Most of us have unresolved issues from the past – hurts, injustices, losses, things we did that we wish we hadn’t done, things we didn’t do that we wish we had done and so on. If we get locked into thinking over and over about these various issues, into ruminating about them in other words, this can rob us of our experience of the present and of our involvement with life as it is now. it can repeat a lot of past pain without really getting as anywhere.
It’s important to remind ourselves to come into awareness of the present moment when we find ourselves lost in these ruminations. That can be done by returning to awareness of the breath or of whatever is going on around us.
Another way to approach it is to become aware of the physical feelings that a past issue brings up. Our emotions have a physical side to them and sometimes the physical side is the strongest part of them.
Only do this if it is something that does not cause you distress. I find it quite helpful myself. Just notice that physical feeling quietly and in a welcoming way, observing it without talking to yourself about it. Perhaps notice where the feeling is in your body how intense it is on a scale of 1 to 5, does it have a shape and does the shape change? Just do it for a few minutes.
Sometimes when you do this you find that the feeling eventually relaxes and if not you can go about your day and you may find some time later that you are feeling better and lighter.
It is well worth finding a way to deal with these unresolvable issues because otherwise you can find yourself imprisoned in the past and missing out on what the present has to offer.
My online course True Friend can help you come to terms with these issues – pay by donation. Learn more
Image by Patryk Sobczak
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