Does the Past Define Me?

Does the Past Define Me?

​Many people believe that their past defines them.

They are locked into thinking, feeling or acting certain ways because of their overly critical parent, the environment in which they were raised, the circumstances surrounding their childhood, a particular event that happened to them, or the behavioral choices they made over and over again.

This may sound radical, but it is a FALSE belief. It’s a false belief because our experience in this moment doesn’t come from anything outside of us. It can only come via Thought in the moment. Our feelings and self-definition come via thought in the moment, not external circumstances.

It’s not possible for something outside of me to create my feelings now, whether it’s my past, my personality, my children, even the thought constructs I’ve believed until now about myself because of what happened to me in my past.

If all I have is this moment, then what is the past? It is a memory, a thought creation, that flows through my body in this moment and gives me a full blown experience as if something from the past is happening now. But the past is the past. It doesn’t exist now, but for in my thinking.

The only way my past could define me, hold me back or inform my future is via thought in this moment and my belief in any of those ideas. Someone shared with me the gist of line by Dicken Bettinger, “we are not feeling the pain of the event that just happened, but rather the pain of the memory of the thinking that we are having right now.”

The system is designed to reset itself once we awaken to the truth of where our experience is coming from. This awakening, this insight will naturally pop us out of the way we relate to our past.

We don’t need to work on letting go of the past. It will fall off our mind when we see the truth of where our pain is coming from–our thinking. Letting go of the false belief that I am a victim of my past will be a natural by-product of seeing this truth and the beginning of true psychological freedom.

As George Pransky put it, “Memories can ruin your life or just be passing experiences.” The choice is up to you.

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

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with peace of mind.

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