I don’t know about you, but I have the capacity (curse) to remember every big (and sometimes little) mistake I’ve made in my life, and what it cost me. When my thoughts go there, the stomach-twisting nausea and scathing self criticism are as energetically real as they were when the event happened. A former executive client of mine said that during times of stress and doubt, he brings out of an old closet in his mind the memory of a bad business judgment from 20 years ago. When that closet door opens, the memory is as fresh as if it just happened. It feels so current that it can influence his current behavior.
I also have a related capacity. If I fully open that closet door and begin to study the contents, I can quickly take inventory of every stupid mistake I’ve ever made, and bring them all into my current emotional state. Having previously experienced the energy draining impact of a full inventory memory, I seldom do more than peek into the closet .
It turns out that old brains can rewire themselves.
In a previous blog, I mentioned that for several weeks, on a daily basis, I’ve been consciously shifting my thoughts from negative to positive. I have experienced very remarkable changes in how I deal with the daily challenges of life. This positive change also includes how I approach the memories of my past errant behaviors.
“I know just what I’d change
If I went back in time somehow
But there is nothing I can do about it now”
One of those “what an idiot I am” memories popped up recently, and for the first time in many years, instead of remembering or even slightly reliving the painful experience, I felt a sense of calm peace. What I did remember were all of the wonderful things that were happening during that same time, while also being fully aware of the life-changing lesson I learned from that experience. The stomach nausea feeling was replaced by acceptance and gratitude.
I think I feel some new neural pathways growing.
Dr. Joe Dispenza says “A memory without an emotional charge is called; wisdom.” Wow, new neural pathways and gaining wisdom – not a bad result for just being consciously focused on thinking positive thoughts every day.
We can so easily get caught up with old judgments and criticisms that they govern our current thoughts and energy. We forget who we really are and who we want to be. What we focus on expands. If that focus is on past suffering, past judgments, past wrongs, past losses, we bring that negative energy into our current space. The result is that we allow the past stories to govern our current activities. It’s not an effective way to live.
@GaryHawk, I wish your first name was mike.
Anyway, that is very interesting. I specifically use negative emotions to drive me to do better things. This is why I’ve partaken in many substances that induce states of fear, anxiety or pain – for afterwards I feel a stressed urgency to do the best I absolutely can and not be complacent with just getting by half-assed. Its quite a round-about way in which to get things done, but it works for me.
It is a very rewarding thing, though, to be able to move forward on positive notes, rather than negative. I’m glad you’ve been able to finally see this. The more you strengthen this, the more often it will happen.