Removing the Thorns of our Past

By | December 7, 2012

sufferWe all have them. Those thoughts that we won’t go to in our minds anymore because they are so painful. The lost love, the day of shame, the hurts inflicted. No one is immune from the scary ghosts in the closet. We will do whatever is necessary to cover up these deep wounds from our past that linger dangerously, just ever so lightly, in the annuls of our stored memories. We avoid triggers that may cause our ugly monster to rear its ugly head, like certain related memories, a specific song, a certain date, or old pictures. We know that the past is the past so there is nothing that can be done about our hideous secret, but we hope fiercely that it doesn’t come up again.

You may think that this beastly creation can be easily contained, after all you have been doing it for years – but you know this is not really true. The first indication that old thorns still fester deeply in our consciousness, is the fear we have of the re-exposure of the thorn. We have somehow managed to “live” with the dull ache that remains from this unresolved issue and we dread the thought of it cropping up again.  The second issue with harboring this painful baggage is the way that we develop our belief systems from the strong desire to avoid a similar situation. The fear of reprisal from an old painful thorn causes us to create all sorts of safeguard behaviors and habits that may be very uncomfortable for us, but necessary, per our mandate to cover up the evidence of old burdens on our soul.

free soulIn the book, Untethered Soul, author Michael Singer says that when we decide to keep these old thorns (past hurts, suffering, guilt, shame, resentment), that the work we do to cover them up to keep them from resurfacing is the work of a lifetime. In other words, unconsciously, we spend a great deal of time and effort protecting ourselves from our thorns.

Wouldn’t it be nice to pull that pesky irritant and painful reminder of your past out once and for all? Not doing so robs us of one our most fundamental rights as a divine being, and that is personal freedom! Until you look that ugly guy in the eye and let it know that it is powerless against you, it will always be a factor (albeit a hidden unconscious one), in the rest of your days. And the good news is that is not so hard to do and the rewards for the kind of work needed to release this moldy garbage from your being goes far beyond giving you a little relief from an old wound. The release of this harbored past experience will open your soul up in many wonderful ways.

break upTo remove the old thorns of our past we must first remember that these old thorns do not define us or enchant us anymore; they are only an image from our past. Our mind, when it happens to fall on the thorn (or the experience that caused the thorn), will literally begin to experience the same feelings and emotions that we felt at the time of their insertion into our mind. These images may seem fearful or painful, but they are really nothing more than a thought and an illusion of pain. When you consider this remembrance as a compassionate and loving soul (your higher being) looking at the pain of another (your past self), you can begin to see the illusion of this thorn. You become the noticer of the one that has the thorn, not the one that has the thorn. You remove yourself as the suffering person and become the one that is free, noticing the one that is suffering.

One of best techniques to create the conditions to become the noticer of the suffering one (which both are you), is to silence the mind and still the body, and allow the thorn to wedge it’s way to the surface and become very aware that you are the “watcher” of this happening and not the experiencer of the pain. The experiencer of the pain is in the past. You apply compassion and deep love to the illusion of the experience that caused the pain. I’m not suggesting that the initial experience was an illusion, but that the memory of it certainly is. You will allow the thorn to dislodge itself naturally when you can see the past experience compassionately and then allow it to move out and on. These experiences can never really be a part of our identity if we allow them to be freed.

struggleThe fear or anxiety you might feel when you begin this work is not real. You cannot truly be fearful or anxious about just a thought. A thought is nothing. Recognize this and absorb your thoughts with healing light, love, and overwhelming compassion for the soul that carried this hurt for so long. All wisdom and knowledge that is necessary for you because of these old thorny experiences will remain, but the suffering attached to them will move on after you exercise your direct attention to the removal of the past hurtful experience. The removal of the thorns of our old wounds will make way for a new level of energy in our being. Embrace the feeling of freedom and release as they bubble up from the work you do to remove your thorn.

Going forward, use your emotional radar to gauge whether your feelings are coming from an old thorny past, or if you are preparing to hide new thorns. It is easier (although it doesn’t seem like it at the time), to embrace the pain fully as it is happening, and allow it to run its course, than to push it away and look for ways to bury it as a new thorn to protect. No matter what appears to be causing us to suffer, or to what degree our suffering appears to be, there is never a spiritual solution to our suffering, the reason for the suffering, or results of our suffering, that includes holding onto or resisting the experience.

This does not mean that you cannot or should not deal with the experience, or that action might not be needed, but unless you accept the moment and the feelings that arise, you will be only delaying the inevitable long term suffering that goes along with resistance to life experiences. Allowing the experience to unfold and permitting the suffering you might be feeling, allows it to pass through you – not into you. Then clarity arises, and new solutions and direction become more evident.

i am freeThis is a challenging life enhancing lesson. I understand that no one enjoys or wants to hurt or feel bad, but I also know that in order for us to find our pathways to freedom, we must allow the experiences of the past to be removed and released. Just as you know that a real thorn from a tree that gets lodged into you is not a true part of who you are and MUST be removed, so the thorns of images past must be also removed.

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