Mystic Musings: Ghosts Of The Past

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Ghosts Of The Past ©2019 Joan M. Newcomb, CPC

Since September, I’ve been mostly back East, helping my little brother recover from a stroke. One of the not so hidden gifts of being there is that I get to recognize matching experiences we’ve had, growing up in our family with it’s unique background.

As kids, we moved every few years to different countries. It was a rich and varied in cultural experiences. We learned to be resilient and adaptable. We came out citizens of the world. 

And, we had to represent the United States, be the picture perfect family, while at the same time not really standing out. If we stood out, we could get kidnapped or killed. Essentially we learned to hide in plain site.

It makes it really difficult to be successful as an adult if you can’t be seen. If you can’t really e yourself.

We had lofty goals placed above us, ones we couldn’t reach, with the idea that it would stretch us. But really it set us up to fail.

And there were always critical asides, which continued on until a few years ago. Meant to belittle us, and also divide us. Keep us separate so we can’t compare notes.

These asides continue to get repeated even after the original speaker died. They have a ripple effect throughout the whole family. They get repeated and passed on.

And they knock around inside our head. The original speaker is dead, why can’t these thoughts die, too?

Early in my career as a coach, I worked with women from a domestic violence survivor group. Even though they’d divorced their abusers, the things they said still haunted them.

They learned to catch the thoughts as they had them, and do something to dismiss them. One woman would put her hand up in the “stop” gesture. In the middle of teaching water aerobics, she found herself doing it, and the whole class, following her, put their hands up, too. Later, she had to talk to her abuser in person, and when he started to say something, she automatically put her hand up, and it stopped him in reality as well.

When it happens in our heads, we can recognize these thoughts as not being real, not in the present moment. You can stop them, dismiss them, highlight and delete them, flush them down an imaginary toilet. You’ll find a tremendous amount of energy being released.

When it happens by coming out of the mouths of others, you can question them. Was that really what was said? Was that really true? People operate unconsciously, you don’t have to argue with them, you can just question the statement (or share your differing experience).

Ghosts of the past exist in the shadows. You don’t have to be afraid of no ghosts. Shine the light of truth on them, and they’ll disappear.

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