Healing the Past
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
One of the many facets of the Art of (Playful) Living, and maybe the most important, is the relationship you have with yourself. I like to think of it as Connection. More specifically, connection with four aspects of yourself. In my case:
I think of them in Romanian, my native language, because they are more powerful:
“Isn’t Dani-child the same as Dani-who-I-was?”
“No. Dani-child is always with me, the embodiment of Playfulness, Curiosity, and Creativity, the expression of what the ancient Greeks called ‘Entheos’, and what the ancient Romans called ‘Genius’, the Divine Within.
The connection with Dani-who-I-will-be can profoundly influence your actions in the present.
If you deeply FEEL the connection, and you connect this with your ultimate Purpose in this fleeting life of ours, you will never again engage in activities that may bring you harm (eg smoking).
But that’s not what I want to focus on now. What I want to focus on is the connection with Dani-who-I-was.
For a very long period of my life, the past felt like a burden. Not knowing how to deal with painful memories, I constantly and futilely tried to chase them away from my mind… but they’d always return. Like maybe most people, my coping mechanism was addiction (to video games, drinking, entertainment, etc).
Not anymore, and NEVER AGAIN.
I managed to completely and radically turn the relationship with my past upside down, where what used to bring pain, now is a source of only deep Joy. This is one of the most important accomplishments on my Journey so far.”
“How did you manage that?”
“I learned to love myself unconditionally.
I’d heard of the importance of self-love many times before, but I didn’t know how to do it. Until one day I stumbled upon a video on YouTube by a guy called Aziz Gazipura. I liked it, I watched a few more of his videos, and decided to read one of his books, The Art of Extraordinary Confidence, which I did. There was one idea from that book that changed my life.”
“What was it?”
“The PRACTICE of saying to myself: ‘I love you, Dani.’
When I first tried it, while looking at myself in the mirror, I got tears in my eyes. That’s when I realized how powerful this is.
It’s been a few years since then, and I’ve been doing that EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I start and end every day by saying it to myself, I do it every single time I look at myself in the mirror, every time I fail, every time I succeed, every time I think about the future, and every time I think about the past.
That’s how I healed the relationship with Dani-who-I-was and my past.
Every time I remembered an experience from the past, I would say to myself ‘I love you Dani‘. Every painful memory became a healing moment. And you know you’ve healed something when it no longer returns.
Instead of trying to avoid them, as I’d done in the past, I started to look for painful memories. And there were thousands of them.”
“You mean ‘hundreds‘?”
“You’re right, I’m exaggerating. But they did feel endless once.
This is yet another instance of compounding.
All these little instances of self-love add up until, seemingly out of the blue, thinking about the past brings only deep lasting Peace.
Only, it wasn’t out of the blue. It was the manifestation of the cumulative process that preceded it.”