Should you move on from your past?
AKA: Should you leave your past behind?
My stepson is losing his appendix as I write this, Monday night. Last night (Sunday), Beth’s phone rang. We were watching Parks and Recreation.
The phone. Answered. Itself.
For no reason, it just picked up. I hadn’t even touched it yet.
“I guess I was meant to get that call.” she said.
So tonight, stepson loses a body part that, for all practical purposes, he no longer needed. It was inflamed, infected, and needed to go. Moving on will be relatively easy for him because he has people to share his experience with, because the technology is so advanced, and because he has the conscious capacity to be with his fears.
Just today, I did a mindbody process for myself called ‘parts integration’ around something from 25 years ago. A pattern was troubling me in the present, holding me back, about my desire for one thing and rejection of another. The pattern matched something old in my life. Something primal. That old thing in my life still brought up pain in my heart, contraction in my belly, and resistance in my mind.
After the parts integration work, which took 20 minutes, I was able to think of those old memories without pain in my heart. Without contraction. Hours later, I had created a FB Live, supported two people, and was feeling quite prolific!
Something shifted, and that’s just another beginning of something new.
Moving on beyond that pattern will be easier now than it had been.
My clients, let’s call her Susan (name changed to protect the awesome), wanted to feel worthy of a really great partnership. We did a session for her in which, looking at San Francisco skyline, she took the time to be aware of what it was like to be IN the world. It felt confining.
She then took the time to notice what it felt like to be OUT of the world. It felt lonely.
Finally, she explored what it was like to be WITH the world. All her desires, needs, wants, WITH the chaotic order that is our society.
(Words matter. How you relate to yourself matters. Your experience matters, and set you up for success that matters.)
Susan felt at peace. She felt the grief and joy of herself and a natural optimism swelled within her. She noticed she didn’t have to leave anything behind, and she didn’t have to chase her dreams.
Instead, she realized how she was already living her dreams, being who she always wanted to be. When she recognized that, she knew in her bones she was attractive to a worthy partner, a next career, new friends, and even though she was so far from her original home, she felt deeply at home. Within a week, she was gifted tickets to burning man and a few other great surprises.
Let’s move on
If you’re human :) there is very likely a set of patterns that ‘hold you back’ and cause self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors. You could tell a story about them, and when you do, it just makes sense.
When you try to leave those patterns and stories behind, it hurts. It doesn’t make logical sense why it hurts, but try it, and you’ll feel it.
When you try to leave your past behind so you can move on, you’ll find you’re more loyal to it than you thought you were. It’s like you’re stuck, sort of.
It can be one thing to think about being a bigger and better version of yourself, and another to step into it while moving past the past.
That’s the problem.
The problem is that what’s in your past, even if it hurts, has made you become who you are. It has made you become the person you needed then.
Of you ignore it, you do so at your peril.
If you embrace it, warts and all, you do so for your fullness.
Who you are now is more than the sum of all your past parts.
So leaving it all behind so you can move on can feel like you’re ripping your heart apart, yet we need to move on and beyond who we’ve been…
How do we have both?
Think about this: it’s said that who you are now won’t get you where you want to be because you need to change to get to where you want to go. That you need to change.
BS. No thanks.
I live from this alternative view, and when I do, and my clients do too, magic tends to happen: who you are is the only person who can get you where you want to be.
Who are you now that gets you where you want to be?
That insight might be all you need.
But let’s dive deeper for the fun of it, okay?
There are three stories about who you are that CAN get you to where you want to be.
They are the three stories arcs you’re already embodying. A story arc is a part of the story that has a discreet beginning and discreet end. Usually it’s about a particular change in your life. Like your terrible two’s: that was a story arc. It started, it ended, and you moved on.
The first two story arcs are important. You’ve totally seen them in movies and tv, and of course, in your life.
The third story arc, however, may blow your mind open big enough for all your heart.
The first story is the Positive Arc. this is everything about how you’re changing yourself by reaching for your dreams, growing, evolving, learning. Think: Luke in Star Wars, the hero. Think: your teenage years that you survived.
The second story is the Negative Arc: this is everything about how you’re changing for the worse, withdrawing from what you want, devolving into a smaller of yourself, immersed in low self esteem, doubt, harm. Think: Walter White in Breaking Bad, the anti-hero. Think: your teenage years you don’t want to tell anyone about ;)
For more details on the three arcs, watch this video.
You and I have lived both of these kinds of stories. You may not want to TELL them or ADMIT them, but I bet you a cherry-filled donut that you’ve experienced them. We manifest the fear we resist, and we manifest the greatness that is ours to be.
But there’s a third story arc, and I think it might be the most important one regarding moving on. It’s called the Flat Arc, which is about how you DON’T CHANGE, but those around you do. This the the space of your genius, your gifts, your gold. I find this for clients, and it’s often hiding behind the positive and negative story arcs of their lives. The flat arc is about what you know, what you bring to the world, that is unbreakable and unbroken, that is whole, complete, and good. It’s the source of your positive impact.
Here’s the magic question to tap you into the good you do:
What is it about you that, as it does not change, changes the world for the better?
Go to town with this question.
I mean, it’s that powerful.
Could it allow your life to re-orient you away
from suffering and toward authentic success?
Could it relax you from the stress and struggle
into the ground of feeling safe and secure?
What is it about you that, as it does not change, changes the world for the better?
This points to what you bring to the table, to the world, that doesn’t change. It is your heart and soul. It is the embodiment if the kind, good, loving, essential qualities that you have in abundance. It is also where sessions with me takes you so that you get it and your value makes sense. Revealing this magic, more magic happens. With the magic question above, you can touch your own wisdom by asking the question.
When I shared this question on Facebook, and one fascinating woman replied:
“mmmmmm, good question. I want to find out! I have some guesses (about myself), but not sure I landed on ‘it…’”
So I said:
“Hearing that, I’m inspired to say: play with those guesses like they’re entrances to labyrinths, rather than exits, and maybe they’ll take you to the heart of it :). Then it becomes a vast conspiracy of wonderful ‘its’ that relaxes your body, and you’ll know you’re there. Then you’re where M Williamson talks about being powerful beyond measure.”
Let’s wrap this up and move on
When it comes to leaving the past behind, it’s going to seem like you’re leaving part of you behind. That will feel painful, and shows you that you don’t actually need to discard you.
Instead, there’s beauty and wonder and goodness in NOT leaving any of you behind, but by being present to all of you, the whole of you, the unbrokenness of you.
You move on from the past by being more present. Part of what’s present is your pain, and part of it is your joy. Both can be difficult to accept, so people resort to the pain the know instead of the joy they don’t yet have.
What if you get to have the joy of what’s happening right now, and that gives you the energy to face whatever is coming your way?
What if you get to embrace the joy of the sun, the moon, and the dance of your darkness?
What if you didn’t have to do what scares you, but you got to be what makes your fears your superpowers?
Ready to Be Epic?
I’ve shared some videos and inspiration for recognizing what’s epic about you already, so you can let the rest go.