by Esther Veltheim
Relax. Nothing is under control.
– Adi Da
Each new life experience teaches us something. These learnings can be a useful reference, informing us of possibilities as we move forward through life. Something different happens when we experience an event that is emotionally traumatic to us. We come away from such experiences with more than a useful learning. We come away with an attitude entangled in emotions. The word we have for this dynamic is mindset. These mind-setting experiences accumulate over life and cause our physical brain to literally lose elasticity. This describes the process of becoming set in our thinking.
Mind-setting experiences cause what is called active memories. When we talk of ‘having our buttons pushed’ what we are describing is the triggering of active memories. No memory is a problem or detrimental to us to remember, unless it has an emotionally charged and activated component.
The greater our emotional entanglement with a memory and our convictions about it, the harder it is to see any new situation with fresh eyes. Instead the present event is colored by shades of the past or can even be so distorted as to resemble an historical re-enactment.
With our mind set on PAST, we react to each new situation by doing exactly as we did historically. We are incapable of responding to the new as something new, happening here and now.
Not only is our mind setting more strongly each time this happens. Each time our mindset dictates pre-programmed reactions our body simultaneously contracts and this physical contraction happens exponentially at all levels of the system. Our bodymind complex is literally becoming set in its ways.
Finding ourselves stuck in a repetition of history it is easy to blame the past. Knowing we cannot change the past we eventually start blaming our thinking. “I have to stop thinking like this! I have to get rid of these beliefs and thoughts!”. What we need to realize is that strong beliefs are not only formed in the past, strong beliefs are also the stuff of the past. This is why we cannot and do not need to get rid of our beliefs. The only reason the past keeps on being superimposed over the present is because an emotional involvement with the past is still active. And that is not our fault. But what do we do?!
Historical, repetitive reactions to life are what we crave freedom from. We do not need to rid ourselves of our history before we can experience that. We do need to de-activate the charge that keeps those memories active. This is the work of BreakThrough.