Do you have one of those haunting memories? You know, the kind where you rail to the Universe about the unfairness of it all? A memory that you bring up from time to time and it just galls you? Or it takes you to a blue state where you beat up on yourself?
If you’re lucky, that happens infrequently, or maybe you’re not and it happens on a regular basis.
That one memory is sure to hit you where you live and cast a shadow over your day. You nurse it and pick at it like a scab. It’s always there, like a predator, just waiting to spring on you. Let’s call it what it is: self-torture.
That used to be me. I spent decades tormenting myself, carrying around that old baggage, torturing myself.
Then one day I had this huge epiphany. Those people who had slighted me had long ago forgotten the entire incident. It wasn’t even a blip on their radar. Why was I giving up my power to something so trivial?
Of course, the simple answer is ego. My ego was bruised. Acknowledging that fact was a huge first step toward finding the key to stopping the self torture.
I realized that hanging onto this negativity actually kept me energetically connected to that other person. Ewww, who wants that? Not me, how about you?
After my epiphany I devised a strategy to deal with all that old baggage and forever free myself from past energetic entanglements. It’s super simple and I’ve since taught it to many of my students so that they could free themselves from their old baggage. You can use one or all of these techniques — whatever works is the best choice:
• Understand that you are the boss of your thoughts. You do not have to entertain thoughts that make you feel bad. When those dark thoughts pop into your awareness, stop them and move on. Do not dance with darkness, for it will only drag you down. Make it a mantra and use it liberally as long as you need: “I am the boss of my thoughts.”
• Often your bad memories involve what you believe someone thought about you. How do you know what they really thought? It could just as easily have been something wonderful. You get to decide, because it’s your memory. Right now, edit the story and make their thought something that feels good. Once you do that, the memory holds no more power over you. It’s done. Now, use that technique with all such memories. Time to clean house.
• Change the channel. When your thoughts turn to self-torture, just like you’d change a channel on TV, change your thought channel to something that makes you feel better. Plan for it right now. Choose one of your happiest memories and have it ready to retrieve next time the dark thoughts return. Expect the bad thought to put up a fight. In the beginning, it will keep popping back in. Each time that happens take a deep breath, remember you are the boss of your thoughts, dismiss it and replace it with your happy memory, just like swiping your finger on an electronic device to turn the page. With practice, you’ll soon do this with ease until one day that dark thought is banished for good.
• Rewrite the story. Go back over that story and change the details so that you end up feeling good about it. Be as creative as you like. It’s your reality — you can do that! Remember: You are the boss of your thoughts.
There you have it. Persist in applying these techniques as needed and one day you won’t need them anymore, because you will have ended self-torture once and for all.