Many spiritual leaders, sages, therapists, say, “If you want to live happily, stop bothering about the past and the future and live in today.” But, as a seeker of life, I disagree. I feel our past and future is an integral part of our existence.
Let me explain this to you — your past doesn’t only mean, what you did two or 10 years back; your past is even a minute back. If you are reading this article is it not important for you to remember your past or think what was written in the previous line to correlate the meaning? Similarly, if you take a cab, will you do so without deciding where you wish to go? Do you simply sit in the cab and say, “I live in the present moment and I shall not think about the future, so let me see where this cab takes me.” You’ll surely be taken for a ride then!
I believe, if you really want to have a blissful life, you need to learn from your past and create a gift for future. For that, you do need to work on your past and create your future. As an example, I’ll share the story of one of my client, Rashi aged 22. When she came to me, she was completely broken because she was molested by a stranger and for her, her entire motivation to live was over. I ask you, could she forget the past without working with it or on it? When we spoke, I asked her to first revisit the entire situation and sub-consciously made her go through the entire event once again. One of the things I made her do was re-script the entire event. In her mind I made her replay the episode and made her feel empowered to see how she would have handled this situation, if it were to occur sometime. While at it, she started moving her hands and legs frantically, as if she's hitting someone.
When she was done, I asked her, “What exactly happened?” “I thrashed that guy and made him run for his life,” she said.
“What is it that you learn from the event, now that you’ve relived it?” I asked and she replied, “Maybe, if I knew certain self-defense techniques, I wouldn’t have gone through the rape in the very first place!”
That is when she told me, she had got a chance to learn Karate in school but she thought, it’s a ‘Man’s’ thing. I asked her, “What is one gift that you’d want to give to your future self?” and to my surprise, she instantly replied, “What if I can learn it now and take this to every girl of the country.”
After a month of working with me, Rashi enrolled herself to a Martial Arts programme and today, after three years, she’s a martial arts teacher to over 300 girls and has opened four centres all over India.
So, do you think, if she wouldn’t have worked with her past, she would have had any motivation for tomorrow? Could anything give her the peace of mind today? It is her past, which gave her the learning for today and motivated her to create the future of her dreams, not only for herself but thousands of other girls in the country.
Similarly, I request all of you to write one event, with all the details, that was not to your liking in the year 2016 — an event which pulled you down or made you sad. Once you’ve done that, read and play the entire event in your mind. At the end of it, try to think of what the learning is for you through this event.
On another page, write down your plans for the year 2017 and the challenges you may face in executing your plans. At the bottom of the page, write down the learning you got from 2016. You will notice, the catalyst for all your plans and the solution to your challenges would be the learning you've received this year. The learning from this year 2016 shall be a gift for you in year 2017.
Your past is a part of you- do not ignore it. Accept it, learn from it, create the gift of life through it, and let it go.
The writer is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner