“Man can misuse his free will and do wrong, but that temporary delusion can never erase the mark of immortality and perfection of God’s image imprinted on his soul.”
-Paramahansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi)
So you did or said something not-so-nice to someone else. If so, you would not be the first person to exercise free will based on some misunderstanding about the Self (our true being) vs. the little-s self (the conditioned internal story that our ego is convinced is really us).
Our physical/emotional/spiritual reactions to memories of the past tend to be a default setting that we slip back into when these memories push us up against a perceived wall or into a perceived corner with (in our minds) no other possible way out. That default setting is the little ego-self’s way of dealing with memories.
Is there a way to let go? Do you have a plan to release yourself from mental discomfort, guilt, or even torture invoked by memories of your self-judged “bad” deeds or words? Or do you believe, somewhere in your unconscious mind, that you deserve to carry the pain a bit longer?
The choice is always ours, and yet it’s amazing how many of us feel enslaved to emotional, mental, and spiritual memories of our past selves—mostly caused by misunderstandings about who we are, where we have come from, and what we have done. That unconscious lens of misunderstanding is what we use to view/cope with events in the present. Then we’re uncomfortable and we don’t know why.
Sometimes we continue to carry such hindrances because some part of us believes that we deserve to suffer. Sometimes our conscious mind thinks we have resolved the issue, and then we encounter our “victim,” or someone else who shares with us that they have done the same thing to another, and we feel the guilty pain and suffering all over again.
Some believe there may be a karmic imprint that must be resolved. But whatever the energies at work, you are the only one who can 1) release the suffering, and 2) deal with the condition of continually holding yourself hostage to memories related to unkind thoughts, actions or word exchanges.
Nothing will happen to resolve this situation until you do something about it; the good news is that you already have.
You have, in your infinite and unconscious wisdom (however deeply buried it may be), set yourself up to encounter, in your life, circumstances involving people, places and things that will create the opportunities for releasing and making right your previous memories of wrong.
These circumstances could be anything from your office dynamics to your primary partner, or the children you have or teach. They include the grocery clerk who frowns at you for no apparent reason; the airlines flight attendant who is dismissive or curt; the everyday people you encounter or interact with at the local coffee hangout. These are the people with whom you have a connection because of your particular memories, either from this lifetime or a past one.
Some people with memories that need to be cleared may trigger them by watching certain movies over and over, not realizing that, on a unconscious level, they are trying to release a memory and make right a wrong from the past, or heal a memory about themselves or another.
For example; a person that likes to watch Knights Templar movies over and over may have been a Knight Templar, or have been associated with one, in a past lifetime, and there also may be some associated memory or circumstance surfacing that is asking to be realized (caught), loved and released.
When we evoke such memories, consciously or unconsciously, we may feel as if we are pushed up against a mental wall or into an emotional corner and trapped. We can struggle against them, tell ourselves all kinds of stories, but absolutely nothing will happen to resolve the situation unless we take the right action.
What is the right action?
Here are some of the things we can do when we are overwhelmed, pained, trapped, or otherwise affected by memories of past thoughts and deeds:
1. Look for a pattern. Recognize your creation of the same circumstance over and over, perhaps in variations on the same theme.
2. Know that it does not matter when, where or with whom a troubling memory took place; it can be healed and released.
3. If the discomfort stems from a present life situation, make amends to the other(s) involved, even if they don’t respond. Their response is not your responsibility.
4. Break the habit of the knee-jerk response by trying something different. When you watch a type of movie that fascinates you (as in the Knights Templar example above), ask yourself what role you identify with and how you might do it differently today. Perhaps you would put down your sword and walk away. Or Instead of raising your voice, soften it. Or smile/laugh at a frowning/menacing person. Remember, it’s only a movie, and you are here in a new movie of life.
5. When you meet with someone who triggers an unpleasant past emotional memory, ask: “How may I help you?” Even if you just ask this question silently of yourself, being of service is really the only way out. When you do so, you can transmute a memory of pain into an impulse of kindness.
In the end, what we are suggesting that you do is this: try to identify, (catch) the fact that there is some kind of mind-glitch memory causing your mental difficulty or inappropriate behavior; take the right action (love it) as best you can; and then let it go (release it).
It’s absolutely okay to love and leave the memories that bind you to behaviors and actions that result in your suffering or that of others. We have all behaved as the good, the bad, and the ugly at some point in our multidimensional history. The ability to resolve the results of past behavior is what makes you the aware being you are today.
Remember, as stated by Paramahansa Yogananda,
“…that temporary delusion (those actions) can never erase the mark of immortality and perfection of God’s image imprinted on his (our) soul.”
Thank God and Yippee!!
– Melinda Iverson Inn