Delving in the past constantly can have a negative impact, so much so that it can carry over several lifetimes. The past can affect your present, but the most direct way of affecting the results of the past is by simply attending to the experiences of the present. Hence, it's important to learn from the past but live in the present to create your future.
So much of the way we deal with our issues is geared towards figuring out something that happened in the past. We can spend years delving into events that transpired a long time ago and if you are a proponent of reincarnation the delving can go back even further than this life. A turning point in my mindfulness practice came when I realized that the “past is present”.
This realization felt like a heavy load had been lifted from my shoulders and that life had been simplified enormously. The impact of the present moment is far reaching, but the icing on the cake came with that simple understanding.
I no longer felt that I had to unwind “unresolved” issues by trying to figure out and remember the past. It’s true that the past does affect who we are in the present moment but it’s also true that the most direct way of affecting the results of the past is by simply attending to the experiences of the present moment.
The Impact Of Attention On Mindfulness
Paying attention to the body, breath, emotions and thoughts has a direct impact on who we are as a result of the past. It actually mitigates issues of the past by simply attending fully to the present moment. The bonus comes when we realize that the present moment is where we also create the future…in fact it is the only place where we can create the future. As the issues resolve, the opportunity to move forward with more positive energy presents itself. We begin to move into the flow of things and experience the interconnectedness and harmony everywhere.
There has been a lot of research and first-hand experience that supports this view. If we are chronically stressed we know that mindfulness will help to unwind the stress and bring back order and balance to the nervous system. This, without having to look back at all.
We know that the body remembers everything…we may not be able to access all that memory through our brains, but we can certainly access and balance the results of those memories with present moment attention.
By the way, there are plenty of positive memories mixed in with the not so positive. Mindfulness is like the new cancer treatments that destroy the cancerous cells without damaging the good ones. So many of us look to mindfulness to help us solve problems and so it does. In so doing it, also helps us to maintain all the good mojo that has come along with us on this journey. As the dust settles, we begin to be able to see with clarity and a new found sense of ease.