There was a discussion on the radio the other day that caught my attention. They were discussing (and people were calling in) whether or not it was appropriate to have pictures of your former partners in your computer, on your Facebook and/or displayed in your home. In the computer, I could comprehend, but on the walls in your home? In your facebook? I found the discussion to be rather bizarre. Do people really do that? Well, I had never seen or heard of this before but then a new client of mine (I work in people’s homes) had many photographs throughout the house. I made some casual comment about them and she replied that many of them were former girlfriends of her husband. I was kind of appalled. (Well, not “kind of”, I was really, really appalled.) In addition there were little mementos of his past relationships here and there that she also pointed out. (Sometimes I get more information than I bargained for when I am with clients. I turn into the massage/energy/talk therapist.) I asked her if she was OK with this. (Because I really wouldn’t be!) (There were even some tasteful nude photos of past flames.) (OH. MY. GOODNESS.) These photos were framed and displayed. We’re not talking about them being put away in drawers. She told me she wasn’t OK with them constantly being in her face all the time but her husband felt it was his right to have his “memories” around the house. Being devil’s advocate, (I can’t help it) I suggested that she get out photos of her old flames and frame them and hang them around the house, too. And look for any old mementos she may have still had and put them out for public view, too. (I tried and tried to remember where some of my wedding mementos were. I think I threw them all away. I know I threw my wedding dress away. I can’t remember what happened to my engraved wine glasses~ somehow I am guessing that they got broken~ somehow? Somehow.) My client was really feeling immature that she was unable to accept all these photographs around the house and yet she was feeling very resentful at the same time. I assured her that if it was me, I would feel exactly the same way. I don’t think I could find an ounce of maturity about it and I told her so.
The consensus on the radio, by the way, was that it was OK to have old flame photographs put AWAY (in the computer, in boxes, in drawers) but NOT prominently displayed around the house. So I figured I wasn’t all that immature about my attitudes towards it. Seemed many people felt the same as I would (given that situation) and that my client did. (Because I really started to wonder if this was some new trend that I was blissfully unaware of and that my client and I were just the jealous, petty, insecure type of personalities that couldn’t deal with it.)
So all of this stuff got me started about thinking about how tightly we hold on to the past and how it can interfere with the present. I suppose if you are single and want to stay single, then it’s OK to display all the photos of relationships-gone-bad, if that’s what you want to focus on. (Not really the best idea.) Even relationships that ended amicably, though, are OVER. That was then, this is NOW. We form energetic connections with those we were/are involved with, energetic cords that connect us with each other. Constantly seeing the other person or thinking of them keeps these cords intact and strong. (And if you’re an empath, this can really be very bad news.) It keeps the channels open. It keeps your energy stuck in the past. (Like beating a dead horse?) This can be a problem when the ‘old’ relationship is over and you are trying to establish a new one. Not to mention causing animosity with your new partner. Nobody wants to be constantly reminded who their partner was with the last time and how beautiful and perky (or handsome and ripped) they were. I know that sometimes people remain friends with old partners. I have one or two that I have remained friends with. Out of respect for my partner and their partners, I remove all photos from social networks, photos come down off my walls. Besides, I don’t want to look at them every day. Why would I? Seriously, why would I? ( I am trying to think of an answer. If I come up with one, I’ll let you know.) Yes, I have photos of past relationships, somewhere. Literally, somewhere, in the bottom of a box, in the bottom of some closet (or in the attic). I’d be hard pressed to actually find them quickly if someone ever wanted to see them. That’s how handy they are.
When we are making a commitment to move forward in our lives we need to focus on what is in front of us, not what lies behind. What lies behind is a fantasy of what was or what might have been but it comes nowhere near to what IS. There are times when it even becomes appropriate to sever energetic cords. I have done this numerous times when I wanted to be separated from energies of others that were draining me. The cords reestablish with any kind of connection, even thought, so it can become necessary to sever the cords repeatedly when you really want someone energetically gone from your space. I am also a fan of really letting go of “stuff”. When someone leaves my life and leaves a bad residual energy behind, I have done burning rituals and burned cards, letters, and even dried roses. (I am serious about cutting the ties that bind!)
I recently had an experience when an old friend from childhood got into some major life trouble. I was troubled by their trouble, being friends and all. (This person was not an old flame, just an old friend.) They have a significant other in their life so they are not alone, they have family. At some point, I realized that all I could do was send some good thoughts and let it go. My spirit guides actually came to me one day and very very clearly told me to let the entire situation go, not even to worry about it (or the outcome any more). It wasn’t my place, it wasn’t my problem, it wasn’t my burden to carry and all it was doing was placing a drain on my energy. There comes a time when we have to distance ourselves from things and focus (again!) on what is before us and our own lives. Which isn’t to say that we shouldn’t help friends in need. If you can, then do. But use your intuition and know what is best for you. We often give too much of ourselves especially in the way of worry or “concern” which really benefits no one.
If you find that you cannot put the past away, then maybe it says you are not ready to go forward. Maybe you need to revisit the past (if this is possible) and see if there is any salvaging what you left behind. I think most of us know that this doesn’t work. But sometimes we need to do it to know for sure that it is really over and done. Sometimes we need to be reminded that what we have in front of us is what we really want. This can be true in many instances besides relationships. It happens with jobs, friendships that end and when we move from one place to another. Often we only remember the happy times and fail to remember why we left whatever it was in the past. There was a reason for it, a definite reason why it is the “past”.
You cannot be attached to the past and still fully committed to the present moment. It’s like being split and not being fully here or there. (And of course, you can’t be in the past, that’s like trying to live in a dream. It no longer exists.) Where ever you find yourself, you always have a choice. If it’s not to your liking, then you can leave. (Leave the relationship, get a new job, let go of the friendship, move your location.) But if you do enjoy where you are, then commit to being there fully. Don’t live half in the past and half in the present. Life is way too short to waste time this way. Make the most of where ever you are. Look for the pleasure and joys in every second. Be happy, be present, live fully and deeply.
Ram Dass summed it up nicely in his book “Be Here Now”: You and I can always starve together if we’re backstage in the here and now. If we’re not in the here and now, no matter how much food we put in our bellies, it’s never going to be enough. And that’s the feeling of the Western man. It’s not enough. He’s got it all going in as fast as he can shovel it. He’s got every sensual gratification he can possibly desire and it’s not enough because there’s no here and now-ness about it. Here and now is the doorway to all that energy. Because if you’re truthfully here and now there’s no more you. That’s the way it works. Did you ever go to the movies and get so caught up in the movie that you forgot who you were and then the lights came on and you wondered ….where am I? What’s going on? Oh! It’s a movie! What you’ve got to do is create in yourself an absolutely calm center where it’s always right HERE and NOW. It is just a light. It is just Is-ness, just the Is-ness.”
Kathy Lee 4/29/2013
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