past present future

 

Our past, present, and future are all strongly inter-connected. If not for the past, we would not be the people we are today or having the experiences of the moment. Likewise, without our experiences today, we would not have our future of tomorrow.

 

Accepting The Past

 

Although many people would like to change the past, it is far better to accept the past for what it is. Whether it was good or bad, it was an element that helped make you who you are. When we don’t accept the past, it continues to dominate the present. Thus, the past doesn’t simply contribute to our present, but it controls it.

 

Accepting that the past does not mean we have to approve of things that happened during that era. Neither does it mean that we ride on our laurels of the past.

 

It is best when we simply acknowledge that in the past we have been in good situations and bad situations. Likewise, we have done things we are proud of and things that we would have liked to have done differently. Still, all those things remain in the past.

 

100% Responsibility

 

Sometimes we have challenges moving past things that others have done in the past. It is important to understand that we can and should take responsibility for those things that we have done. However, it is unhealthy to take responsibility for what someone else has done to us or someone else.

 

If we perceive something was done to us, we can use that to make us stronger and to move forward. If we try to own the other person’s actions towards us, we are giving them an excuse and not allowing them to own up to their responsibility. It also gives power to their actions.

 

As humans, we want to “fix” every problem, person, and situation. The reality is that we cannot. We can only take responsibility for actions that we have taken, learn from our errors, and move forward committed to live a good life.

 

Living Today

 

We must realize that although we cannot change the past, we can take control of today. It is critical to realize that the actions we take today will shape our future and may affect the future of others, as well. This isn’t to say that every decision made each day has to be fully analyzed for impacts on the future.

It would be impossible and frankly unnecessary to analyze every decision. For example, deciding to do the dishes or wait until later isn’t likely to have a big impact on our future. However, some decisions have long-term impacts. For example, deciding to check text messages while driving could completely change multiple people’s lives. Thus, it is important to check in occasionally and ask “Am I on track to make a better tomorrow?”

 

The Future

 

This all leads us to the future, which will become the present and then the past. Living in the future is similar to living in the past. Although the past and present affect the future, focusing on the future and neglecting the present will lead us down a path of regret.  

 

We need to plan for the future and realize the impact of our actions on the future. However, if we live only for the future, we will fail to live at all. For example, if we always save every dime for tomorrow, we will never spend it as tomorrow never comes.

 

Therefore, we must understand that the past, present, and future are intertwined. Remember, although the past helps make you who you are, it does not define you. No matter your current circumstances, you have the choice to act today in a way that will create a brighter tomorrow!

 

Looking Deeper

 

As we have discussed in other posts, humans come in contact with millions of stimuli every day. Out of necessity, we ignore many of the stimuli and gloss over others. This helps us to get through each day without being overwhelmed. However, we lose a lot if we never stop and really take a deep look at things.

 

Looking Outside The Lines

 

Often the information that is intended for our attention is well defined and within a graph, report, or painting. It is important to look not only at the image or message that the author or painter is trying to convey, but also look at what else is surrounding the intended message. Then, consider what is excluded. For a painting, look at the frame, the mat, and even the wall where the painting is hung. Look for additional information outside of the painting that supports or contradicts the message of the painting. Lastly, consider what is not included in the painting.

 

The same is true of reports and graphs. Look at the information that supports the core information, information about the authors, and information about the magazine or other source. Also, consider what the authors did not say. For instance, if the information is based on a study, is the size and location of the study included in the information?

 

Digging Deeper

 

It is important to look at what supports this “prepared” information. To do this, look at your child’s homework and see where they are struggling instead of just looking at their grade. Likewise, look at the sources of reports and graphs. Analyze if those are valid sources. Are the trends shown in the report only based on the experience of 100 people? If so, do you consider it a large enough study for you to accept that the trend is meaningful?

 

It also means researching news stories and looking at articles from multiple perspectives. What were their sources? Were the sources used for the article selected to represent only one point of view? Do other sources support the perspective of the article?

 

The Little Details

 

Take a deeper look at the little details. This isn’t about seeing the trees instead of the forest. It is about seeing the small insects crawling out of the cracks in the bark of the tree and then noticing how the veins of the leaves form an unusual image that reminds you of a bear claw.

 

For a painting, look at small details of the image. For instance, look at the brush stroke. Is it different in different parts of the painting? Does that seem significant? Does the brush stroke tell a story?

 

For an article, graph, or other information, look at the details and the representation of the information. For instance, on a graph is the scale such that it is misleading? Likewise, look at small details that may be the focus when they are not the primary part of the article. On the flip side, look for more significant details that are left out or downplayed in the article.

 

Sounds, Smells, Texture, and Taste Count, Too

 

Our investigation of things in our environment is not limited to what we can experience with our sight. We can learn a lot by really listening, taking time to experience the smells in the room, touching the surface of something to feel the texture, and tasting edible items. Not all senses apply to every item. For instance, a person is not generally going to taste a painting. However, they might smell the paint.

 

It is by choosing to really deeply experience some items in our environment that we gain greater knowledge and understanding of our world. When we allow too many stimuli to be dismissed, we are on auto-pilot and aren’t really experiencing anything. Find something each day to truly experience!

 

 

 

Communities, whether it refers to people in a geographical area, a church family, a school, or another group of individuals, sometimes have a need for healing. In some cases, this is a long-term need arising from neglect, lack of work, or on-going violence. In other cases, the need arises in relationship to a specific tragedy or natural disaster.

 

Healing a community is similar to healing an individual. However, the process varies a bit and can be complicated by having a number of people involved. On the other hand, the people of the community can also be helpful in assisting each other in their healing.

 

Deciding to Heal

Just like with a person, the community first needs to decide to heal. The challenge with this is that different people are of different mindsets with regards to healing and not everyone is on the same timeline with regards to grieving over what has happened. Likewise, those that desire to heal may remain on autopilot for some time simply dealing with the things that have to be done.

 

Support from Outside

 

Each situation is different. In the case of a hurricane, for example, outside assistance may be needed for shelter, food, debris removal, and rebuilding. However, the ultimate healing comes from within the community. The Red Cross and other volunteers cannot heal for the community. Likewise, they cannot force the community to heal. The only thing they can do is support the community while they heal, much like a cast supports someone’s leg while a broken bone heals.

 

Healing Within

 

Different types of traumas require different amount of healing. Likewise, they require different amounts of time to heal. For instance, healing from an earthquake that made various structures in the community uninhabitable might not require the same level of healing as an event that takes several people’s lives.

 

Traumatic Events

 

For people outside the community, the biggest challenge is to allow the community to heal on its own timeline without imposing deadlines or expectations. After 9/11, there was tremendous support from across the country and around the world. However, over time that support for New York and the country in general waned. Thus, the expectations from outside the communities most significantly impacted changed. Yet, especially in New York City, many people are still dealing with the trauma. First responders, in particular, continue to have both emotional and physical issues as a result of their efforts that day.

 

Within the communities impacted by 9/11, the challenge from day one was that various people were impacted in different ways and to a different extent. The same is true of any community impacted by a traumatic event. Each person has a different timeline for grieving related to the event. Thus, after a year some people may be moving on with their life and really spend very little time thinking the event. Meanwhile, others may still be struggling to accept what happened.

 

Long-Term Situations

 

In situations, such as, economic depression, all of the above perspectives apply. The community may need a leg up, but will only truly heal when members of the community make a decision to heal. These situations have different challenges as the issues they are facing have often developed over generations. In these cases, it may be more difficult to gain the momentum to heal despite the desire to move forward.

 

It takes longer in these cases to attain true healing as the trauma has been reinforced over and over. People may have even lost their belief in healing, thinking that things cannot improve. One of the biggest things people outside these communities can do is to spread hope without expectation. If they help these people believe, the people will then be able to start healing.

 

Limiting Actions

 

One worst things people outside the community can do is to use these situations and the people involved to make political statements or to support some perspective that they would like others to believe.   Actions of this nature limit the healing of the communities. In some cases, actions with these types of motives may even cause additional hurt and damage.

 

The Best Action

 

The best action outsiders can take to help a community heal is to provide support and encouragement to the individuals in the community as well as to the community leaders. Within the community, it is important for each person to remember that each person will heal on his or her own schedule. No person can speed up another person’s healing nor should they judge that someone has healed too fast. As each individual focuses on their own healing, they will create an environment for those around them to heal more quickly allowing the community to gain overall momentum in its healing.

 

Remember, healing is possible. It just takes time.

Healing Inside Out

 

 

When a person gets a cut or burn they usually apply an ointment or bandage to the affected area. Then, they watch while the wound scabs over or skin peels off revealing a healed layer of skin tissue. As people notice their wound healing, they will think, “My cut/burn is healing nicely.” They don’t really think about what is happening. Instead, they just assume the body is doing its job and healing.

 

Inside the human body, however, there is a lot of activity that occurs when an injury occurs. Depending on the injury, blood may clot, the area may become inflamed, white blood cells may swarm to the area, etc. Well-coordinated action is required by various systems from within the body so that the damage that occurred can be fixed.

 

If a person gets a broken bone, the doctor applies a cast to the outside and waits for the bone to fuse itself back together. As these examples point out, physical healing starts from within. The same can be said about other types of injuries such as emotional and mental trauma. Emotional and mental traumas are sometimes difficult to see on the outside. There are some people that appear to be so happy that you’d never realize that there is a battle going on inside. But, occasionally, even those people hint that they are suffering inside.

 

What is Healing Inside Out?

 

Whether a wound is physical, emotional, or mental, healing needs to come from within. For the physical, people can aid the body in mending the injury, but for the most part it is a biological response. There are cases, however, that show attitude, visualization, and other energy techniques can speed the recovery process producing results that cannot be explained purely by science.

 

Likewise, for emotional and mental issues, the healing must come from within. Yes, professionals help a person take the right steps to resolve their issues. However, they cannot do the healing work for a person. It is important to realize that there is no cast, bandage, or 12-step program that will fix emotional or mental trauma. Even when a person seeks assistance through energy workers, the healing ultimately comes from within him or her self.

 

Physical healing is usually obvious to the person and people around them. However, mental and emotional healing may also have externally visible results. Interactions become more authentic. Attitudes, words and other means of expressing oneself often change when healing occurs.

 

Changing Your Thoughts/Beliefs

 

There is no easy answer to how people begin to heal. One reason is because people are all different in what they experience and how they respond to those experiences. Two people, for example, may have a similar experience of falling flat on their face in front of a large audience, resulting in an outburst of laughter. One person may be very traumatized and never perform in public again. The other person may laugh it off and recount the story over and over again to all that will listen. Therefore, internal perspectives often are a major contributor in determining whether or not there is anything to heal.

 

Believe It is Possible

 

Beliefs and desires also affect the healing process. In order to heal, a person must first believe they can heal. If they do not, healing is not likely to occur. For example, if a person believes that they cannot overcome depression, they will be correct.

 

Desire

 

Similarly, the person must also have a desire to heal. Without this desire, healing is also unlikely. An example of a person without a desire to heal is someone who believes they gain something from having a physical, emotional, or mental ailment. The benefit might be attention, relationship bonds, or an excuse for not living their life.

 

Deserving

Another case is someone who believes they don’t deserve to heal. A person, for instance, who was belittled by their parent and feels that they are a victim, will be challenged to feel the desire to heal. In all these cases, they are unlikely to recover because their desire is lacking.

 

Since beliefs affect thoughts, which in turn affect energy, beliefs must be addressed to advance healing. It is only when someone truly believes in healing and has a strong desire to heal that healing occurs. When beliefs or desire is lacking, those issues must be addressed before moving forward. A person may need to review their belief system, build confidence to know they are worthy, or simply decide healing is something they are going to do.

 

Essentially, the person has to reprogram him or her self. They can start by changing their thoughts and their story. If a person sees himself or herself as a victim then that is who they will be. However, if a person believes they have control over their life, they will.

 

Open Yourself To Healing

 

If there is something you are struggling to overcome, ask yourself, “Do I believe I can overcome this condition or circumstance?” If not, then you have to figure out if that is true or just a limiting belief. Investigate all limiting beliefs to see if you can shift them to a healthier belief.

 

If you believe you can overcome the issue, ask yourself, “Do I have anything to gain from this condition or circumstance continuing?” If so, then a mind shift is needed to truly desire to heal. Ultimately, you must embrace the belief you can heal and the desire to heal. That’s when you can experience the miracle of healing.

 

Releasing: A Key to Healing

 

 

Most people have an event from their past that clings to them like a baby clings to their pacifier. Like a parent who thinks their baby is ready to give up their pacifier, the person may think they are ready to give up the memory. And, no matter how hard the parent tries, the baby resists giving up their pacifier. Similarly no matter how hard the person tries to forget, the memory won’t leave. It seems to be permanently etched into their brain.

 

Even when someone is not consciously recalling the memory, that instance of memory can consume some of the person’s energy like a dripping faucet leaks water. Although one instance of memory may not be a significant drain on a person, if there are lots of memories connected to the person, the person may experience a significant drain. In some cases, one single instance can be enough to be a continual drain on a person.

 

Staying Connected

 

Energetically speaking, people may hold onto events, places, and people. Think of the old time switch boards where there was a person making a voice connection by plugging a line into a socket. This created a physical connection that allowed a person on one end to speak to the person on the other end. Energy works in a very similar manner. In the switchboard era, you could hang up and come back an hour later and begin talking if the switchboard operator had left the connection in place.

 

The same is true if the universe has not severed the energetic connection. When that connection remains, the other person, company, or event continues to be connected to the person.  This is true even if they are no longer a part of that person’s life. Unfortunately, trauma is often the cord that binds the two together. The more trauma someone has experienced, the more likely there will be a strong energetic connection they will have to the place, event, or person.

 

What stays connected to someone may seem completely random and insignificant to other people. In fact, others that witnessed an event that someone found traumatic may not even be able to recall the event. To the traumatized person, however, the reason they can recall these events, places, and people so vividly is because of the trauma they experienced.

 

No Longer Needed

 

These events, places, and people created an energetic connection. When these connections no longer serve the person in a positive manner, the person needs to decide if they are ready to release the connection. This doesn’t mean that they will forget the people or events. However, it does mean that these people and events of the past will no longer have influence over their lives.

 

The connection can be released in a variety of ways. Some people opt for counseling while others do journaling, meditation, or energy work. The act of releasing heals old wounds and allows you to thrive.

 

Once released, the person may feel more energized. They may physically feel like a weight is lifted from them. New opportunities may also arise once they are no longer being held back by these connections.

 

What are you waiting for? Release! It is the key to healing.

 

Making A Difference: The little thing

 

 

You may be familiar with the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and it is all small stuff” by Richard Carlson. In that book, the author describes one hundred techniques (or thought processes) to get through your day with less anxiety and stress. These techniques vary broadly covering everything from choosing your battles to imagining your own funeral.

 

Focus On The Important

 

The ideas behind these techniques are to get you to focus on the important things instead of letting little things take over your life.

 

In his book he talks about smiling at strangers and performing random acts of kindness. Each of these things could be classified as “small stuff.” However, these aren’t things to sweat, but things to do to bring joy into someone else’s life and ultimately your own.

 

Small Things Make A Difference

 

It is these very small acts that can make a difference in the world. Consider, if every person on the planet replaced even one snippy remark, aggressive action, or unkind word with a positive loving action each day. It would totally change the world!

We can’t likely get everyone around the globe to participate, but we can lead by example. Smiling and showing interest in other people is one of my favorites. It doesn’t cost even one second to smile.

 

And, it takes very little time to inquire as to how someone is doing. It is important, however, that when you inquire you should actually care about the other person’s answer. Do not be like many cashiers at grocery and big box stores who inquire as to if you found everything, but who have no course of action if you did not. You need to be prepared to provide kind supporting words or assistance if necessary.

 

Other simple ideas are to hold a door for someone, carry something for them, help them with their child, or offer to let someone go ahead of you in line. None of these cost money and most of them cost very little time.

 

Other relatively low cost ways to make someone’s day include: making or buying someone a card, taking treats or a meal to a neighbor, buying a box of Girl Scout cookies, or paying for someone’s meal.

 

Doing Something Bigger

 

Occasionally, you will have an opportunity to do something a bit bigger directly for someone. This may be someone in trouble or someone that has fallen on hard times.

 

One example of an opportunity that came my way was a man and his school-age son who stopped at our house one day. They told us that they needed some additional money to pay for school supplies and other school expenses. They didn’t ask for a handout, but simply asked if there was any work they could do to earn some money. We were happy to oblige. We had some yard work that we could have done ourselves, but instead we gave them the opportunity to earn some cash. Even better, the son had the opportunity to learn about the value of work. It was a huge win for everyone!

 

You Can Always Make An Impact

 

You may not have an opportunity like that every day or you may not be able to assist someone in that way due to your own finances. However, there are always small ways to make a positive impact in other people’s lives. Try to do something positive every day – even if it is simply posting something positive on Facebook. You never know how one simple act might change someone’s life!

 

Making A difference

Have you ever complained to your best friend, sister, brother, spouse, or parent about something going on in your life? It is human nature and I doubt that there is an adult alive that hasn’t complained in some form.

 

Complaining

 

Although complaining may help you feel better momentarily, it does nothing to resolve the issue. It simply keeps the issue alive through dialog. To actually, resolve the issue and truly feel better, you have to take steps to find a solution. Working on a solution does not include complaining, telling the other person/situation to fix themselves, nor does it include creating a major disturbance to get attention. It means taking actual steps to resolve the issue.

 

Take Action

 

If you want a solution to an issue in your life – a better relationship with your spouse, to be treated better in the workplace, or to create a better world for your children – take action. You may not pick the right thing to do and you may find yourself changing course in the future. Still, take an actual step toward making a difference.

 

If you want a better relationship with your spouse, treat him or her better. Set up date nights. Decide to do something special that you both will enjoy. Or, better yet, invite your spouse to work with you to come up with ideas that the two of you would enjoy.

 

Making It Happen

 

If you want to make a difference in the world, be like Scott Pressler, who organized a cleanup in Baltimore after hearing about the issue in the press. Thousands, maybe millions, of people heard about the issue. However, Scott took action. In a few days, he mobilized people, got donations, and the group cleaned up 12 tons of trash in one day. Now, he is getting people excited about cleaning up other cities around the country.

 

Leading By Example

 

You don’t have to mobilize large groups of people to make a difference. For instance, you can make a difference simply by leading by example. For example, if you strongly believe that people need to change the way they live to protect the climate, change your life style to be aligned with your beliefs. Become the person that everyone looks to as an example of green living. Make sure you also research products and their alternatives to ensure you make the best overall decisions for the planet. Allow others to see what you are doing and then prepare to advise them if they would like to follow your lead.

 

Likewise, if you want better education in schools, become a school volunteer. Learn about the rules and constraints the educators face. Find a way to use your particular skills to help the situation. You may not be able to do it alone. Still, take action to make a difference.

 

Find What Is Important To You

 

You don’t have to take action on every thing that you want changed, but you should attempt to make a difference on those things that are most important to you. If you believe an issue is really important, but you aren’t willing to try to find a solution, likely deep in your heart you don’t believe it is an issue. Alternately, you may be gaining something by keeping things the way they are. In this case, you are allowing the problem to continue and you effectively become part of the problem.

 

If you find yourself in this kind of situation, you need to ask yourself what you are getting from keeping things status quo. Perhaps you get attention from friends and family for having to deal with the problem, perhaps it feeds your ego in some way, or it gives you an excuse for not moving forward with your life. If you believe you are getting nothing out of keeping the problem in place, ask yourself what is keeping you from working on the problem? Answering this question is key in improving your life.

 

Be A Part Of The Solution

 

You can complain all day and nothing will change. You can tell others to change and nothing will change. The only way to create change is to take action to resolve the problem. And, if for some reason the problem cannot be resolved, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you took action to make a difference.

 

It is easy to be part of the problem, but it is so much more rewarding to be part of the solution.

 

Acting from the heart

 

 

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the daily grind. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Go to bed. In this mode, we are simply doing; not living.

 

We get in this mode because life is hectic. It is easy to do what our parents, culture, and influential people have taught us to do without really thinking. We even convince ourselves that we are making our own decisions and truly living. All the while, our actions indicate we have been programmed and are running on autopilot.

 

Simply Existing

 

When in this mode, we simply exist. Our actions have little power and it is often all we can do to care for our family and ourselves. Even though we love our family and friends, we may have trouble putting our energy into our relationship with them. The same is true when trying to help others. Often we are doing only what we believe we are supposed to do.

 

Acting From The Heart

 

In contrast, when we get out of the rut and allow ourselves to act from our heart, our energy is boundless. We begin to truly consider what is important and to base our decisions on our own beliefs instead of someone else’s. Our actions become authentic rather than automatic. In turn, our relationships blossom and become more authentic.

 

When we spend time with people, it is because we truly want to spent time with them. Likewise, when we help someone or invest our time or money in a cause, it is because we truly feel strongly about helping that organization. Simply helping because we believe that we are supposed to help people or organizations of that nature will not be as rewarding.

 

When we act from our heart, we are far more satisfied with our life than if we took the very same actions while on autopilot. Being heart-centered opens us up to both joy and healing. It allows us to grow as a person and provides a pathway to healing. Any traumas of the past – emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual – are more likely to heal when we act from out heart.

 

What Is Driving Your Actions?

 

So, ask yourself, “Are you are truly acting from your heart or are you on autopilot?” Consider your actions at all times including when you are doing good and caring for others. If you find that you are on autopilot more often than not, consider a change. Take some time to consider who you really are. Then ask yourself, “What is most important to me?” Once you’ve identified your priorities, act from the heart to honor those things that are most important. You just might find that you love yourself for doing it.