Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Odyssey into Releasing the Past

Sometimes change comes when we least expect it. For some people it can be an illness, an accident, a divorce, a death of a loved one, getting fired, taking on a new job and raising children to name a few. There are people who find it hard to change because their beliefs have become hardwired in their brains. This is what is called a 'closed mind,' and to open the door to accept change it must be initiated from the closed-minded person.

We can change our minds and our programming by choosing carefully our thoughts and our attitudes. Attitudes carrying blame, shame, guilt, regret, resentment, anger, and jealousy, to name a few are similar to wearing a pair of shoes that pinch because they do not fit, or they are old and worn-out. It is time to discard them. When old attitudes are replaced by open-minded attitudes, our brain becomes like a lotus – opening petal by petal. Doors open in our mind and we now have new experiences and new realizations.

We can do this by becoming detached and observing our attitudes, our thoughts and our reactions when we become aware. Detachment does not mean not caring. Detachment of the old attitudes makes room for caring. The first test run may appear to be a failure; however, with persistence and practice, attitudes do change. We have the mind to do it.

Yes, there is risk to changing. Our family may not understand the new change and often pull at us to return to that part of us that is familiar to them. Friends may drop out of our lives and that is purposeful. There is a part of us that wants to hold on to the past and at times it can seem to be heart wrenching. I can say this because I went through it and am now living a more fulfilled life. This is why I am sharing this information.

Attitudes that attract illnesses and accidents are what I have concluded are the major ones such as blame, shame, guilt, regret, anger, resentment and jealousy, along with judgments. Blame is not taking responsibility for our own choices and actions. It is so easy to blame someone else. When I was raising my three sons, it seemed as though there was a fourth son living in the house and his name was Not Me and fortunately, my sons outgrew Not Me and he moved out of the house. The outgrowth of blame is shame.

Those who are always blaming someone else carry within them a feeling of shame because subconsciously they know they lied. Blame and shame are bedfellows with guilt. One's guilt may not be overt, however it is lurking in the subconscious and the body cells react to this. I know, because I have experienced this. Blame and shame invite another bedfellow that is guilt. Guilt is rampant in the Western world where Christianity is prevalent. The Catholic Church has seen to it that everyone needs to be loaded with guilt. One popular phrase is the sins of the fathers are visited upon their sons a thousand fold and Christianity for the most part has perpetuated this even though there are mixed messages in the Bible. What would be the purpose? To instill fear and from fear comes control. This is how the Church and Christianity have controlled people. Another creation is Satan or the Devil. It is so easy to use this on people in order to keep them in line.

We are guilty if we do and we are guilty if we do not. Is it no wonder why people hang on to guilt and take it to their graves? The four bedfellows spawned by guilt are regret, resentment and jealousy. Regret is to dwell on the past. So many people hash and re-hash the what-ifs. The body cells are aware and listening to these thoughts and conversations creating illnesses in the body. Isn't it time to let go of the past and go forward into the future? These four attitudes and beliefs go hand-in-hand with anger. All of these emotions play havoc on the cells of the body and is it any wonder why there are so many ill people? One only has to go early on a weekday morning, and observe the parking lots in medical centers and hospitals. We have become a nation of sick people.

Why not put on a new pair of shoes – meaning making peace with the past? Why not create a life where we are fulfilled, happy and able to move through hard times with ease? Those who are wise and smart will make choices to change. It may be painful in the beginning, however the prize is health, wealth and satisfaction of a life well lived.

How do we change our attitudes and beliefs? The 12-Step programs have a process called "Taking Moral Inventory." In the inventory, one sheds blame, guilt and regret. This is Step 4. It has helped a multitude of people to release the past. We do not have to use the format of Step 4. The key to changing our attitudes and beliefs is to forgive. Yes, we first forgive our self. Forgiveness is a healthy antidote against sickness. Each of us can take a moral inventory of our self. I wrote about this in Part 2 and I reiterate it here.

Once we can accept that we are not victims and that the frequency of our thoughts and words drew the event to us, we begin healing the past. My father's family lived in the past and as a child, I observed and swore to myself that I would not be like them. I took another path and have had a rich, fulfilled life.

When I become aware that I am angry, resentful or make judgments about people when I really do not know the circumstances, I take inventory and forgive myself. We can also go back to the past and change it. Some years ago, I read a book written by Neville Goddard, popular in the 30's, 40's and 50's of the last century. In his book Imagination, I remember him writing that there was something in his past that he wanted to change, so he went into a deep meditation and imagined a different outcome. It worked.

Recently a friend of mine wrote asking what to do about sleep privation she was having. I wrote back that I am not an M.D., however I suggested the following affirmations:

I always get enough sleep for my body to function healthy. (We can alter this affirmation to fit our own needs.)
I always turn any worries over to my God – my Holy Spirit for resolution.
I let go and let God.

I have learned that when my body is screaming of fatigue to sit in my comfortable chair and I close my eyes and take a very deep breath and while holding it, circulate the breath throughout my body while thinking the word Life. When I release the breath, I think the words, health or wellness. After ten minutes of this, my body is refreshed as if there had been no fatigue.

I have learned that to alleviate my stress and change my own attitudes and beliefs that I must daily be aware of what I think and speak. The frequencies of our words and thoughts do create our life experiences. Part 5 to follow.

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." Henry David Thoreau

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