Guy Finley briefly describes in this short talk how our lives can change for the better, including all of our past, if we are willing, right now, to do the necessary kind of interior self-work that changes everything.
What do we need to do to rise above the limitations of our present understanding — limitations that, seen or not, play a role in our daily dose of heartache? The answer may surprise you! Truth teachings throughout the ages tell us that healing the hidden and hurting places in our heart begins with becoming conscious of them. We are taught that we cannot free ourselves of anything that we refuse to meet face-to-face. The great American philosopher and self-realized author, Ralph Waldo Emerson, confirms this spiritual fact:
In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion or flight but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless.
What encouragement! But these words are more than merely motivational. The promise hidden in this powerful principle doesn’t just leave us wanting the courage we need, far from it. Such truths invite us to see our lives through their eyes, where we are shown the existence of a fearless heart, free from all self-compromise. We catch sight of a warrior’s way, where the favorable outcome of our struggle becomes certain the moment we choose to explore what is yet to be discovered within ourselves. But that’s not all. These same truths hint of the greatest gift of all — not only the possibility of a liberated life, but the promise of it fulfilled. And all that is asked of those who would enter this bright new world is to embrace its reality within themselves.
Beating ourselves up after making a blunder doesn’t mean that we actually know better than what we just did — nor does this kind of suffering lead to greater command or better decisions the next time around. Self-punishing acts prove only one thing: Something in us would rather suffer over what happened in the past than be present to those parts of us that erred in the first place. Real self-command dawns within us as we realize that reliving the past is powerless to change a present misunderstanding; it comes from the light of our new knowledge that having the courage to drop the level of self that keeps wronging us and others is far more important than being seen as right. This same realization also grants us the courage to start life over — again and again.
Question: I’ve been having many issues lately with past pain. If someone hurt me in the past, and a situation happens now that is similar to that, my mind instantly jumps to the conclusion of the past and takes my attention, convincing me the pain is real. I try to watch and not believe, but it does continually take my attention. I’m wondering about the difference between intuition and past pain. What am I intuiting as correct about a situation or what am I incorrectly assuming because of past pain?
Answer: There is no pain in intuition… ever. Intuition is a higher kind of seeing that can’t be emotionally touched by what is perceived. However, there is always pain in allowing the mind to unconsciously recollect and then identify with past impressions stirred up by present circumstances that seem (or may even be) of a similar nature. Letting go of this psychic undertow isn’t a question of “not believing” in what you see, but rather requires you seeing — and remain seeing — that something in you wants to look at what lashes you each time you lend it your attention.