Freeing Yourself from a Painful Past

Question: I am deeply distressed with my life as I approach my 50’s. I have always considered myself to be a compassionate, spiritual and aware person. I was kidnapped and raped at knife point at 23, widowed suddenly at 32 with 2 children, and recently divorced.  There have also been many unfortunate deaths in my immediate family. Though I am a seeker who reads, meditates, and studies, I have become fearful, depressed, full of anxiety and extremely lonely. I feel like I’m wasting my life and can’t seem to find a way toward peace and happiness.  Can you help?

Leonard’s Answer: Everything that occurs in your life is directed towards one end, which is your own awakening. Every difficult or painful event is a reflection of what is in need of healing at the soul level, and reveals the primary lessons you must learn if you are to awaken. Every painful experience is an indicator of the limiting beliefs that you acquired in childhood that are affecting your experience of life. Often these limiting beliefs originate in a previous lifetime.

And what do I mean by awakening? To awaken is to free your self from the pain and limitations of the past and open into the unlimited world of Now. It is to know yourself as an Eternal Being, totally transcendent of the circumstances and story of your life, which until now have been defining you and giving you a sense of who you are and what your life is all about.

If you look at the circumstances of your life, you will be able to identify the limiting beliefs that have affected you, the lessons you are here to learn, and what is in need of healing from your past.

More than likely you have been abused or violated in the past, and I am not limiting the past to this lifetime. In a most mysterious way, your experience of abuse in this lifetime is an opportunity to heal a wound that most likely exists at the soul level. Of course this does not in any way excuse your abuser. If he had known the terrible karma he was bringing upon himself, he would never have abused you. He will have to live with the consequences of his actions.

Losing your husband at such a young age is also a reflection of some deeper soul wound or experience. If you believe that life isn’t safe, it will manifest in a way that will affirm this belief. If you believe that others will hurt you, they probably will. If you believe that those you love will die or leave you, it is likely to happen.

These wounds and beliefs are all based in a painful past, and for the most part they function at an unconscious level. As long as they remain unconscious, they will continue to affect every aspect of your life.

This is because the outer world manifests as a reflection of your inner world. If your inner world is filled with these limiting beliefs and emotional wounds and impressions from the past, your life will manifest in a way that corresponds to your inner world. That is why it is so important to bring it all to consciousness for healing, completion, and release.

If you learn the art of being present, you will be completely free of the past. As you deepen into Presence, and heal and release the past, your inner world will open into love, gratitude and peace. You will know that the present moment is safe. What world will manifest as a reflection of your inner world when you are present?

You say that you have become fearful, lonely, depressed and full of anxiety. It is because you have not recognized your true purpose in being here. It is very simple. Your true purpose in being here is to be here. Most of us are not here. We are lost in an illusory world of the past and future. We are lost in a dream. Some people are lost in a happy dream. There is no motivation to awaken from a happy dream and so it is unlikely that they will awaken. But those who are caught in an unhappy dream have a greater chance of awakening. But it depends. Will you choose to remain in the dream, hoping that it will get better? Or will you free yourself from the dream and awaken into the present moment, which is free of the dream? You also say that you feel like you are wasting your life and that you can’t find your way to peace and happiness. The only way to peace and happiness is to free your self from the dream and awaken into Presence.



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Leonard Jacobson

Leonard Jacobson is a spiritual teacher, mystic and gifted healer, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. 

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