Lesson 12: Holding On to the Past
Oprah believes that a universal issue for so many of us is that we are holding on to the hurt and pain of our past. In this class, five sisters have been entrenched in a bitter feud for years and find ways to move on. Getting on with the “now” can only be accomplished by letting go of the past. Some insight from Oprah’s Lifeclass Lesson 12….
Today’s Question: What memories of the past still dominate your thinking? What do you need to let go of?
Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes: Oprah says, “It’s not just letting go of the past, it’s all bigger than we can ever imagine.” We all want a better life. How do we get there?
Are we living in what could have, what should have, what we wished could have been? Living in the past is one of the biggest detriments.
Five sisters’ relationship went from a simple misunderstanding to a full scale war. The conflict was affecting the sisters emotionally, physically and spiritually. When we see defensiveness, that person is in pain and needs love and acceptance. It took a major tragedy – the loss of one sister’s son – to bring them to wake up. 18 years later the sisters reconciled. Jackie’s oldest son was dying of AIDS and a sister, Vicki took him in. In order for her to see her son, she had to be in Vicki’s home. The reconciliation had begun.
When we resort to name-calling, it means that we are out of control and we’re using that to bring more value to ourselves.
The only person we ever have any control over is ourselves. We have a choice in how we see the situation, or we can remove ourselves from the situation but we cannot change the other person.
Whatever energy we are carrying from the past, we carry into the future and that energy colors everything we do and experience. It blocks us from being all that we were meant to be.
Forgiving is necessary to let go of the past. It doesn’t mean that we say “it’s ok”. Forgiveness is acceptance, not approval.
All of life is about “waking up”.
When the Oprah Show first started talking about men having affairs, women in the audience were adament that they would never put up with it, they would leave. That attitude gradually changed over the next few years – in the 90’s. Oprah says that she has discovered that men don’t cheat because of someone who is more attractive, smarter or…. He cheats because of how another person makes him feel.
In 2008, Psychiatrist Gary Newman, found that men cheat because they feel underappreciated, unimportant, not admired. Men want to feel valued.
Unless the other man (or woman) completely understands and expresses remorse for what they have done, it’s very difficult for the betrayed person to get over it. Both parties need to sit down and talk about it openly. Give yourself permission to deal with the issue. It takes time to build trust again.
Not everyone can get over an affair. You need to decide for yourself if you can or can’t get over an affair. If you decide that you can – then really get over it. Deal with it and let it go. You have to deal with the past or it will continue to show up in your relationships, your health, in every aspect of your life. If you can’t get over the affair, then move on from the relationship. Don’t live in between. There needs to be emotional closure.
On losing a loved one…with Gary Zukav… Oprah says…It’s not just about letting go of the past. It’s about the ultimate lesson for us as human beings. I am not my body, I am not my circumstances, I am not what everything looks like. I really am a higher level of being and consciousness that is a soul. My personality is not my soul. My personality is here to serve my soul”.
We, our lives, are bigger than what it looks like.
A couple lost a new preterm baby, a twin. They were both born perfect but on the third day after their birth, Ryan had a brain bleed. He could not save the baby. The parents went into a tailspin, were having a difficult time not letting this tragedy take over in their lives.
Gary Zukav counsels -“Look at Ryan as a soul, like everyone on this earth, that left this earth when it chose, then you will have a different perspective. You will be able to see the gifts that this soul gave you during it’s short stay on this earth. You will reach a place in your life where you are grateful that this soul chose to be with you for however short a time. If you do not, you will live your life feeling that a tragedy has occurred. Whenever you see your other son growing up, you will say Ryan should be here. You will be placing a burden on your other son, the twin, because no matter what he does, what he accomplishes, he will be causing Mommy pain. If you look at Ryan as a great soul who voluntarily entered the earth school and voluntarily left it in, you will begin to fathom and appreciate the interaction that you had with that soul and you will be able to receive the gifts that this soul came to earth to give to you and your family. And if you do not, then you will continue to be turning away from those gifts. You will be denying the very wealth of wisdom and compassion that was offered to you by this soul. ” The soul is a great deal more than just a personality. Interact soul-to-soul. Recognize the power of the soul.
Many others were impacted by this story.
Oprah says that this story gives us a glimpse a notion that you are bigger than your body and your personality. Oprah called this a holy moment in the room that day. Oprah says it reminds her to stop and and think about her own soul and everyone around her, causes her to just for a moment to disconnect from the egos and personalities around her, and to recognize that it is all bigger than we can ever imagine.
“You are not your circumstances. You are a higher level of being and consciousness that is a soul.” If we think life is only what we can see, then we are missing the whole point.
Oprah encourages us…”When you lose somebody in the physical form, the formless becomes an angel that you know”.
“Life is much bigger than just a body. When you are grieving over the loss of a loved one…sense the presence of their soul, which is always with you, instead of the personality that is gone.”
Oprah quoting Iyanla Vanzant…”You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people. But until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick you hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them.”
Oprah says…”The sooner we can let go of the past, the sooner we can get on with the “now”, our daily life. If we don’t let it go, it becomes a wall, a barrier, and it prevents us from the vibrancy, the aliveness, the glory that our life should be. ”
Oprah’s Lifeclass Lesson 12: Holding on to the past
Oprah’s Webcast Lesson 12: Holding on to the past
Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes
Today’s Lifeclass Question