The heart of so many mystical disciplines is “Stay fully present.” Learn to keep your spirit fully in focus, so that you know where “all of you” is at all times. Such a profound truth is one that the mind cannot grasp, because the intellect cannot get to this place called “now.” Only a soul can travel there. While it may sound easy to say, “Just detach and get on with your life,” there is nothing easy about it. Holding your consciousness in present time is the equivalent of entering a different but parallel dimension of reality.
The need to settle our unfinished business with the past is far more than just a psychological or emotional healing ritual; it is also a deep need of the soul that affects our ability to heal. Simply put, holding on to the bitter parts of your past - recent or distant - is like carrying credit card debt that incurs an ever-increasing interest rate.
You can’t heal, because you are still more in the past than in the present; in effect, the past is more emotionally and psychically real to you than the now.
It is not that you forget your past. Being in the present more fully than in your past represents where you position your creative power and your primary identity. A time that has come and gone continues to overshadow the present moment.
From the broken heart comes a heart that can recognize and identify with the pain of others. A wound such as that must not be wasted or buried in self-pity, but brought into the light and examined, reflected upon, and used as a lens through which the lives of others are better understood. Such a choice liberates you from the gravity field of a wounded past, which can hold you hostage to unresolved memories and traumas for decades. The consciousness of present time allows you to keep your memories, but they can no longer hold you hostage, so they can no longer drain you of your energy, which inevitably drains you of your health.
The need to let others know you feel entitled to attention because of your pain and suffering is very seductive and releasing the entitlement of the suffering self is more a battle with the shadow of your own pride that it is with anyone else. None of this is easy, but neither is living in the past, which is the equivalent of living in a psychic cemetery where you confer with problematic corpses on a regular basis. To live in the present, the practice of forgiveness is essential. Without forgiveness, you remain anchored in your past, forever in emotional debt.
What you can do:
Here’s one simple method to help you stay in the present: Change your vocabulary. Specifically, give up the use of the following terms and all that they imply: blame, deserve, guilt, fair, fault. If you cut those five words from your vocabulary, both in your private thoughts and in your communication with others, you will notice almost immediately that it is far more difficult to fall into negative emotional patterns. You will also discover how habitual those patterns have become.