“Yesterday is just as over as the Peloponnesian War” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
This week, a few more thoughts on moving past pain and failure.
In my last post, I surprisingly found myself writing candidly (and with no small amount of trepidation) about one of my rather spectacular failures and how I eventually moved past it in some unexpected ways. Writing about that painful experience on a blog for all the world to see was harder than I imagined. It brought back feelings that I had internalized in all of the nooks and crannies of my mind.
But it was also incredibly liberating.
We all tend to take our mistakes and failures, our shortcomings, the things we wished we’d said, and those we regret saying, and we store them. For lawyers, that can be the case that didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped, the motion we lost, the challenging or unhappy client. When a new situation arrives, we play those old recordings to inform our understanding of the present. “This is what always happens.” “I never say the right thing.” “Nobody ever understands me.” “I’ll never succeed.”
In his beautiful New York Times Bestselling book The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer writes about various spiritual traditions and the energy flow of the heart that is described in some as “Shakti, Spirit, and Chi.” Singer posits that this energy flow can be cut off when the heart is closed by what he calls the “stored, unfished energy patterns from your past.” These stored energies from the past become impediments to living today. They prevent us from living in the “now.”
This idea may not be for everyone (though I certainly recommend the book and suggest visiting Singer’s website: www.untetheredsoul.com), but if you’ve ever found yourself “reliving” an unpleasant event from your own past, a delicate interaction with another person, or perhaps watching someone else react to an experience today that triggers a prior painful experience, the reality of which Singer writes appears correct: We tend to absorb and hang on to the energy from past experiences.
Therefore, letting negative energy and experiences simply pass through you as they arrive (as Singer writes about), or at a minimum, consciously letting them go later, is absolutely necessary to fully live in the now and embrace the future.
Years ago, I stumbled across Dr. Wayne Dyer’s observation “Yesterday is just as over as the Peloponnesian War.” Though from time to time, I’ve indeed failed to remind myself of that reality, I’ve never forgotten the quote and the idea. The past is the past. It’s over.
Storing the energy of past negative experiences prevents us from opening our lives to the possibility of today. It traps our minds in the unfulfilling experience of reliving history, searching for a different outcome, or confirming our worst assessments of ourselves.
So maybe it’s time to let go of what’s trapped you in the past and embrace the possibility of the beautiful and meaningful experiences that live beyond it in the now.
Isn’t that worth a try?