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.
6 thoughts on “Ghosts of the Past”
Wow, Daniel. As always, powerful. This gave me some insight into something I have been facing the past few weeks that includes: anger, grief, acceptance, and reflection. Your post definitely opened my eyes and I am heading in the right direction towards closure. I hope you feel lighter now too, with your discovery.
Thank you for sharing, I am so glad it was useful. Yes I am definitely feeling lighter and also grateful for the lesson 🙂
i do agree with the majority of what you said.
i think it is something great and amazing the fact of opening a new page and forgiving those who opressed or mistreat us, and such behaviour (forgiving ) is done only by generous people.
i just want to add that it would be better in order to make the “new” chance succeed and endure. if the opresser was aware of the hiorrible thing he did to you and admit it or even ask for pardon, for having a new beginning without framing it with conditions means that odds he will repeat what he did again.
thus, i think when the opresser is aware and sorry about what he did, and admit that he was wrong, at that time the present will outballance the past and maybe , like you said, will evaporate.
living in the past is not healthy at all, and forgeting it isn’t healthy as well, for the past mistakes is what prevent us to make them again.
lets say turn the page , torn the previous one, but don’t throw it, keep it with you just in case.
Thank you for sharing that Hakim, great insights! – DMS
Very nice, keep it up
Thanks Jimon, glad it was valuable for you 🙂 – DMS