Things said or done long years ago,
Or things I did not do or say
But thought that I might say or do,
Weigh me down, and not a day
But something is recalled,
My conscience or my vanity appalled….
From man’s blood-sodden heart are sprung
Those branches of the night and day
Where the gaudy moon is hung.
What’s the meaning of all song?
‘Let all things pass away.’
Taken from Vacillation by W B Yeats
These words by Yeats echo what ails us until we learn to, “let all things pass away.” This is the key to true freedom; when we can truly let things go, to let go of the thoughts of regret about the past and mulling over what we could have said and done.
Who amongst us has no regret about the past? If only we made wiser choices, acted differently, were more gentle in our speech etc, our life would be different today. The wisest compassionate remark one of my teachers made regarding this was, “if you could have, you would.” With this outlook, we recognize that we did the best we could for who we were, which is the best we can ever possibly do, until we learn that we can make different choices.
Letting go of the past is the most important step towards personal freedom. Painful memories and unresolved issues of regret or failure are the invisible companions that follow us into every avenue of our personal life path in the present. They appear as nagging doubt, anxiety, timidity, fear, and lack of trust in ourselves and others. How do we shrug off these ghosts of the past and live in the present with clarity and resolve without self-sabotage?
One of the most helpful methods I have found is a self-healing technique called TAT®, which I have mentioned in a previous post, Coping With Difficult Times Part 3. There are a few steps to this technique which consists of focusing on a few statements while holding a posture. The posture is putting one hand at the base of the skull and the other on the point just above the nose-bridge between the eyes. You would have to look at the instructions on the TAT website. You can download the free instructions here by clicking here. From that page there are two ways to get the instructions. You can log in as a customer and order it through the store, or you can go to the tatlife home page and click on the free download link. Either way, it is free.
The steps are:
- This[substitute this with whatever your regret, anxiety, failure etc.] happened.
- This happened, it’s over, I am ok and I can now relax.
- All the places in my mind, body and life where I hold this, is now being healed. Thank you.[you may thank whatever form of divinity or the universe etc.]
- All the origins of this is being healed. Thank you.
- I ask forgiveness of anyone I hurt because of this.
- I forgive anyone including myself and God who I blame for this.
- I now choose to create…[the opposite of ‘this’]
- This healing is now integrating on all levels. Thank you.
The above steps can be shortened to three steps or you can even add more. Please check the TAT website if you are interested in learning more about this technique. You can download the instructions for free.
The beauty of this technique is that anyone can do it at any time, to heal mental, emotional or physical issues. The steps of forgiveness and choosing a new way of being are the most effective parts in healing any emotional issues from the past. It is the acknowledging of what is standing in the way of us moving forward in the life we want to create. It makes conscious all the nagging discomfort and stress that looms over us or appears as a background of anxiety and foreboding, without having to delve deeply into the issue.
When we can let all things pass away, we are open to the present moment and can live more fully and deeply. Our choices are not based on negativities that we still harbor from past hurts. We are free to make choices where we can reflect on our actions, determine their consequences both for ourselves and others. Our choices are then made on the basis of what brings us fulfillment rather than emptiness and disatisfaction. We become truly free with a deepening self-knowledge.