One of my most redundant-sounding revelations shortly after my Kundalini experience was this: “I am everything I ever was and ever will be all at once!”
When I told a friend, he laughed at me. I still do think this was a valuable insight, though. I believe that we comprise our past, present and future. I recently heard of an analogy about a tree: What happened to the four year old tree will remain materialized in its trunk, the formation of its annual rings; it won’t ever go away. The tree will contain what it survived throughout all of its lifetime.
I think it is the same with us as humans. While the practice of being present in the Here & Now is a valid approach to therapy, self-healing and mindfulness techniques, it can only ever be a band-aid. Ultimately, we cannot deny the past. I think the past is not gone. Maybe also the future isn’t nonexistent. They might exist all at once forever, simultaneously.
This actually lines up with the block universe theory, a philosophical concept of time relating to physics. I recommend a little research about it if you’re intrigued.
So while we can gain a lot from living in the moment, being aware of the breath we are breathing and the step we are taking, I believe we have to accept that our past will always be a part of who we are. Especially when it comes to traumatic experiences, we might have to become even more accepting of our pain. In expecting and hoping to one day “overcome” the pain, fear and anger that is connected to our trauma, we might get to a point where we feel that, by now, we should be able to handle it. We think we worked through it, so we should be okay!
Maybe it is more helpful to see ourselves as the four year old tree that is still inside of us. We still comprise all the shocking and shattering things we once survived, and here’s what- I think we always will. Even if we go through it again and again, whether in the course of therapy or by ourselves, we can never expect the work to be done.
Healing is not a linear process, and it is one that by definition leaves traces.
If something made you incredibly sad and hurt once, it probably will do so for the rest of your life. And that is okay. It will define you less, yes. And it will have less influence.
Maybe we have to reassess what it means when we say: “It’s in the past,”.
Instead of: “I’m over it, it’s forgiven and forgotten”, it might just mean:
“The wound is always there and I am aware of it, but I grew many rings over the years on top of it that make it feel evermore smoother –
most of the time”.