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Releasing the Past

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Many of us have been through ordeals we would have rather avoided in life. How can we overcome the pain and disillusionment they leave in their wake?

Firstly, allow yourself to feel the emotions that come up in relation to what happened. These feelings will come with memories, sometimes memories you would rather avoid, but don't: It is important you allow them to run their natural course.

Having said that, take care not to start playing the story of what happened over and over again in your head, as a way of torturing yourself. If you have been through hard times, it was enough the first time around! Don't prolong the suffering by aggravating the past. When the memories come, go to the feeling and release the emotion. Then bring yourself back into the moment. We are letting these emotions go so that we can experience something new, here and now, not to stay stuck in what happened.

Usually we ignore all of our emotions, pretending that everything is fine, so as not to rock the boat, so as not to create conflict or concern in those around us. We shut down to what we are really feeling and behave in the ways we think are expected of us, but underneath it all the resentment and anger begin to grow, often toward those who are closest to us. It is so important to express ourselves, to be real: If we don't, we begin to hate ourselves.

We think that if we are real and speak our truth, we will hurt someone, yet we are hurting someone when we don't: We are hurting ourselves.

The truth flies the highest. It unites; it generates trust. Protection generates fear and separation.

Being "nice," being "friendly" without really feeling it, doesn't generate love. It's false, it's fragile, it lacks connection. Why? Because it comes from the head -- it's an intellectual behavior, disconnected from the heart. We can all feel the difference:

"Hello, how are you?"

While inside we are thinking, I hate him! But he's my brother. And Mom and Dad are watching. So I'll just smile and say:

"Are you well? That's great!"

If we are full of anger and pretending to be nice, our connection with those around us is superficial, but if we express what we feel and release the emotional charge, what happens? We reunite with love. For the love was always there. It really is impossible to hate someone when you are loving yourself: When you release the charge you will love everyone! That doesn't mean your enemies will suddenly become your best friends, but there will no longer be any charge or resentment toward them. Whatever you reject externally is a part of yourself that you are not loving. When you express your judgements, you will soon find them inside of you. Then you'll be surprised: Oops! That which I judged in others was me! And yes, that which you see externally as something bad or inadequate has always been you.

So express what you feel. Give it a try and see what happens. Keep emptying yourself of the emotions that have built up, expressing the charge behind your judgements and letting them go until all the resentment is gone and all that remains is unity. You can try moving anger in a pillow: Just cover your mouth with it when you scream so as not to frighten the neighbors! Or cry to release the sadness -- whatever feels natural. The important thing is that that which you have been avoiding inside may finally be released.

Our resentments are often toward members of our families. It is so important to walk towards these people and speak our truth, instead of distancing ourselves. By saying what you feel and being open and vulnerable with the other person, you can let go of the past instead of allowing it to continue influencing your present. By avoiding the other person, you are denying an aspect of yourself. Don't say no to yourself. Don't create separation in your world. Be the exception to the rule: Walk towards that which you wish to avoid, until you can heal the pain that caused you to step back. See what happens if you say yes instead of no to the people and situations you have learned to avoid. You can tell me how you go in the comments section below!

Isha Judd will be touring the US and Canada in May for the launch of her new book, Love Has Wings. Learn more at www.ishajudd.com

For more by Isha Judd, click here.

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For more on emotional wellness, click here.

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