The investigation into childhood memories can be both good and bad—both a retrospect of anger, fear and frustration. Hopefully you also have fond memories which include well being and love. All experiences, whether good or bad, shape us into the person we were in the past, who we are in the present, and who we will become in the future. I love the game of poker and surprisingly there is a metaphor to be drawn here. Poker is a challenging game because it requires skill, luck and some psychology. It reminds me of life in many ways. Even with all the skills to navigate this ever changing world, still there is the element of luck and probability. Some things we just can’t control. The game of “Draw Poker” can be frustrating when round after round you keep getting dealt bad cards. Our childhood and distant past are poker cards in the game of life. Many times, our history deals cards that do not help our proverbial chip stack, but in keeping with this playing card metaphor, we always have the opportunity to discard the bad and draw new cards. We can also fold our hand completely if we do not like what has been presented to us. We can reject what has been dealt to us but still have faith that better luck will come.

When we look back on a shadowed past, you and I need to realize that these past childhood issues can be affecting us as individuals on many unseen levels. Everyone has witnessed a myriad of positive and negative experiences that have shaped us to some degree. You must realize, however, that the shadows of the past may be concealing an enigma that is influencing your future and perhaps even the futures of others around you. For me, I noticed that anger and frustration began to surface as an adult and later as a parent. This frustration born from ego and control patterns was directly related to how I was raised as a child. Still, I acknowledged a trigger of awareness. This awareness came when I felt frustrated and angry. I used this as a trigger of mindfulness to stop and not react blindly. I directed my attention to the vastness of my True Nature; a place within us all that is constant and dependable.  Now, I have learned to make space for such control patterns that facilitate anger and frustration. When I realized I was heading down a path of dysfunction, I made a positive change in my actions. Instead of reacting blindly and reinforcing old patterns of behavior, I changed my actions for the better. I broke the chain of dysfunction by connecting to a higher level of awareness. Lets face it, there are some things in the past we just can not change. Still, all our future actions are the key to self-evolution and wellness.

If your feelings and memories feel a little abrasive; if this process feels uncomfortable, then you are heading down the right path. Feeling raw emotions is a level of mindfulness and it is an integral part of the overall process. Think about it, we need to know pain and suffering in order to know the difference between that and pleasure and bliss. Otherwise, how would you differentiate the two? Feeling an abrasive quality as you toy and catalog your past emotions is healthy. Still, please attempt to tie it all into a positive completion of the process. Feel the negative emotions of the past, but then relish in the notion that things will get better. Surrender into your spacious vision that the Universe is not evil – only humans exhibit evil. Find confidence that though the stars at night may be obscured by the clouds, this is only temporary – that clear skies will prevail. Find positive awareness in these emotions and feelings from the past. Understand the past and then move on with only positive will and compassion. A shadowed past does not need to be a disability. Let it be a lesson in the school of life. Learn, love and create new positive energy.

John C. Bader

 

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