Are you living in the past?
The other day I noticed myself (my Defensive Self) getting very angry and defensive when a biker on the street of New York almost ran me over. I (my Expanded Self) had to dialogue with my Defensive Self and calm her down. She, that part of myself, gets triggered when people are curt, disrespectful, or cruel. It is a reaction that stems from being disrespected and mistreated as a child. So, when I feel (my Emotional Self) mistreated, my Defensive Self reacts with anger. Thank God, I have a very established and nurturing Expanded Self, and I can relax my defensive self. Also, thank God, I have healed the wound of being mistreated and all that is left is some sensitivity.
I am saying all of that to explain how our past can hijack our present and our future. Old, unresolved, emotional imprints sit untreated within our consciousness and color our perceptions and beliefs. They affect our way of being and behaving. The result is, we get stuck in the past, unable to truly and fully be in the present moment. We’re missing on being open, receptive, and in a flowing exchange with life.
These days on the Jewish calendar, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, are days of inner house cleaning. We take an honest look at where we are stuck, what is holding us back, and why and we make new commitments to shift what is necessary and nurture the next level of our spiritual and emotional self-development.
When we don’t do that, we end up with a lot of unnecessary inner baggage. It reminds me of the man I used to see on 23rd street.
My office is located on the 24th Street and 9th Avenue. Most people who walk on the 23rd Street between 7th Avenue and 9th Avenue have noticed an older, homeless man with kind features and long white hair. This homeless man has all his possessions piled into six or seven shopping carts. The carts are little mountains of all kinds of objects: Pillows, blankets, parts of furniture, newsletters, clothing, etc. Everywhere he goes he needs to move his little train of carts with him.
At times, I see him having to move all the carts through a green light. Quite a difficult task indeed. At other times, he has to spread all of the carts along the Avenue so he can manage to get where he's going.
Looking at him, I wondered about the inner baggage that we all carry. Unresolved past experiences, unreleased resentments, judgments, collected concepts, beliefs, ideas that we embrace and internalize without discerning whether they truly belong to us or not. All of that weighs us down and renders us unavailable to truly be where we see things with fresh and unburdened heart and eyes.
Let's clear our inner house on a daily basis and allow our emotions to move through and release themselves. Letting go again and again of whatever constricts, burdens, and limits us. Let's remove objects that we don't need, people and relationships that are not nurturing to us any longer, and concepts that are blocking of us rom living with an open heart.
You’re probably asking yourself, “How do I do this?”. It takes some internal work and self-reflection. Here is a little exercise that can be helpful.
Write 3 things that are preventing you from accepting and loving yourself.
Write 3 things that are preventing you from being focused and forward moving in your work.
Write 3 things that are preventing you from having fulfilling relationships.
When you are looking at the list of all of these things, circle the common elements and these are the things to pay attention to first.
If you’re puzzled as to how to shift these things, schedule a free consultation with me since it’s not always easy to do this kind of transformation by oneself.