Renewing: Freeing Ourselves from the Past

Oak sapling image


Human beings are good at resisting change. This resistance comes from the ego that craves security and sees that in what it thinks should stay just as it is. It will sometimes go to great lengths to attempt to control outer circumstances in order to keep the status quo for this very reason. Our Higher Self knows differently and favours growth, primarily in our level of awareness and atunement to life. If we are to enlist healthy, transformed aspects of our ego in embracing growth, then change needs to become a welcome and accepted ‘given’ of our lives. Change involves letting go of the past and letting be of the present.

The past, whether we deem it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ may well have endowed us with some wonderfully fulfilling experiences and lessons. However, beneficial these might have been, they cannot actually continue to give us anything that we don’t already have in the present. What we’ve learned, the ways in which we’ve grown, are with us now. Here we are, personally resourced for whatever comes next. Even learning from the benefit of hindsight is done in the present with a view to moving forwards with renewed vision.

An acorn grows into a sapling and then a huge oak tree. If the consciousness of the tree remains with the acorn (its seed) then there will be no further manifestation. As each day of this new year dawns, we can choose to see each one as something absolutely new that we’re going to co-create in our lives. This becomes difficult if we assume from the outset that this ‘today’ is ‘simply another Monday’.

What might be possible in this Monday?

This level of openness allows us to sense, to touch our potential. It can feel like being part of infinity – a light, boundless openness – because the possibilities can seem endless.

Can we be open to a moment by moment evolving of our experience and our awareness?

True renewal only happens in the present. One way of looking at this is to envisage travelling in a train facing backwards. We can only imagine where we’re going, although we can still see the past. Each second introduces us to new life, new growth, new opportunity, just like the continually morphing vistas from the train.

Invested in ego, we defend against change.
Divested of ego, we work cooperatively towards change.
Dave Richo

A spiritually and emotionally intelligent approach to each new day might be to tell ourselves that everything that happens today carries with it the possibility for personal and spiritual growth. It is all grist to the mill. Making the most of each day calls on us to be self-aware, observant, grounded. When I take heed of the information I’m receiving today about my behaviour and my circumstances:

What is this telling me about the psychological work I need to do?

Where are my efforts best placed?

What do I need to see about my role in my relationships, at work and at play?

Where and how can I give of my best?

We can successfully integrate the psychological and spiritual aspects of our lives through our acceptance of change and willingness to be renewed. The result is a transformation of our egos in some way. It is characteristically accompanied by feelings of unconditional love and being able to operate more from the heart, from deep-seated wisdom and a sense that something has healed.

Ultimately, releasing oneself from any attachment or personal investment in the past is a form of healing as it sets our life energy free for the present.


(Image courtesy of Alan Levine on Flikr Creative Commons)



5 Responses to Renewing: Freeing Ourselves from the Past

  1. Jessica Woolliscroft January 2, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

    Dear Sally

    What a timely posting. Thank you

    I have been struck by recent projects addressing the hidden history of black people in Britain shown on the BBC which in confronting the past has activated feelings of compassion, greater understanding and a willingness to make reparation amongst many who have got involved. Also the wonderful apology from the Australian PM to the Aboriginal people. I wonder if it is possible to accept and move on without fully confronting the meaning of one’s past? I think there may be a value in exploring and understanding the past in order to then lay it to rest. A premature acceptance without really interrogating the past may leave things to fester?Both options of understanding the past and letting it go have their advantages etc so I am looking at how I might encompass both….your posting has been very timely as I am engaged in such a project at present which does seem to be having a liberating and redemptive effect.

    Also, I was struck by your example of sitting in a train looking backwards…you might like to search a famous quote from Walter Benjamin about the Angel of History as it is very sympathetic and thought provoking…that is if you are not already aware of it?

    Wishing you wonderful things for 2017 love your newsletter and regularly recommend your services to others.



  2. Ryan Willey January 4, 2017 at 5:08 am #

    What an amazing write-up Sally.We really need to release ourselves from our past to live a free life in our present.Thanks for sharing!

  3. sallylever January 4, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

    Thanks Jessica – I can relate to what you say about understanding the past and and letting it go at the same time. For me there are times to do each of those things, to embrace each or either of those approaches and there are times when, for one reason or another, understanding or exploration, at a psychological material level anyway, are not feasible. This, for me, is where I rely on spiritual practice to assist. Discrimination is needed for effective psycho-spiritual integration, in my experience, in deciding on an approach to take in any particular situation. Often, in my experience, it can take some trial and error to find a path through.

    I wasn’t aware of the Angel of History quote and, having looked it up, yes I can see the connection! Thanks again… and for your very kind comments. Happy New Year to you too :)

  4. sallylever January 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    My pleasure Ryan. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Nuria January 9, 2017 at 11:36 am #

    Thank you for sharing, Sally! What a great reminder of our opportunities for change! Happy New Year! Happy Changes out of our confort zone!
    Nuria xx

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