I was watching the movie Flatliners and it made me think how much we’re haunted by our past.
In the movie, five medical students induce near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time in order to experience afterlife.
The experiment ends up haunting the participants as it brings up to the surface their sins and unresolved experiences from the past.
Those who flatlined themselves end up being traumatized by visions of their past mistakes and emotions of hurt, guilt, shame and sadness.
What saves them in the end is the decision to atone for their mistakes and forgive themselves.
As I watched the movie, it made me think of my two dogs which I lost to cancer 7 years ago.
I held guilt over their passing for many years.
I fought hard to keep them alive, but in the end, I lost the battle.
I wondered for years if there was more I could had done to save them.
Then one day my friend asked me, “Why are you stuck on the pain of their passing? When you do, you dismiss all the years of joy that they gave you. You invalidate 13 years of happiness because of the last 3 months of their lives.”
And so I ask you, “What experiences of your past are you holding on today?”
Maybe you’re thinking you could have done something better.
Maybe you’re feeling guilty because you didn’t accomplish something you set out to achieve.
Perhaps you made an important business or life decision and you’re still facing the consequences of it?
Can you let it go?
Can you trust that those past “mistakes” as you see them shaped you to be the person that you are today.
They made you stronger and wiser.
Can you appreciate who you have become instead of focusing on the pain of that journey?
One of the movie characters Courtney says it best:
“We have to face up to what we’ve done and then forgive ourselves.”
Can you forgive yourself?
Can you let go of what was so that you can embrace what can be?
– Success Catalyst
The article originally published on Medium at https://medium.com/@dagmarfleming/dont-let-your-past-dictate-your-future-32b91dc8e79