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The Treasures Of The Past
When a person comes to the inevitable conclusion that "their childhood was terrible," based on a lifetime spent sorting only for traumatic memories and moments of deep unhappiness, pain and failure, it is as though a marvellous, mysterious city filled to the brim with riches of unimaginable treasures becomes swallowed up by the sands of time, and ceases to exist.
The Treasures Of The Past
Working with Positives and a strong future orientation doesn't mean that we forget the past.
However, we do need to learn to get out of those train tracks of the mind which takes people constantly into "the traumas of the past" because that's the Freudian filter.
Trauma is not what shapes lives - events do.
The endless chase for trauma to explain all and every type of human behaviour has too many problems to mention, but perhaps one of the worst ones is that we literally lose the treasures of the past.
When a person comes to the inevitable conclusion that "their childhood was terrible," based on a lifetime spent sorting only for traumatic memories and moments of deep unhappiness, pain and failure, it is as though a marvellous, mysterious city filled to the brim with riches of unimaginable treasures becomes swallowed up by the sands of time, and ceases to exist. Eventually, even rumours of its existence are lost and nobody knows any longer it was even there, and nobody is looking any longer. Yet it is there, it is real, and it is still waiting to be found.
For every hour in self help and/or therapy, counselling spent on thinking about the problems of the past, the exact same time should be spent thinking about the joys of the past.
This is only fair, only reasonable and rational, and will lead to a far more "balanced" view of one's own existence.
Understanding the impact of positive events, happy moments, good memories on our feelings, our thoughts and our behaviours brings reality back into a system that is, at present, totally skewed in favour of suffering, misery and pain.
An addict, for example, can spend decades in therapy trying to find "the reason" or "the root" of the trauma that caused them to become addicted, and to stay addicted. If they were to become immortal, it is conceivable that they could spent aeons on that futile quest, because the real reason for an addiction is that it is driven by positive experiences. The person was sad and stressed, and found something to alleviate all of that, to make them feel strong and happy. A Guiding Star event, in other words, is responsible. This is a happy memory and will never, ever be found whilst searching for trauma; but also, without understanding this, addicts will have a hard time to move beyond that now.
Without understanding happiness, we can't understand people.
Without understanding one's own treasures of the past, self-understanding will always be nothing but much less than half the truth and do nothing but to add completely unnecessary additional pain and suffering and further stress.
I am going to repeat something I said earlier.
I understand this is bad news for someone who has been in therapy for 45 years or more. Indeed, for such a person there is probably not enough time left to balance the book of life before life runs out, even if they were to start right now and focus on their positive memories with the same intensity and to the exclusion of all else as they previously focused on only the negative.
Still, any effort to re-balance the book of life is a good move in the right direction - the direction of happiness, positive energy experiences, positive emotions and the discovery of the true treasures of the past.
We can learn so much about any person but also about ourselves in the process of reviewing our own treasures of the past.
I remember particularly one client, who had had "the terrible childhood," filled with neglect, beatings, sexual abuse and a total lack of attention, a lack of love. There was so much trauma, I knew we could be doing this literally forever and I could sense that this was not the way to go, nothing materially would change, because as soon as one trauma was dealt with, a hundred more would pop up and on and on it would go. In the meantime, the person's life wouldn't get much better, and how would any of this even address the major problems he was facing right here, and right now?
I remember clearly that the moment came, I took a deep breath and asked him about a positive childhood memory, a happy memory.
It was most interesting to observe how he struggled with that, how difficult he found it to "go there" when, if you asked him for a bad memory, there would instantly be a whole fountain of them, a never ending stream.
He was frowning, his eyes were going from left to right, he was rubbing the side of his head with his hand, and eventually, he remembered something.
A very young aspect woke up being incredibly hungry, perhaps 3 years old, and there was no-one around to make breakfast. The client remembering the aspect deciding very clearly to take matters into his own hands. The small child climbed out of the window (as the bedroom door was locked from the outside), went around the house and entered the kitchen. Here, he climbed up to reach the cupbards and eventually found in the back an old packet of jelly. He took it outside, it was a very beautiful shade of translucent orange, and ate it in the sunshine, and it was magical in every way.
The client was moved to tears and so amazed at the young child's intelligence, resilience, and the sheer power of the memory. He had many, many insights, including why orange was his favourite colour! He was excited, proud of the aspect, and started to wonder what else there may have been in his childhood that had been so totally forgotten, and yet was so powerful and magical.
There were further sessions, and we both looked forward to those with the excitement of an archaeologist, about to discover another treasure that was priceless.
We found many more, and as we found these, in the meantime, the client's life began to change. He was less depressed, less severely and also less often. He had received a very unusual job offer in an industry he had never thought about before, and found he was enjoying the work very much. He was engaging with his creative side again and joined a local band. And I wrote the Guiding Stars paper which transformed the way Modern Energy deals with events.
This was many years ago and as far as I know, the client never looked back. He never sought therapy for his childhood traumas again and lives an interesting life.
I am writing this article and telling this story because I want to invite you to start connecting with your very own treasures of the past.
For every traumatic memory you are thinking about and treating in varioius ways, find a memory that is positive to balance the books.
These memories exist; they are simply not accessed or USED enough.
The fact that we can direct our consciousness to remember is truly amazing.
To exclusively direct the consciousness to seek trauma is nothing short of insanity, and cannot help but bring the party down.
I also invite you to ask people about positive memories, to direct their attention towards something good that happened to them. This is very valuable when speaking to children about their day at school, to a partner about their day at work, to a person in hospital, a random stranger on a plane, or a train. It raises energy, is always fascinating and tells you much more about a person than listening to the never ending list of all their problems. Of course, it also ignites new pathways in the brain and might teach a person to recognise the good in the present when it happens.
Over time, it may even re-train the consciousness to start looking for opportunities to have a wonderful experience, hence the quote: "You start looking for magic and it will find you."
We all have amazing treasures in our own pasts.
We have aspects who demonstrated the exact skills, talents and abilities that we need now to move forward into the future.
Connecting with the treasures of the past is a big step towards the truth of who we really are. We need to be reminded of this often enough so that we finally understand - we are truly, amazing.