- Most importantly, maintain a feeling of gratitude in your mind, heart and spirit. Your future will bring even more for you to be grateful for.