One of our most importation life lessons is letting go. Many of the great wisdom traditions teach us letting go is an integral part of finding inner peace. In my own life I know I am much happier when I can let go. I know one of my greatest life lessons is letting go of the past. Holidays bring up memories of the past, no matter what Holiday you celebrate. For many of us this season brings up magical, wonderful memories. We can also have an association with painful memories. Maybe as I have experienced, you have lost loved ones or had family who had issues with addiction. Perhaps it was family dramas that impacted past Holiday memories.
“When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.” Gerald G. Jampolsky
I took the gallup poll StrengthFinders test and my number one trait is context. Balcony or helpful – has a robust historical frame of reference, learns lessons from the past, knows how things came to be, can leverage knowledge of the past. Basement or things to watch out for – is slow to move and react to change, closed minded, lives in the past. Many of us have issues with releasing the past. I tend to live in the past.
This test really helped me understand some of my quirks. Like when I was a kid if something bad happened (like falling down and scraping a knee) I would never want to wear the outfit I had on again. Alas, my parents did not have the means to let me throw out perfectly good clothes. I would have to wear the dreaded outfit which made me think of the past negative event all day. Context also worked when good things happened. I had a lucky turquoise fake fur vest I wanted to wear every day and night. Something good happened in it once and I was sure I would have a fantastic day when I put it on. Actually, due to the the law of attraction, I always had a pretty good day when wearing it.
How do we let go of the past? I personally focus on the good rather than bad memories from my past especially this time of year. I was the youngest at Holiday family gatherings. In that role I got to hand out all the presents. I was told this was a great honor, so at five years old, I felt extremely important. My grandmother had an aluminum Christmas tree. We got to “pop” the branches out, it was awesome! It was also meditative to sit and watch the colored lights spin around it. What are your treasured memories of the Holidays or the past in general? Release the past by doing new things. I now host a big brunch early in December and a Chinese New Year party. This has given me some wonderful memories and fun new traditions. The best way I have found to release the past is through meditation. When I connect to that essence of myself that is pure love and light, I can let the past go at least for a while. When I need to release the past, I also use what I call song therapy. I play the song I am Light by India Arie. I play it a lot, over and over, because I don’t alway get it the first time. These are the words that really help me.
“I am not the things my family did
I am not the voices in my head
I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside
I am Light
I am not the mistakes I have made
or any of the things that caused me pain
I am not the pieces of the dream I left behind”
In January the topic will be letting go of attachment to the future.