I’ve learned that one of the main reasons people talk poorly about their past is because their present life isn’t working. For most people, living in the safety and comfort of the known past is a lot safer than stepping out into the unknown future. Living in the past also validates all of the traumas and betrayals we’ve had in our life, not to mention it makes for a great excuse why we haven’t been able to change. What most people don’t realize, however, is that when we excuse ourselves for someone or something, we give away our power to that person, thing, or event in the past, and as a result, we give away our power and ability to change.

Let’s face it, we’ve all had traumas, shocks, and betrayals in our life which have created strong emotional charges. It makes sense then that the stronger the emotional reaction you have to someone or something, the more you pay attention to the cause. When something with such a strong emotional quotient occurs in our life, the brain freezes the scene and takes a snapshot of the event. Now the picture becomes holographically embossed in our neural circuitry. This is the normal process of how a long-term memory is created. Our problems begin when we continuously think and feel within the boundaries of that past experience’s circuitry and feel within the chemicals of that past emotion. When we think and feel for long enough within the confines of the event’s neurochemistry, it ultimately becomes our state of being. That’s because how we think and how we feel becomes our state of being.

So if you wake up in the morning and start to think about your problems, the moment you think about the memory of that problem, you’re thinking in the past. Since each memory has an emotion associated with it, the moment you feel that emotion, the body is now in the past. Because thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings are the language of the body, now your brain and body are completely in the past. As a result, when you feel unhappy, frustrated, sad, or deflated from the memories of your problems, your body doesn’t know the difference between the real life event or the memory that is creating those emotions. Thus, if those negative emotions are driving your thoughts, and you can’t think greater than how you feel, you are thinking in the past. As your feelings become your means of thinking, you create more of your past.

This is when people may say to you, “Why haven’t you changed? Why are you so sad?” And you’ll say, “I’m this way because of this person or this event.” When you say such things, you become a victim of your life because you’re unconsciously stating a person, thing, or event is controlling how you think and feel. If your thoughts and feelings create your reality, you keep reaffirming and recreating the same reality. So, how do we break the cycle?

As I said, the main reason why we wallow in all those emotions is because our life isn’t working in the present. If our life is not working, there’s a strong possibility that we are feeling similar emotions from the past, and naturally the brain recalls the strongest past event (or events) that created those emotions in the first place. Then we are tempted to talk about and romance the events equal to those particular emotions. People only go back to their past, analyze it, and feel those old emotions when their life isn’t working. When your life is working, you don’t have an issue with your past because you’re not stuck in that emotional cycle. For this to happen, you have to get beyond yourself far enough to make a break from that some thing to turn it into a no thing. I can tell you from experience, I have had betrayals and traumas in my life, but none of it matters in the present moment when my life is working. Without those experiences, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

If you get to that point where you love your life and who you are, then none of the past matters, or if it does, it exists as a delivery mechanism to be who you are today. With that said, here are some practical tips to free yourself from the past:

  • Write down your negative thoughts, behaviors, speech patterns, and the emotions that you’re no longer going to live by. Every day review them to the point where they are so familiar to you that you catch yourself from going unconscious. Now you are leaving the known and stepping into the unknown.
  • Write down the new thoughts (that’s the unknown) you do want to fire and wire in your brain and take some time every day, with all of your attention and intention, to consciously fire and wire them in your brain until they become more known.
  • Each day rehearse the behaviors you’re going to demonstrate in your life. That means close your eyes and in a relaxed state, begin to install the neurological hardware of how you’re going to be during the day. This primes your brain into the future, instead of living in the past.
  • Every time you meditate, teach your body emotionally what your future is going to feel like—and don’t get up until you feel like that person. If you keep doing this, your past will fall away.

The bottom line is, do the work every day and do it with passion. Don’t make your meditations about that person, thing, or event in the past that holds you prisoner—make it about your future self who is free of their past. If you do this long enough, you will wake up in your new life as your future self in the present moment. Then, for once and for all, your past will finally be your past—and you will bless it because it brought you to the precious present moment.