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Renewing: Freeing Ourselves from the Past

Oak sapling

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.

Learning from Loss
The past, whether we deem it ‘good’ or ‘bad’, a loss or a gain, 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 by what’s happened 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?

Cooperating with renewal.

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. However challenging this might be, following a loss, for example, it can bring us comfort to set intentions in this vein and to use our spiritual practice (if we use one) to support us.

When I take heed of the information I’m receiving today about my behaviour and my circumstances:

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

Where are my efforts best placed?

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

Where and how can I give of my best?

Where do I need to stop and rest?

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)