Why does the past always have to come back and make you suffer in the present? Is the past always going to be coming back to you? Does your past always haunt you for the rest of your life? Will your past ever stay in the past?
These are such significant questions. There are several layers to all of this.
First of all, all of life has purpose and meaning. Sometimes we get the wrong idea that we’re supposed to live happily ever after. We are supposed to enjoy the gift of life, but it’s not like in the movies—like you solve one challenge and then you’re free to have fun. We do get fun, but we’ll always have the next test too. It’s just part of what makes up this crazy and wonderful life. We’re supposed to grow, and the tests we come up against actually shape us to be better and better. The issue is the way we meet the tests and the way we relate to the issues that come up—including the past.
There are different ways the past comes into the present. If it is through the memory of past events, you can change your thinking to leave the past in the past. There are different ways to do this—it could be that time heals it or it could be that you learn how to release memories that don’t serve you. When a bad memory comes up it could be that you need to face it and tell it head on that it does not have power over you any more. It could be that you need to have a good look at that experience and grab the lessons. The hardest part of making mistakes or having hard things happen in our lives is the way we frame them. An example of that is a woman who felt abandoned by her father. She cried and cried for years until she understood that she would not be the strong woman she was—she learned how to take care of herself in magnificent ways. She found the gift in the pain. There is always a gift in the pain. If you don’t see it yet, be patient.
Another kind of haunting from the past is when you find that the past is repeating, then you have a whole other challenge to find out what is going on: what do you need to learn? Here’s a little example: let’s say someone puts a raw egg on the table and it rolls off, falls on the floor, and then breaks. If she keeps putting another egg in the same place, it will always roll off. She has to learn that she either needs to put the egg in something that won’t roll, or put the egg somewhere else. Lessons will keep repeating until we change. We have to change the way we react to things. For a lot of women this comes in the form of going for the same kind of men (the name and the face change but the relationship stays the same).
The bottom line about difficult memories from the past is that you can actually change the way you relate to them. You can send the images that haunt you in your mind’s eye away when they come up, or you can take the you that is in that memory and make that younger part of you safe right now. Do not under estimate the power of imagination.
Be gentle with yourself and be sure you are surrounding yourself with kindness and strong boundaries. Trust that if you ask a question, the answers will come. We don’t always get the answers when we want them.
These ideas may be something you have to practice. It could work for you on the first time you think about them or the tenth time, but they you will get better and more skilled with practice. We all fall on our faces and then we just have to get up one more time. I know you’ll rise!
Giving is an interesting topic.
Today we'll talk about these kinds of giving:
We can give thanks. Ahhhh, now here's an area that needs no limit. Gratitude is a beautiful thing for opening channels.
There's another kind of giving to think about. Forgiving. We are in a season when many families spend time together. Lots of old hurts can come to the surface. If you can allow yourself a new perspective, perhaps the idea that the person that makes you feel a certain way is just life's way of giving you a great opportunity to grow, you might be able to plug into forgiveness and release. (Note: That does not mean it's OK to put yourself in harm's way! It means ignore the irritating things your family might say or do.)
Can you find a way to frame those undesired comments to see there might be good intentions behind them? On a soul level, the people who bug you most likely mean no harm at all. Forgive without expecting any change. Forgive because it heals you.
One of my favorite exercises for forgiveness is to pretend to forgive when you find it hard in the moment. That opens the door to expand.
Forgiveness and Self-forgiveness Overlap
We are so dang hard on ourselves. But guess what? Negative self-talk about your mistakes doesn't do any good! What does is productive is an inner inventory. Beating yourself up only holds you back from the greater good. In this difficult phase of self inventory, it's time to face the truth of your actions. If you did something that hurt others, this is a good time to own the choices you've made. Author and intuitive Caroline Myss uses strong language when she guides people to admit that the hurts we bring to others are a kind of sin. She calls it the language of the soul (instead of using the language of the mind). If you feel bad about something you did or said, fix it the best you can both on the outside and on the inside. That means owning up to the hurt you may have caused others because you were only thinking about what was good for you. This is work every human must do.
We love to shop. We love stuff. But not everyone needs more stuff these days. If you know someone that needs something, great. Here are a few ideas about giving stuff:
The way to bring peace into your life is to bring peace into your life. One step at a time. Give thanks, forgive others, and forgive yourself.
Head on over to Amazon to get my book You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way for free today. (click on the book title to go there)
No matter how you happen to be feeling, you are a bright, shining star!
The recent solar eclipse was all the buzz. I was talking to a friend who saw the eclipse at 90% and she commented that even with only 10% of the sun, she was surprised that it wasn't darker. With only 10% the whole world was still lit up.
What about you? What ever is going on in your life, even when you're not feeling your best--even at 10%--you still light up the world and the lives of those around you.
No matter what or who steps in your way or tries to block you (hey, even if you're getting in your own way which is most of us most of the time) you still light up this world.
What you say and how you say it matters. Your facial expression matters. You impact your own happiness and the happiness in others with the way you speak and the way you use your smile. This is something real and the following Ted Talk by Vanessa Van Edwards will give you some interesting info on the topic.
If you want to be better at something (from riding a bike to speaking a new language to being happier), you practice. After watching the video, you can see that even science is behind this concept.
You can make your corner of the world a better place by sharing your smile, your excitement, and asking great questions.
You can do this!
Guest post by Jennifer Scott
Over a quarter million people lose a loved one to suicide every year in the United States, but this public health crisis rarely gets the attention it deserves. Here are some facts you need to know in order to understand this growing problem.
What to Do if You’re Feeling Suicidal
If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, reach out to a crisis hotline for someone to talk to. While suicide may seem like an option in this moment, it’s a decision you can never take back.
You can call a crisis hotline for yourself or if you’re worried about someone you know. And crisis hotlines aren’t only for moments when self-harm seems imminent; you can call a crisis hotline any time you need support.
Facts About Suicide in the U.S.
It’s easy to think that suicide could never affect you or your loved ones, but the reality is, suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S. Here are some numbers to know:
Risk Factors, Warning Signs, and Prevention
There’s no denying that suicide is a major problem, but what can you do about it? Preventing suicide starts with recognizing the risk factors and warning signs that can lead to a suicide attempt.
If you notice these signs in yourself or someone you know, it’s critical that you take action. Ask these questions to find out if someone has the intention, plan, and means to carry out a suicide attempt.
While it may be uncomfortable, being direct is the best way to assess suicide risk without making the person feel stigmatized or as if they’re not being taken seriously.
If a person in crisis has both the intention and the means to commit suicide, call 911 immediately. Never leave a suicidal person alone.
If a person is thinking about suicide but doesn’t have a plan, emergency response may not be necessary. Instead, encourage the person to reach out to a crisis hotline for urgent support and find a mental health professional to provide ongoing treatment.
It’s possible to build a healthy, happy life after suicidal ideations, but it requires ongoing support, love, and compassion from family, friends, health care professionals, and oneself.
Image via Unsplash
For more resources click here
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Creating the life of your dreams is something each of us can accomplish. The foundation of a healthy mindset opens possibilities and opportunities for building success in any area of your life. These skills breakdown into two categories:
Experiment with the following concepts. Don't try to do all of this at once. Make any one of these a daily practice or habit and your life will change; they are that powerful.
Take responsibility for your own mood. This principle is about you keeping the quality of life you want to live in your own hands. We’ve all had the experience of someone yelling or saying something sharp or cutting. How fast will you regain your composure, how fast will you rise back to your feet, brush yourself off, and step back into the mood you want to live your life with. If you let your mood be dependent on the circumstances around you, if you can only be happy if things are going the way you want, then you’re giving up on way too much of the goodness in life. You cannot control most of what goes on around you in this world, but you can control what goes on inside. How different would your life be if you choose to rise every day? Choosing your own mood is something we all have the power to do. Choosing happiness and gratitude is a habit that will bring incredible quality to every day.
Take responsibility for your relationships. You have a real choice about how you relate to those you are closest to. “What if you were 100% responsible for all your relationships?” Not 50/50, it’s all you, baby. That means that you can use tools like
It’s not about your “rights;” you’re not entitled. It’s all a gift. This is not simply about saying, “thank you” when you get something. When you view everything you have as a gift, your appreciation and pleasure in life will soar. Think about this: Would you rather be with someone who is demanding of you or who appreciates what you do? What’s the attitude that would open you to give more? Seeing all of life as a gift is a mindset that strengthens you in several ways.
Keep your hopes high and your expectations flexible. There’s an expression that may help with balance in the way we react to things. “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” We want life to go well, and sometimes we have those days when all seems right. “This, too, shall pass.” It’s not just the hard stuff that will pass; the juicy stuff has a pulse of expansion and contraction also. This mindset helps you take action toward the best results and at the same time gives you the power to release what didn’t happen the way you wanted. When you can let go of the expectations of what “should” happen, your mind is free to explore a different route and instead of getting stuck in disappointment, your mind is free to take in the learning and your emotions are free to choose joy or gratitude, or both.
Be grateful—especially when things are not going your way. Gratitude is actually a doorway to receiving more. This works in two ways, from the inside (how you feel about what you receive in life) and from the outside (givers are gratified when receivers are grateful). The inside job is where you train your own attitude every day in the smallest and grandest of ways to say thank you for what is. This doesn’t mean you are complacent, it means you are content. You still take action for building the life you want and at the same time you enjoy the process instead of demanding that things must be a certain way in your timing. There’s a big picture that we don’t have access to. From the outside: Have you ever given someone a gift and they tossed it to the side in disgust? It doesn’t make you want to give them more. You don’t have to fake liking something if that sends the wrong message, but expressing sincere gratitude for the effort and love that went into a gift is, at the very least, good manners. Everything you have in life is a gift, from your Creator and from the people around you. Whether it’s a meal, a smile, or knowledge, the mindset of gratitude will open you to receiving more and will put you in a place of peace. Extra Credit: try to be grateful for the negative experiences too. Experiment with that and watch your joy grow even more exponentially!
The world is plotting to make you better. Some people start with the assumption that everyone is “out to get them.” It’s likely they’ve been hurt or taken advantage of in the past so they live life in a defensive way. Assuming the world is plotting to make you better is not about closing your eyes and abandoning your boundaries. Coming from the place that you assume the world is out to make your life better is about looking for—and attracting—more good into your life. Even when a situation seems to go all wrong, you’re actually being given a life lesson. If you are willing to receive even the hard lessons life brings as gift, if you’re open to understanding and learning, you will see new ways to make the choices that will serve you in creating the results you truly want.
Make someone else happy. Service will lift you. Service, thinking about others and the difference you can make in their lives will get you out of the dumps in your own world and gives meaning to life. That could be to your family, friends, or community. Service can be a kind word, and helpful action, or a monetary donation. Service can be helping someone with their groceries, or giving an apple or a protein bar to the beggar outside the grocery store. Service can be listening to a friend, just listening. The idea is getting outside of your own situation, stepping about from your own frustrations or challenges in life and giving to someone else. Volunteer possibilities abound. Contribute. No matter how down or troubled you may be feeling, look outside yourself and find a way to give to others. Don’t expect gratitude; just serve because while you’re bringing goodness to those around you, you’ll find you’re building yourself at the same time. Taste the pleasure of making someone else happy.
You can do this!
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So often life is about the balance. The balance about the ego is that if you think about your self all the time whether you think you're the greatest or the worst, you'll find yourself out of balance. It's human nature to think mostly about yourself. We worry what other people are thinking when usually they are thinking about themselves.
It's a great idea to shift away from the popular "It's all about me" and widen your perspective to give your talents, light, donations, smile, or smile to others. The funny thing about that is that when you are able to give in a balanced way, it has a way of coming around to grow you, heal you, or lift you in one way or another.
Everyone has negative or unwanted thoughts that come to mind. The thing is, you don't have to let your thoughts run away with you!
You get to be in control of your own thoughts. You can invite and allow thoughts that serve you, that inspire you, that ignite the sparks of joy, that motivate you to move forward or to build your dreams. And you can reject or block the negative thoughts or "voices" (you know what I mean, like when you hear the voice of some bully who put you down going into re-play mode in your mind).
One technique you can uses is to relate to these thoughts the same way you might if it was a sales call coming in on your cell phone. You can see the caller ID and you don't have to waste your time on it. Just don't answer.
Another technique is to visualize something like what The Good Witch of the North said to the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. "You have no power here. Be gone!"
Just say it over and over.
It's a good idea to have a few positive thoughts or visualizations to fill in the place of the thought you're shooing away. How about picturing (or actually eating!) your favorite fruit? How about remembering that beautiful note that your dear friend wrote you in junior high, or last week? Or the smile of someone who loves you. Or... you fill in the blank.
You can do this!
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“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
What do you mean the purpose of life is not to be happy? I am so glad Emerson said this and that I can quote him. It's not enough to just be happy. If you're only in this life to make yourself happy, you will never find true happiness. The truest happiness comes when you have touched another. Maybe through your smile, your help, your art, your kindness, or your encouragement.
Here's the tricky part (there always has to be a tricky part, right?), as you reach out beyond yourself, do it with true joy. If you're not sure how to do that, pretend to be happy while you do good. You'll soon see that it becomes true joy, and it will deepen as you grow.
Live the extraordinary life you deserve.
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Aunt Laya inspires and encourages you to live the life you want for yourself!