Overcoming a difficult past.

The importance of staying in the present.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ju On on Unsplash

Everybody has a past, which may contain memories of difficult times.

One of the most challenging tasks to accomplish is to be completely rid of the baggage of the past. We need not erase all memories of the past. They can continue to exist. They will not trouble us as long as we don’t invest our awareness in them. Memories trap the mind’s energies, which makes the mind weak. The more we dwell on the past, the less we engage with the present. The past will then return as the future. The bruises and wounds we carry from the past will project pain on future experiences, thereby contaminating the future.

One of the most challenging tasks to accomplish is to be completely rid of the baggage of the past.

Memories of the past can be heavy or light, depending on our emotional investment into them. For example, we make an investment today, which promises a fixed rate of return. Assuming we don’t touch the principal, in due course, what is due to us will be significantly more than our initial investment.

When we fully engage with the present, we free up the mind’s energies. The past will gradually thin out, and what will remain is only its essence.

Our present carries the essence of our past. In this sense, casting the memory of the past aside will not be a loss. Furthermore, there is a record of it somewhere in the mind, and we can return to it if there is an absolute need for a recollection.

With time, what we experience as the present will recede into the past. As this happens, the future begins to sprout. We may forget much of our past, but those experiences lie somewhere in the mind just like a giant tree with a vast network of roots below the ground. Just as it is difficult to remove the extensive network of roots intertwined underground once a tree dies, it is hard to remove the past, which forms the ‘root system’ of the mind.

One way to overcome the past through acceptance and understanding is to think of the past as ‘dead roots.’

We don’t water the dead roots of a plant, and even if it continually rains, those dead roots will not be able to use that rainwater. But, a seed will quickly sprout and thrive. The present is like a seed, within which is immense potential. It also contains the future. Every time we think of the past, we are watering dead roots and taking that water from the seed of the present, which holds tremendous potential.

The present is like a seed, within which is immense potential. It also contains the future.

Emotional energy is best invested in the present. However, we must take care not to let thoughts interrupt and trap that flow of emotional energy. There is always the danger of that energy turning into stagnant pools like those that remain with memories.

The past is a dead end. The road to the future is not yet ready. What we have is only the present.

The mind’s energies, when it circulates in the present, takes the form of love, compassion, forgiveness, etc. These are ‘light emotions,’ which readily flow with the present. They are like leaves floating on the surface of a river. Love is not a thing of the past; it is here now. Its power manifests in the present. The same goes for compassion and forgiveness.

A difficult past usually contains repressed emotions that are trying to come to the surface.

Rocks on the bottom of a river bed have little or no chance of going downstream. But leaves are easily carried by the current of flowing water. Life is like a flowing river. We get left behind when we dwell in the past.

The choice is ours. Flow with life or stay with the past; we cannot do both.

When we invest our mind’s energies in the present, we cannot get ahead of ourselves and run towards the future or fall behind, stuck to the past. A flowing river meets less resistance as it gets bigger and holds more water. Likewise, the more we flow with the present, the more mental energy we have at our disposal.

Physician I Poet I Transformational Philosophy - Free awareness and its power to transform. www.intoawareness.org. Learn more- amazon.com/author/seshadri

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store