March 2012 Newsletter – Personal Inventory

“That which you are holding on to today may, in turn, be something holding on to you at life’s end.”

This statement crosses the threshold into a murky area we don’t like to think about or talk about. In the chapter titled Let It Go in Please Dance at My Funeral, A Celebration of Life, this is precisely what is proposed to examine: baggage of unforgiveness, fists clinched with unresolved pain from the past. Ill feelings, scars and wounded emotions follow us all through our lives if we allow it.

In every moment lies the ability to change for a new, more positive experience. It takes courage to release the past, to release the old self, yet we are new every moment, and we can create who we want to be.

Consider, for example, a story told as a teen that involved an untruth concocted to prevent consequences. The repeated telling of the story can so solidify the story as imagined that the mind chooses to believe that versus the factual event. In another example, it is also plausible that ones perspective of a situation may create such a strong sense of victimization that one continues life assuming the role of a victim. Our memories tend to repeatedly call us back to the story, and to our identity at that time.

“If you bring forth that which you have within you, it will save you. If you do not, it will destroy you.”
Gospel of Thomas

The secret is in the recall of those memories that stir emotion. When you enter into the story, the memory, and allow yourself to fully feel the anger, pain, remorse or any other emotion, you then stand in the place of more fully moving from the emotion to a neutralized space. Journaling about what you feel, visualizing a re-write of the outcome, or acknowledging the truth of the situation can expedite the success of this effort. When you can recall the memory and emotion, and feel neutral, you have released that which may otherwise remain baggage stacked around you as you are seeking peace at life’s end. Inviting this process into your life now better ensures a heart and mind without focus on scars and wounds, and empowers you to live each day more fully.

We most often think of the word “liberate” in terms to describe someone being freed from jail, from hostage or from a restraining country. Consider what imposed constraints you currently needed liberated from in order to have a greater sense of freedom. What real or imagined constraints keep you from being the person you want to be? What thoughts and beliefs might restrain you at life’s end?