How To Digest The Past

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Uplifting MomentsI can hazard a guess that we’ve all had moments that we wished we could erase from our lives, and also moments where we were giddy with happiness.

On balance, we deal with what shows up and file it away as useful, wonderful, or awful.

The past is useful for learning lessons, seeing patterns, and identifying trends. But don’t live there … either in your successes or your failures.  In one, you feel the memory of fulfillment, and in the other you feel the regret.

What happens if you try to hold on to the past? You get indigestion! You get an ache in your soul. How do you use the past instead of allowing it to use you? Digest it!

It’s a meal. Some meals are easier to digest. Some are harder to digest. Either way absorb the best of it and eliminate the rest of it so your body can function in the here and now.

I’ve learned to visit past events long enough to get information, then I bring my attention to this present moment to take action now.

Information born out of experience is a digestive aid that allows you to take a different course today.

The power in using the past is to see it as clearly as possible, unencumbered with excuses, reasons, justifications, defenses, or superlatives about how great it was or how great you were.

Instead, be a silent witness looking with fresh eyes … the eyes of the here and now.

The practice is to be present. Notice what you’re experiencing. Pay attention to what is being revealed. Ask questions. Fix the current problem. Move on.

Resist the tendency to affix blame. If you do, you’ll shut down the ability to be candid about what happened in the best of people. The fastest way to exit the blame game is to take 100% accountability. That will allow you to look into any situation and learn what stays hidden behind a victim point of view, which is the root cause of blame. It can keep you anchored in the past.

One of my colleagues who really got the accountability practice, used to start conversations with me by saying, “It’s not my fault!” We’d burst out laughing, and then own the problem. We digested the problems of the day, used information as the digestive aid to resolve issues, and had no hangover to deal with the next morning. He showed me what’s possible with laughter and a deep, abiding practice to live here now.

Digest the past. All your missteps, embarrassments, and disappointments as well as your successes and breakthroughs create what you are today. The fabric of your life is richer, burning more brightly fueled by the oxygen of what’s possible in this present moment.

My love goes with you as you work with this Uplifting Moment.

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