The Past is the Past

May 4, 2023 | Virtues of the Heart

Except when it’s Present

The value of expressing the virtues is in our behavior. A behavior is expressed in the now moment of life experience. The point of power, where life exists. In other words, the virtues must be expressed in the present moment to be fully effective. Meeting each moment, no matter what it brings, is the time to use the virtues.

There is a distinction between conscious doing and unconscious doing. As I have suggested in previous blogs, we are mostly living unconsciously lost in thought about the past or future. For the virtues to be effective, we need to be conscious, alert, open, and fully present.

However, the virtues can be applied to the past also.

This can be done by expressing a virtue like compassion, for example, to a person, group of people, a situation, or myself in the past. This example of expression (doing) is always in the present moment, thus conscious doing.

For example, sometimes, I become aware of something I did earlier in my life, which may have caused harm to someone or something. When remembering this, my emotions are triggered, and I feel shame, guilt, regret, or remorse. Those emotions don’t feel good, and the tendency is to stop thinking about this to avoid the pain. Many will reach for a distraction like eating, drinking, drugs, losing themselves on social media, blaming others, or any of a hundred other distractions. Anything to avoid the emotional pain of the memory.

“Suppressed energy doesn’t go away, and even dark or disowned energy cannot be destroyed. It needs to move, to become, to transmute; it must find an expression”

–Thomas Hübl

If I can catch that pattern before I automatically react to the discomfort of the memory, I can apply the virtues to this situation that occurred in the past. This is the transmutation Thomas is speaking about in the above quote.

This requires a willingness to allow the feeling and memory of the situation to be fully felt and seen in the present moment. I have to be willing to hold it without running away. By running away, I mean shifting my attention to something else that feels better, at least temporarily.

If I can hold the feelings of shame, discomfort, and guilt without the overlay of judgment or thinking, I am present. I allow myself to just feel it all. I am bringing the past into the present. Sometimes as has been the case for me, this requires the help of a therapist or skilled professional.

This willingness to hold the feelings creates a behavior shift, a break in a pattern; in other words, it reveals a crack in the wall for light to enter. The “dark energy,” or what was hidden is exposed to the light, and I allowed it to move.

In this space, I can invite and allow whatever virtue is needed to be applied to this situation. Once again, this is bringing love into the present moment. In this case, it may be forgiving my younger self for the error I made. It may include understanding why I did what I did and having compassion for myself. It may also include sending compassion to the person or situation I hurt back then or other virtues.

The virtues expressed in this manner rewrite our emotional pattern as it relates to this past experience, which up until now, was buried. Repressing these memories requires effort and energy. The memory is still there, and when triggered, it ignites painful emotions. These emotions clutter our consciousness and inhibit our ability to live a peaceful life. These are the emotions that need to be released, raised up into the light of consciousness.

The light of consciousness is in the present moment.

Applying the virtues reframes the situation where these negative emotions are replaced with compassion, forgiveness, understanding, or others.

This is emotional self-mastery, which is the outcome of living the six heart virtues. Emotional self-mastery is walking in life and knowing we have the ability to meet every situation with gratitude, neutrality, and allowance.

This is one method that can free us from the past “dark energy” that we carry around that limits our ability to receive and express love.

Aligning our heart and head is the means by which we reach out into the higher dimensions of the soul or sovereign for guidance, intelligence, and love. The ego, personality, and mind alone are not capable of this; they rely on history and social programming.

The heart is the portal to the source of love and opens the channel to higher intelligence and inner connectedness streaming from the soul/sovereign.

We can allow this concept in for contemplation and test it out through experiential living, which determines our ongoing commitment to this method.

If I cannot let something new in, I am bound to repeat the patterns of my past.

I have a choice, and that choice presents itself every moment of my life.

It is a choice to live from my ego personality or from my heart.

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