“Removing an arrow/error like believing your past
was the BEST and your future is less bright,
is easier said than done, if you know what I mean.
We get a LOT out of holding onto the the things that harm us, don’t we?
I know as long as my past is better than my future,
I cannot call in the future that is mine from a pure heart,
or as Dr. E puts it: ‘clean, calm, clear heart’.”
~ Shiloh Sophia McCloud
Sharing from her experiences at
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’
SoulFire Vision Quest in June 2012
|The past can be an anchor holding you back.
When I read the words above that Shiloh Sophia McCloud wrote they literally leapt off the page at me. Fairly recently I had found myself in a bit of a funk and during this time frame I also happened to flip through some old photographs. Some were of my days of living and traveling in Europe. Others were of me in my college days and with various friends sharing fun experiences. I found myself wistful of my youth, my courage, my appearance (one that required I work out damn hard to achieve), my freedom and some of my relationships. The words Shiloh wrote spoke to me deeply though. At the age of 43 was I really ready to declare the best years of my life were over? Was I really thinking that nothing fabulous would/could happen that might make those experiences of my twenties and thirties seem small in comparison? When had I grown so disillusioned, jaded and skeptical? Was I going to throw in the towel and live my life talking about the good ol’ days and the “remember whens”? Heck, I had to admit that I was falling into that pattern.
Recently I also made some observations about we humans. I saw first hand how easy it is for we humans to hold onto the past in a death grip of remembrances, and not in a good way. It is fairly common for people to keep track of the hurts and the ways we have been wronged. I make no judgments of this tendency, because most of us have been there at some point or other, and according to psychological research it is now believed that it is in our human nature that bad events wear off more slowly than good ones. Here is a quote from an article called Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall by Alina Tugend, “As with many other quirks of the human psyche, there may be an evolutionary basis for this. Those who are ‘more attuned to bad things would have been more likely to survive threats and, consequently, would have increased the probability of passing along their genes,’ the article states. ‘Survival requires urgent attention to possible bad outcomes but less urgent with regard to good ones.'”
I have personally experienced my own propensity to remember the bad, as well as witnessed that of others. I have found it sad to observe once close and treasured friendships crumble because of one or two negative interactions, in spite of years of wonderful times spent together. I have also witnessed someone complaining and talking about their resentment for events that took place 30+ years ago. Yet reminding someone that those events are far in the past, cannot be changed and really don’t have to affect them in their current life, isn’t often productive. You can’t make someone else see through your eyes how they are allowing their old resentments to steal their happiness in their present life. Again I don’t judge anyone that is stuck in such a place. There is a time when it might be necessary to delve into the past in order to really get the muck out and heal it. When Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant teamed up earlier this year Iyanla stated that in order to heal our pain three things to need to happen, we have to feel our pain, we have to deal with it (really deal with it) and then we can heal it. Feel, Deal, Heal. She also bluntly told a former addict that while he was no longer using drugs and drinking alcohol that he was now addicted to his story and that he needed to move on because he was the only one standing in the way of his happiness.
I am also here to share that Cosmic Cowgirls has a secret weapon when it comes to transforming one’s pain and past into glitter and gold. The remedy is art and writing one’s Legendary Story. All of our lives offer us up the most wonderful material for a kick-in-the pants, rollicking, roll-in-the-hay read. That bar fight you had back in 1995, don’t you dare leave it out, and your stories from when you raced wild with a roller derby team called The Angry Beavers will be sure to have your readers staying up all night. If you danced in a cage or on tables in a bar tell us all about it. Perhaps you lived in Europe and had several foreign lovers. Hmm….now we are getting to some good stuff. Yet, there are the tougher stories, perhaps the boyfriend or husband who cheated and left you for Paris Hilton. There might even be tragedy, the fiance who died in a car accident or the abusive childhood you survived. All of these provide you with a champions story and the back story to who you are today. If you have any doubts about that one pop on over to Effy Wild’s blog called The Glitterhood and begin reading her powerful and moving mini-memoir.
As we are beginning our Legendary journals over at the Red Key Vision Quest consider what stories you have to tell.
Is there something that you first need to feel, deal and heal?
Do you feel addicted to any of your stories that are causing you pain and keeping you from moving forward in your journey? (feel free to share or think about privately)
Which stories or experiences of yours first come to mind when you think of the word Legendary?
With love and encouragement to shine, shine, shine!Michelle
** Mojo Monday was born in May 2010 and has been featured on Cosmic Cowgirls Rodeo of the Soul since that time. Mojo Monday offers up inspiration, interesting ideas, questions and more to get our week off and running. We like to gather around the campfire and share our stories and our experiences with one another.
In 2011 Steph Cowling who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, joined the Mojo Monday team and inspired us all for a year with her incredibly thoughtful writing and her beautiful photography. Fortunately you can still find her writing in her column Soul In the City in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.
This year the inspirational Trish O’Mally is co-facilitating Mojo Mondays with me. Her writing carries magic within it and if you attend a Cosmic Cowgirl Conference you may get to experience her gastronomical brilliance as well.