3 Questions to Unlock The Past (And Future Happiness)
As Jon-Kabat-Zinn’s book title reads “Wherever you go, there you are”.
There is something in us that attracts the experiences we have in our lives and we need the help of emotions to drill down to the truth of the lesson we need to learn. When I was clearing out my sacral chakra, which is considered the “seat of emotions” I realised that I had not acknowledged my true feelings in front of people, for fear of getting them upset. There was also this block which made me want to portray my life as perfect, so that I did not become a burden on other people. But such an attitude led me to be internally angry and to live in a false reality. In fact, I even started hiding my true emotions from myself. Such an attitude never helped because I was looking for answers everywhere outside of me.
“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” ~Rumi
The journey into myself revealed the unexpressed anger and emotion that I was hiding away from. I realised at that time that there was nothing called as “good” or “bad” emotion. Any emotion that is showing up within you is meant to be experienced. Earlier the approach I used to take was to avoid any uncomfortable feelings and shove it inside of me covering it with reasons on why I should not feel that emotion. When I started truly acknowleding the feeling, it seemed right. It felt that the emotions were making their way through to be expressed and to get a voice. Once that voice comes up, the emotion transforms into a positive experience. Like thoughts, emotions are like clouds. They come up and once you acknowledge them, they go away. Another feeling that came up while I was trying to feel the emotions was guilt. But on setting an intent of feeling the emotions and setting the thought in my mind that no emotion is wrong, the guilt disappeared.
Thoughts are important, but feelings and emotions are the roadmap to the real stuff that is going on inside. If you are watching a movie, the script is as important as the visuals. If the visuals (in this case your thoughts) are great, but there is no script, you will not be able to get the most out of the movie.
There are certain questions I ask myself now when I feel stuck in a situation or when I feel the past repeating itself.
1. Have I felt a similar emotion to a similar situation in the past? If so, can I remember the first time I encountered such a situation and what my approach was? What was my logic of behaving and thinking the way I did back then?
The past always provides answers. We form patterns in terms of thoughts and emotions early in our childhood. There is always a reason behind such patterns and only when we question ourselves actively do we find answers to the reason behind the patterns.
For example, if you feel powerless, ask yourself when you felt like that in your childhood. Did you feel powerless in front of an authority figure? What was the exact emotion you felt in front of this person? Do you feel the same in front of them even now? Do you tend to seek approval from this person?
2. What changes do I need to make to reverse this pattern? Does this emotion or thought pattern serve me now?
A lot of times, the thought process or emotion behind forming a certain pattern doesn’t serve us anymore. But we continue behaving the same way because we never question the reasoning and emotion behind the pattern that we may have formed decades back. It is important to keep questioning and clearing out the patterns that don’t serve us anymore.
I used to be scared of voicing out my opinions because of some authority figures in my life. My throat chakra always used to be blocked and I feared voicing out my opinions thinking that I might offend people. As soon as I realised that hiding my voice prevented me from providing good ideas in the world, I made a resolution to speak my voice no matter what.
3. Is there a lesson that I need to learn with all the repeating patterns in my life?
I believe there is always an underlying lesson behind every situation we encounter in life. My fear of authority figures brought on a bunch of authority figures in my life. I got more and more dominated by them until I realised the pattern in my life. It struck me suddenly that the lesson I had to learn was to stand up for myself and speak my voice. As soon as I realised this and made myself more important, such occurrences started reducing and I started finding milder people in my life.
Once the past is cleansed out, we will have better avenues and a broader perception of the present which will help us to create our future in a better way.