There is often a need to return to a deep memory or experience to help us let go of something painful. We return to graves to feel the presence of a lost loved one. The feeling of loss is like a painful hole in our deepest core of whatever it is that makes us feel whole.
Sometimes we return to a good memory. We might cling to a time where we felt better about the world and ourselves. We want to re-feel those good memories at family reunions, over a drink with an old friend, and still often at funerals to celebrate the goodness of our relationship with a loved one.
An unhealthy way of feeling an experience again is from those times where we felt hurt by another. Or, we might feel guilt or remorse over something we did to hurt another. I am reminded here that shame is another form of anger directed inward. Shame is a way to beat oneself to a pulp over something where I only need to believe I was at fault.
All of these emotions are there to connect us to our experiences on a deeper level. Emotions are tools to relate to the world and each other. But when our emotions hijack our conscious ability to experience what’s happening right now things can get messy. Sometimes it’s like we bring a pole vault stick to jump over mouse shit.
I’ve learned that a little honesty whike talking with a trusted friend can put things in perspective so I can focus on today. Those good times or those loved ones aren’t coming back. What made me angry or remorseful is over. Once I can get honest about where I am today and see what I have in me and around me that is good, I can figure out how to process and relate to my past in a healthy way. If I have a choice to live freely with my past, isn’t it insane to allow my past to enslave me?