I carry hidden guilt from past actions. I react in the present to hurts that are years old. I put expectations on today's experiences that are driven by events from my childhood. I revert to the feelings of a five year old in an instant when I am scolded, or when someone I love is brooding.
I cannot change the past, not yesterday, not a conversation from this morning, and not decisions that I made twenty years ago. I want to let it be, but it rules me from underground. It bubbles up and creates disturbance in me, and mistrust. It is a running program in my software. I want to shut it down, turn it off, be set free.
But freedom from the past, I am learning, is not pretending that something didn't happen, or ceasing to feel the effects of hurts and hardships, stupidities and errors. Freedom comes in acknowledging with honesty what has happened; having a sense of humor about it all, and a sense of compassion. I tend to resist my inner response to life whenever it is uncomfortable. I vigorously try to snap myself out of it, to not feel fragile, or reactive, or upset.
I'm going to let myself be where I am today, to honor my past by letting it teach me how it rules me; to look with curiosity at the ways it colors my vision, and to become willing to clearly see. Pretending that the past can be completely let go is like pretending a scar on my body will disappear if I wish it away. The scar is part of me. I must integrate it and own it. I must wear it with courage and confidence. It shows that I have lived.
Today I choose to let the past be part of me, and to recognize that it effects everything I do,
and that's ok. It all goes towards making me who I am.