by Jonathan Hilton
I was watching my annual viewing of A Christmas Carol the other day when I was struck by how Charles Dickens got it so right by having Scrooge visited by three ghosts, because when you look at life, we are continually haunted by ghosts in everything that we do, and being able to process them appropriately is going to determine what type of life we are going to have. Ghosts are with us in every thing that we do and every place that we go, you just have to recognize them.
These are the most prevalent visitors from the realm of shadows. We are haunted by the thoughts of events, things, people and relationships that occurred years ago, yet are as dead today as Jacob Marley was to Ebeneezer Scrooge. These apparitions come in the thoughts about what we used to be, how we used to act and where we used to go.
I have been visited by these ghosts more often than I would like to admit. The reminders of youth, love lost and mistakes made. They can be painful and they can provide you with a wonderful, escape from today to a time in the past when things were less confusing or less trying.
If you keep the ghosts from the past in proper context they aren’t bad for you. There is no problem with remembering times of happiness and learning the valuable lessons that the past teaches you. The trouble comes when you idealize the past and feel that those ghosts are somehow real. They are not, they are gone.
They are dead. They are never coming back. This is sometimes a painful realization but also liberating as well because it allows you to move along in life and get on to your next adventure that will create your life today.
Loves lost are the worst and most powerful of these memories. As time goes by you tend to idealize those people that you loved in the past. When those that are currently in your life, do something that doesn’t live up to expectations, you remember someone else from the past that would never treat you that way in your mind. The reasons the relationship didn’t work out are pushed aside and replaced with an idealistic memory that no person could ever live up to.
The thing to remember is that all of those ghosts are just thoughts in your mind and have no more power over you than any other ghost. They can’t grab you, or make you feel badly about the way things are now, unless you allow them to.
Leave the ghosts in the past where they belong. You will never be that young again, you will never have a relationship like that again, you will never be in that situation again. Accept this as a good thing, learn from the ghosts of your past, but do not give them any power over your feelings and thoughts today, because they are not real.