Making The Past Your Ally

by Mark Ivar Myhre on August 26, 2007

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Here’s how I used to feel:

“Something’s not right. I’m miserable too much of the time. I barely know happiness. I feel ‘down’. My heart aches. When will I feel better?”

I didn’t start out this way. Although it often seems like it. I can vaguely remember moments of childhood glee. Life was simpler then. I had my moments – even through the pain of growing up. I had my moments of joy. If I think back hard enough – I can even remember a time or two when I felt on top of the world.

What happened? How did it get so bad? What did I do wrong? I know I started out pure… innocent… fresh in the world. Why do I feel so dirty now?

I hide it. But I can’t kill it: those feelings of unworthiness… undeserving… not good enough. I have to keep stuffing down those feelings. Sometimes it’s like holding a beach ball under water. I know I didn’t come into this world to feel miserable.



It’s true. You did come here filled with hope. You really did know dominion as a child. No matter how much you were beaten down.

Search hard enough – you will find those moments, however fleeting… of boundless love and unbridled enthusiasm and spikes of joy. Maybe they were extinguished early on… but you can go back now and RETRIEVE them.

Because you can’t really kill that childhood enthusiasm. You can only cover it up with layers of pain and shame and blame and various other energies. They may have stopped you from feeling wonderful again, but they couldn’t kill those wonderful feelings you’d already felt.

Those feelings live on. You can find them NOW. Uncover them. Recover them. Discover them, as if for the first time. You can use them now to help you feel better today.

See, the expansive feelings such as love, joy, wonder, happiness, enthusiasm… hold much greater power than the constrictive feelings such as hate and despair and fear. (Although EVERY real emotion holds power.)



The love and joy you felt as a child – however fleeting – still exists today. If you consciously go back and remember those moments, you can use them today as anchors – as beacons of hope – to change your life.

You’re already using your memories as anchors and beacons. But all too often, we save and cherish the painful memories. Interestingly, it takes more energy to keep those painful memories in place than it does to keep wonderful moments in place.

Of the thousands and thousands of separate experiences you’ve had in the past, only a small handful are elevated to the status of anchor or beacon. You choose which moments to elevate. You choose the memories.

By consciously making the effort, you can replace your current memories with others that serve you better.

Why not get out paper and pen and jot down a quick list of your current memories that serve as anchors and beacons? It’s easy! You think of them all the time anyway. Now you can get them down on paper. As a way to hold them up to the light of day.

Then decide which ones to replace with more pleasant ones. Find a joyful moment to substitute for each painful one. Make them up, if you must. You’re doing it already with the painful ones… if you stop and really look at it you’ll see how the painful memories often get embellished. Assuming they’re not outright lies.



You can change the direction of your life if you really want to – just by sincerely practicing this simple technique.

It’s never too late to relive a happy childhood moment.

Their ’emotional charge’ lives on – you can’t ‘use it up’ the way you can so easily discharge the painful moments. That’s how you prove to yourself love holds much greater power than fear or pain or hurt. Because to keep those unpleasant moments alive, you must keep remembering them over and over and over.

Loving, joyful moments anchor much quicker and with much less effort. It’s one way to start feeling better.

As we elevate the positive moments of the past, it helps to fully release the painful moments. And to really let go of the past, forgive yourself.

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