Most people know of the concept of ghosts.
A ghost is an apparition that represents what a person used to be. The ethereal remains in the present because something from the past is not resolved.
I believe this concept of a ghost is exactly what past anger becomes when we hold onto it.
Recently, I got to spend a little time with someone whom I had been angry at for a long time. For the past year, I had told myself I was angry at this person for self-protective reasons. That they had done wrong by me, and that my anger was justified to stop it happening again.
However, when I spent a little time with them, I realized that something else was actually at play.
I was holding onto an old version of myself and my life when it came to this particular person.
Essentially, I was making up a story in the present based upon my feelings of the past. And yet, that story was no longer true.
It might have been true once, but it wasn’t anymore.
I am no longer the person who was hurt by the situation, and the time when it happened has well and truly ceased to exist. The world I inhabit now is actually quite different from the one I lived in when I was hurt and angry. That is because I have chosen to keep challenging myself and growing as a person.
Yet, concerning this one situation with this one person, I was holding onto the past. More than that, I was actually being haunted by it.
(I realize I am writing this in deliberately vague terms. The details aren’t as important as the lesson).
When I chose to see this person as a new person, and myself as a new person, it truly helped me breathe out and move on from the past. The haunting feeling of anger that had been inside for so long suddenly started to evaporate.
Even if a person has hurt you, or somehow disadvantaged you, by bringing that anger into the present, you’ll only continue to be haunted by it.
Sometimes anger takes time to fade, but if you continue to hold onto it long past the event, then that is a choice that you are making. You are causing your own pain by telling yourself that what happened is somehow still happening.
News flash: it isn’t.
The only reason we hold onto old pain is because we are believing in a ghost.
When we are brave enough to admit that life has moved on, and that we need to as well, the ghosts of the past disappear.