The past is not always with us. There are moments when the past is consumed by love, which is the intoxication of our natural state. What we remember about the past is not our natural state. Fundamentally, we are not that which can be conditioned by memory, by the past, by time. It is important to see that a part of us is already healed; in fact, a part of us is not capable of being wounded. If we don’t start from this insight, we will always fall back into the mire of the past. We have all sustained too many wounds to heal them all, one at a time. As long as we continue to identify with our separate self, we will experience the sorrow of past sufferings.
What is it exactly we want to heal? Perhaps, as a child, we were terrified by something cruel or violent. Perhaps we were personally violated, physically, emotionally, or mentally. Maybe no one loved us, or received our love. There are so many ways in which the thudding hammer blows of ignorant behavior can terrify us. Who hasn’t experienced some of this? So much of life is one disappointment after another. We are criticized. We are told many negative things about ourselves, all of it false, but we absorb it and belief it. We experience shame and embarrassment. We begin to feel small and distrustful of ourselves, and so we hold back. Our spirit shrinks, and we begin to live in tiny rooms, in attics and basements, in shadows and darkness and fear.
These impressions take on full lives within us. Through the filters of these impressions, we meet each new situation as if it were the old one, and we prepare for the worst. This is the way that old wounds deprive us of the experience of our spirit, of our true Self. We dread the past and yet, without knowing it, we throw it out before us, seeding the future with the past. This is the source of the heaviness, the disappointment, the sadness that follows us from one day to the next. The old wounds suck out from the marrow of our lives the very joy and spaciousness of free living.
To heal this damage of abuse is necessary for our emotional and psychological well-being and happiness. But even as we undertake this healing work, we may find that the roots of our suffering do not originate in adolescence, or childhood, or even in this life. The original damage may have occurred in a previous life. We may find that it is difficult to pinpoint the specific time and perpetrator of our wound. The terrain in which we search for clues to our pain is really a vast wilderness, a journey that may take us into the distant past of forgotten lifetimes.
As we travel deeply into this healing process, we begin to see recurring themes, recurring situations, recurring relationship patterns. One begins to wonder who, in fact, does what to whom. The tremendous wheel of life has been turning for eons. We have been many things, done many things, known many people. We need to find a very high ground of insight to know the truth of our lives, and of how and why things happen the way they do.
I think that all of the suffering that we experience and inflict comes from a fundamental wound that is common to all of us. That wound is the separation from our source within consciousness itself. We must return to our original Self, through meditation, through prayer, through silent inquiry. As we do this, the energy of the Self is liberated, bit by bit. The inner energy that is activated through meditation will cause these old wounds to come out of the shadows and into the light. Some will disappear in the first seeing. Other impressions might need to be worked with, to be coaxed fully out of their hiding. When this is necessary, we will see that some person or resource becomes available to us. Just be open to this assistance appearing.
We should be careful not to become addicted to the healing work itself. The way to heal the past is to see that the wounds and impressions of the past are not who we are. We don’t need to revel in what is essentially not real. We don’t have to assemble a new false self to counteract the old false self. Any self-image, whether of a shamed and embarrassed child or of a strong and fearless adult, misses the mark of who we really are. Let us do what work is necessary and be done with it. It isn’t necessary to create a detailed understanding of the past, for this kind of knowing does not free us. Let the old impressions surface naturally, see them totally with complete openness, and let them go. It’s not necessary to rewrite our whole personal history, which is already too extensive.
I think the best way to begin to heal our wounds is to connect with that part of ourselves that can never be wounded. Become silent inside, and let that silence begin to wash the old hurts. The true healing is from a recognition that who we are is vast, untrammeled, not spoiled by the past. The essential Self, the eternal flame of the divine, is already healed because it can never be wounded. By contacting this Self first, that very thing which is wounded begins to dissolve, along with its millions of impressions.