Have you ever considered what you carry with you from year to year? How heavy is your suitcase of memories?
As I was meditating the other day a message came to me very strong and clear. You can’t punish someone for what other people have done to you in the past. I used to carry a very heavy suitcase filled with memories of the rights and the wrongs people had done to me. As I progressed through the Voyage to HEAL, I emptied that suitcase of memories and offered a lot of forgiveness. There are still a few memories in that suitcase that tend to haunt the present and keep me from fully offering love to my highest potential. Sadly, I drag this around and base my present-day reactions on the events in that suitcase. This is my ghost of years past.
I am living in the present though, not the past. So that suitcase needs to be emptied. If I want a joyous future and I want harmony in all of my relationships, I cannot keep carrying around memories that no longer apply to my present-day life. I cannot use those memories as a defense to emotionally project my hurts and insecurities on people that remind me of previous events or people.
Think of this. Are you the same person today as you were 10, 20, 30 years ago? Most definitely not! You have grown. You have matured. You have wisdom. You have confidence. The things that once bothered, hurt, or offended you have shifted. Hopefully, you are much more tolerant and understanding with years of compassion training as you experienced life’s ups and downs. Each event we experience should make us more sympathetic and empathetic of others. If you have become hardened and bitter, you may have to empty your suitcase.
How do you empty your suitcase of years past? Start literally by writing past hurts on a piece of paper and putting it in a suitcase. Put one a can of food in the suitcase for each piece of paper you add if you really want to feel the weight. Then lug that around for an entire day. Afterward, take those pieces of paper out of the suitcase and tear them up. Burn them if you have a safe place to do so. If you do not have a safe place to burn them, tear them up, and throw them in the garbage. Then light a candle or stand by a light. Release these events by saying, “I give these memories up to the universe. They no longer serve me and I will not allow them to direct my behavior. I free myself of these memories. I am free.” Keep telling yourself that you are free.
When someone begins to bother you, remind yourself that they are not the cause of your desire to respond negatively. You are free from the ghost of years past. You live in the present. Act in love.
When the past becomes the present, progression is impossible.
Living in the present moment makes every day a new day and allows great things can happen.
Voyage to HEAL Weekly Task
Stretch: Let’s pull out that foam roller and lay with it along the spine. If you do not have a foam roller, use a rolled-up beach towel. Keep your knees bent. Now shift your position to be diagonally on the foam roller. Let your gaze be up or down whichever feels most comfortable. Straighten the leg on the diagonal as shown in the picture. Say to yourself, “I am free”. Envision a beautiful light coming out of your heart. Give yourself permission to love and trust.
Exercise: Grab those cans of food or weights, activate your core, hold your arms with elbows bent, and squat. Try to sit back in a chair and stand up before touching down. Do this 6-10 times 3 times a day. Don’t forget to breathe.
Habitual Correction: I recently noticed that when I sit in a chair with my kids on my lap, I will point my toes and put my heels on the leg of the chair. This can sometimes become a habit for people so they never put their feet flat on the floor while sitting. Doing this continuously will shorten the calf muscles and make raising your toe up while walking more difficult. So, try not to point your toe down and rest your heel on a chair all the time while you sit.
Perspective Enlightenment: I give myself permission to live in the present. I free myself of the ghost of years past.
Journal option: What is in your suitcase of memories?
This week’s blog post coincides with week 5 and 6 of the Voyage to HEAL which focuses on forgiveness. I encourage you to listen to this meditation as you hold the stretch. I would love your thoughts on this post. This is a time of immense spiritual growth for me which means I am eager to learn and share ideas. Please feel free to comment in the space below.
Godspeed on your Voyage to HEAL learning Healthy Everyday Activities for Life.