Banish The Past – I wondered about the subject for the start to the new year. The beginning of any journey is focused on the destination: not the place of departure. Therefore, we should consider ways to look to the future; leaving the past behind.

Some years ago I worked with a client who seemed to be locked into the past. Of course, I am bound not to write about specific details. However, there is no breach of confidence by writing the problem was one of betrayal. Not an uncommon situation, indeed, most of us will be let down during life.

Betrayal can anchor its victims to the past. Therefore, there is no future. To begin to deal with a history related issue, there is a need to accept nothing can be changed. Once an act has occurred, it becomes a memory of fact. 

However, we could consider facts of the past can become distorted. The distortions being far away from the actual occurrence. To evidence, this, ask a friend or relative to recall a day out or one of the life moments which was shared. There is every possibility your recollection differs from your friends. No need to concern yourself: failure of the memory to recollect the past with accuracy is normal: although rarely accepted. Distortion is an essential aspect of how the unconscious aspect of the mind functions.

Without the ability to distort the information held in our minds it would be impossible to be creative. Creativity is seeing situations, projects and plans from differing points of view. The difficulty is, our creative imagination is an active part of the memory. Therefore our recollections of an event can be slightly inaccurate.

This is something of which we should all be aware. Distortion surrounds our whole life. For example, Some people believe one side of an argument and others who do not, even though the facts are available for more specific choices to be made. If you consider that we can easily ‘fool ourselves’ you could find it to be an advantageous knowledge when dealing with choices and making correct decisions. You simply ask the question “Am I fooling myself? Is this accurate? Have I assessed the whole situation? or Do I really need this item? I am sure you now realise we do fool ourselves into making poor choices!

During my work teaching clinical hypnosis great care is taken to guide students on how to settle old issues. Restrictive problems which anchor the client to the past are common in our work. It is important not to dismiss the restriction as a past which cannot be changed. How we work is to give the client an alternative way of looking at their history. The trick is to learn to see the anchored problem as of no use or benefit. We guide the mind not to why the situation happened. We consider the alternative of how the situation benefits our life? This shift of awareness has powerful implications. If we ask how should I consider a situation which is a millstone around our existence: the answer must be “The millstone is of no benefit”. 

Seeing as we already considered a common issue. One of betrayal, let us think about how to deal with the memory and move on to the future. Before any betrayal, there must be trust. We will never be let down by someone we do not trust. The explanation is, people who cannot be believed or liked will not be trusted with our love, emotions, help or wealth. 

Therefore for betrayal to occur, there must be an element of trust involved. And if there is betrayal, there must be a misjudgment. It is the weakness of misjudgement which is often the unseen issue. How so? The answer is easily recognised “People do not like to be wrong”. We are angry with ourselves for making the mistake failing to see the reality of the individual or situation.

If we are let down by someone most often we focus on their actions: not the cause of our pain. You may say “The betrayal is the cause of the pain” and I will reply “The probability is we are angry with our own inability to assess the person. It is possible we allowed ourselves to be fooled or deceived. It is possible we thought we were in control and the betrayal has demonstrated a weakness in intuition.”

You may have said or listened to someone say “How could I have allowed this to happen?” It is probable you have said this to yourself. The sentence is a confirmation of my previous suggestions. And the statement should be considered as one of the minds best teachers because we do allow adverse situations to happen. This is a natural part of life learning. It is no use blaming people who are part of a negative issue or even blaming non-existent entities. The certainty is: we are aware of everything we do at all times. We know the right and wrong of situations. We allow things to happen because we ignore the consequences of taking chances or not asking enough questions. Or we allow ourselves to self deceive or distort the evidence: this is known as taking a chance.

Accept that life is full of unfair situations. Agreed, sometimes the circumstances are beyond our control. For example, We could work ten hours a day and give everything to a company, and the promotion worked for is taken by a new employee. A person may provide everything into a relationship, and it still fails. Unfairness and injustice is part of life, we either accept this truth or moan and gripe about situations beyond our control.

You could comment: 

“Your suggestion; that we are fully aware of all situations is flawed. The office worker gave tens of hours to the business, and was not promoted: It is not his fault, and he was not aware this could happen.”

The answer is threefold and a valuable lesson:

One: he believed the promotion would be his: Two: he was lead to believe he would be rewarded for his efforts. In either situation, he has ‘made an assumption’ which turned out to be inaccurate. Three: He must accept what has happened or become anchored to a negative whirlpool which will drown his future.

Therefore:

Assumption or a promise of reward cannot be certain. Yes, most times we will not be let down. Usually, people fulfil their obligations. However, when we are let down, the issue can anchor the individual to the past and restrict the future. It is beneficial to accept the way life is and know hurdles will restrict our path. We either jump over the barrier or knock it down: either way we move into the future. Allowing the hurdle to block our path keeps us away from unseen and possibly beneficial situations ahead in time.

Situations which become anchors and hold us back from living a fruitful life need to be closed. There is every possibility someone anchored to the past will revisit the situation many times. Breaking the anchor’s chain can be difficult. However, here is one method which is practical and permanent. 

Sit and relax imagine an open place — a park or somewhere within nature. Now look ahead of you, and this is the future, and behind you is the past. Behind you is the past: this is an accurate thought. There is no way to change a problematic issue. It is either accepted or not. It is either a lesson or an excuse for not living today and enjoying the future and working for security. Do you wish to agree we could learn useful lessons or do you prefer to use excuses for failure?

Even though you are sitting: time is still passing and time should not be wasted. Think about what happens when our time is spent. A daily chore still has to be done; a plan is set back, an objective is still a long way to completion. This is a valid thought. Life is indeed ahead of you, and to some degree it is unknown. Some people are afraid of the unknown, others are not, those who relish the future are prepared for hurdles and setbacks, they accept life can be unfair. This is the mindset of the successful.

Do you wish to enjoy the mindset of successful people or live in the darkness of something which can not be changed? This is your choice: No one can decide for you. Which would be the best choice? Learning lessons, and enjoying the future or staying in the unchangeable past, in a trap which holds you back? 

Take some time to think about this mediation and revisit it many times. It is the beginning of a new year. There are hundreds of days ahead of you. Most will be good; some will test the strength of the inner being, this is fine and normal and acceptable. What would happen if you talk to your inner person and agree to be happy? What happens if you choose to accept the past and relish the unknown future? The truthful answer does not involve ‘excuses’ or ‘negative replies’. The correct answer is: if you agree to be happy you should accept there is hard work ahead. Rain will fall, things will break, problems will occur, and this is the way of life, and life is as good as your actions and words.

John Richardson

During my Clinical Hypnosis courses, pupils are taught many ways to help clients ‘review and renew’ their lives. The course is full of powerful life-enhancing tools which can be used every day and in many situations. Contact me for further information about the course and how it can change your life personally, professionally and forever.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Your comments make so much sense, John! No doubt it is very hard for most people to ‘banish the past’. We are so often held back by all sorts of dark clouds, guilt etc!

    I am certain your great knowledge and experience in clinical hypnosis helps people struggling with those churning feelings.
    I congratulate you on your successes and would encourage anyone reading this article to trust knowledgeable John Richardson and let themselves be guided by him and his caring therapy.

  2. Being aware of a problem is the first step, tackling it is the next step. I am learning John’s new course in hypnotherapy and while the ultimate aim is to help others work their work through their own issues it is providing an opportunity to self heal. John is brilliant.

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