At different stages of our life, we have certainly been exposed to the concept of a ghost. From cartoon characters to movies, songs to books; we are aware of the concept of something being “present” without necessarily being [physically] present.
We may have faced a situation in which that, which was not currently present, may have had an influence in the outcome.
We may have lived through situations in which those ghosts may have even had the power to deter us from a relationship, a goal or a dream.
Even when these ghosts may not have a name or face at this point in time, they hold enough power to influence our steps, our thoughts and even our actions.
What you may not have noticed is that we are usually the ones feeding those ghosts. We are the ones giving them the power by not leaving them in the past.
Most of us are haunted by the ghosts of our past: that opportunity that we let slip by; those kids who bullied us in the playground; that love interest who treated us badly; that professor who graded us unfairly; and so on.
In a great article named 8 Ways to Release the Ghosts of the Past and Be Happy in the Present by Marelisa she explores many of the reasons why we are so heavily influenced by those ghosts of our past.
No matter how hard you try, your past will always be by your side. Certain experiences will trigger emotional responses that will bring back to your past and you have no choice but to relive those memories. Things do mold you and make you who you are, but at the same time, some choices can haunt you for the worse.
Bad relationships can be traumatizing and the effects they have on your psyche can and most often do follow you into future relationships. Trust issues are based on fears and fear is a defense mechanism to prevent people from getting into similar situations.
Every person is different and there are many ways of overcoming your fears, but when something is so traumatizing, it is often hard to simply let it go.
When we began researching this topic, we noticed several patterns which started to emerged in regards to how these ghosts can be overpowered by our minds.
The most simple analogy we found was that of the empty cup. Throughout many references and studies we found variations of this specific analogy which we are going to point out for your benefit.
The “Empty Your Cup” Conversation
Scholar Tokusan–who was full of knowledge and opinions about the –came to Ryutan and asked about Zen. At one point Ryutan re-filled his guest’s teacup but did not stop pouring when the cup was full. Tea spilled out and ran over the table. “Stop! The cup is full!” said Tokusan.
“Exactly,” said Master Ryutan. “You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can’t put anything in. Before I can teach you, you’ll have to empty your cup.”
It may be the case, that we have a full cup. This cup in itself may contain all of our failures, fears or other ghosts which we may not be able to part with.
By being full; we are not permitting new dreams, hopes, new ideas or other critical elements to flow into our lives which will in turn leave us stagnant.
In every single analogy WE are the cup, however it may be the case where our cup is not full of ghosts but rather: empty.
If we have not been filling our cup with all the wonderful things that life has in store for us; this in turn creates a void that subsequently creates a ghost which hinders our ability to be receptive in filling our cup.
Another consistent fact which has been proven over and over again, is that no one has ever been successful by living in the past.
The power the past has over us, is only given to it when we do not let go. Not even taking into consideration what the issue is; our power to change will always be in the present and will be reflected in the future. In certain scenarios we may not have the power to change until we are aware that those ghosts are limiting us.
A critical step needed is to identify each ghost. Break down every specific scenario in which these ghosts have been able to hinder you. Make a list of every situation that you have not been able to succeed in due to one of those ghosts. By doing this you will be able to take into account each ghost; give it a name, a face and intelligently be able to push it out of your cup.
You need to ask yourself:
How much relevance do these ghosts of the past hold? When in reality, they should not have a say in how we take each step in life.
What are some of the ghosts that have kept you from growing and achieving your true purpose?
Life was never meant to be lived in the past. Live your days in the present with your eyes set on the future. Only then will you realize that by having this outlook there will be NO GHOSTS ALLOWED.