Question: Painful experiences from my past have a way of coming to the surface and wrecking me all over again. How do I stop engaging myself with the past, and how do I leave this pain behind me once and for all?
Answer: Unconscious conflicts, in dialogue form, play themselves out in our mind by painfully reenacting various scenes from our past; moments gone by in which we either know, or sense, we were compromised by our own weakness. If these dark inner dialogues were left to themselves as they popped into our mind, they'd be as powerless to disturb us as an echo is to change its own sound. Where we get into trouble is when we're unknowingly drawn into these scenes out of our past and find ourselves interacting with a cast of ghost players! The ensuing mental dialogue is always a desperate but futile attempt to change what has already been said and done so that maybe this time around we can come out a winner.
Try this step for the winning solution... if you sat down on a metal bench and suddenly realized the midday sun had heated it way beyond the comfort zone, you'd stand up as quickly as you could. The same intelligence behind this instinctive physical reaction can help you release and drop all dark inner dialogues that cause you to hold on to some past hurt or hatred.
Each time you catch yourself in a dark inner dialogue, of any kind, use your awareness of the conflict it's creating within you as a springboard to help you leap out of those scary scenes from your past into the safety of the present moment. Then, instead of giving yourself back over to those inner voices of conflict that are still trying to converse with you, remain aware of yourself in the present moment, and of their continuing beckoning presence.
No matter how many times you hear in your mind those fighting words that have always prompted you to jump into that dark dialogue, refuse to join in. Ground yourself in your awareness of the present moment. When you're no longer a captive of your own past, you can recognize its ghost voices as the source of psychic intrusion they really are. Learn to ask for a happy, new life by refusing to relive what's been tearing at you.
Excerpted from Design Your Destiny
Question: What is it in me that wants to re-live painful moments from my past, and what's it going to take for me to break through to totally present living? Is there a way to live in the present so that painful regrets over what is past will not be part of my future?
Answer: In order to let go of any painful past condition -- so there is never again a moment where regret or sorrow is pulling us down -- we must allow every movement, each unexpected event encountered, every thought and feeling – no matter its character -- to have its own life. If we will attempt to view life from this new and higher understanding – that everything under the sun, from thoughts to thunder, has its own birth, life and death -- then one day we will come to the relief-filled realization that the reason any part of our painful past persists is because there is something in us that won't let it die out naturally. Any lingering sadness is an unnatural life-form kept breathing by the false self's reluctance to let it go.
Every present moment is always new, and new is always right now. Now is constantly shedding the old. You need only observe any living system to see the beauty and significance of starting over -- over and over and over. If anything in life fails to shed the old, it quickly stagnates. A spring that stops replenishing its new waters soon turns dank and sour. This powerful principle is never so true as when it pertains to human life. It is a scientific fact that the you who is reading this sentence right now will not be the same you that finishes it!
If you could realize and enter into that true quality of life where there is an entirely New You every moment, it would mean that with every single heartbeat you would be free from any possible heartache that might have preceded it. In this New Life, every relationship begins for the first time over and over again. Every discouragement is over right now. Every challenge, every difficulty is shouldered only in its time and is never carried forward or looked back upon with regret.
The wondrous promise of Truth is that if you would only persist in this type of questioning about what it is within you that keeps you from living in the present, nothing in the universe can stop you from leaving the painful past behind and breaking through to a New You.