Q: Hey John. I need help to find a way to leave my past in the past. During my life, in my everyday life I most of the time live in the here and now, in the present, but the past keeps visiting me. Since I was 5 or 6 years old I was abused – sexual abuse – and it was my secret for a very long time. I didn’t realize how much this secret is huge and complicated when I was a child, and for me, for my being I want to leave this story in the past because it’s too complicated for me, and it’s hard for me to deal with it when it comes into the present. I’m not sure I know how to do it.
John: By you deeply coming to rest concerning what happened to you. So it’s not putting it away in the past; it’s for you to completely live in the present, that you have no more resistance toward it. It doesn’t matter how it comes up. As soon as it comes up you are deeply at peace with what happened to you. It doesn’t matter how bad the experience was. It doesn’t matter who did what. First, you are deeply at peace with it so you are quietly, genuinely okay with everything that happened; that if you had the power to go back and change it, that you are so genuinely at peace with it, if you could change it all with the blink of your eye, you wouldn’t. You have no reason to; there’s nothing there in you that would change it. That’s your depth of okayness toward it, in it, presently in it.
When you are that okay with what took place in the past, it isn’t in the past anymore. It’s finally free to be present in you, and what it meets in you is quiet love. As you’re in that, your experience of the past will change. The nature of the event won’t be any different but you, present, seeing into the event, are quiet love. It isn’t a manipulation of your mind. You’re not like that so you can be finished with your past. It isn’t a performance. It isn’t a modification of your nervous system, your mind, of perception, of your self: it’s real.
Once you open that, much else will be coming up. Once the signal of such profound okayness concerning something in your past is let loose into your subconsciousness, it’s going to activate many things you’ve even forgotten. It will be waking up many things that have fallen asleep. It’s all good. It is all now free to meet the deep, quiet real in you and it doesn’t matter what it is that comes up.
If you follow this through – it may take some time, but if you follow this through – this will, in your experience, change your past. Instead of you relating as a bruised self, a hurting mind every time you look at certain things in your past, instead of seeing your past from the perspective of closing and hardening and tightening, you will be seeing the same past, you will be in the same past but as a being. A being, present in everything that you’ve been through, isn’t the same as your experience of your self in what you’ve been through. They are like two completely different worlds. You aren’t manipulating your past. You are finally seeing your past and experiencing your past as a being: really in it, really there, in response to everything that’s taking place.
What comes of you in all of that, without constraint, is nurture, okayness and love.
Q: When I speak about it, and I’m not doing it a lot – I feel like to talk about it is part of my healing – I feel overloaded with emotions, anger and sadness, and I don’t know how to deal with this situation.
John: You mean with all of the emotion? Don’t. Don’t deal with it, don’t handle it, don’t manipulate it, don’t put it into a category, don’t heal it. Just warmly leave it there as it is. It doesn’t need to be any different. It doesn’t need to be understood or corrected. When you are that fundamentally, warmly okay with it as it is, there really is no problem.
Your self doesn’t heal when it is not in your experience. It’s when it is up in your experience, present in your nervous system, that you feel most desperate for it to go away or heal. You don’t need either. If you want it to heal, that want and that need the constriction of the want and the need isn’t like what you really are. If you would like for it to just go away, that need inside is also not like what you really are.
When you are being what you really are in the midst of the experience, all that there is to you, all that you are, is quietly, warmly, okay, without any need for you to connect that to your experience. It is authentically you. Your mental state, your emotional state, your physical state there has nothing to do with you. If you quietly, warmly do nothing with your experience, nothing with your mental, emotional, physical state, it will all warm up to you and come to rest in you. Your body, your emotions, your feelings, your nervous system, your mind will follow you, become like you.