Freedom from the Past.

Via Craig Holliday
on Feb 26, 2012
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What if we woke up one day and had no memory of the past, but we were still able to function in a quite natural way? This is, in a sense,what it is like to truly be awake.

Imagine that you are meeting everyone you come into contact with today for the first time. What if everything appeared new and fresh? To awaken in this way, we must be willing give up thoughts and concepts from the past and be open to seeing life as it truly is:  beautiful, alive oneness. To be free means we are not putting life in a box or seeing life through the lens of projection.

I was speaking to a client today who was deeply entrenched in victim consciousness.

To maintain this entrenchment, to keep the victim alive, we have to continue to choose to see life from the perspective of the past.  We have to continue to believe that the world is an inherently unsafe place. So as he sat before me, he continued to see the world through this lens of self-created concepts. He believed that the world was unsafe.

Usually this concept comes from some experience of trauma. When we experience trauma, whether it is real or imagined, a deep sense of fear and tension gets imprinted in the body. Often this tension and defensiveness becomes our way of meeting the world. Even if a trauma happened 23 years ago, many individuals are still seeing life from this perspective and believing the world to be an unsafe place. It could be a trauma that only lasted a few minutes, yet we spend the rest of our lives reacting as if life is dangerous. Often to release this fear it takes a focused intention on healing, so that we can begin to see clearly again.

As I was working with this individual, with an intention to begin to release this trauma, we looked clearly at the present. We imagined what life would be like if we had no memory of the past. We imagined meeting life fresh and new in this moment. As we did this, I asked him how he felt. He responded, “spacious.” Next, I asked him to tell me about his week.

Right away, he went into victim consciousness, blaming others and acting as if the world were a dangerous place.  I asked him how he felt. He replied, “terrible.” So here, I pointed out, is the choice. We can choose how we feel and how we respond to life. We can choose to not engage in the past. We can choose to not see the present through the lens of the past. Or we can choose to take the easy way, the habitual and unconscious old way of egoic consciousness and suffer.

Sometimes it is simply this easy. We just choose and then we experience the freshness and openness of freedom. But for the deeper more persistent pain and trauma in us, especially if it is at a cellular level, we need to do deeper work. This work often requires us to be both open and courageous. The invitation here is to grieve the past with an open heart. It takes courage to grieve this deeply. As we grieve we also actively choose to not pick up the past, but instead to actively let it go. This does not mean pushing it away. It means grieving with the doors of the heart and mind open which allows the pain to naturally release. Here we renew our intention to not pick it up again and allow it to go. We do this again and again until it no longer arises.  We do this so we no longer suffer or cause suffering in the present due to our projection of the past.

By uprooting projection, we step into the freedom that comes from seeing life as it is.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta.


About Craig Holliday

Craig Holliday is a Nondual Spiritual Teacher and therapist living in the mountains of Southwest Colorado. He is the author of Fully Human Fully Divine, Awakening to our innate Beauty through Embracing our Humanity. His work is dedicated to the discovery of our innate Divinity. He works in a way that addresses our everyday human suffering as a doorway to our inherent freedom. Craig offers Satsang, workshops, retreats and meets with individuals from around the world via Skype. For more information about Craig visit: Website here


11 Responses to “Freedom from the Past.”

  1. Beth says:

    Beautiful piece David! I work with so many clients that live and come from this place- I now have a fresh new way to look at bringing their awareness to a new starting point! Thank you!

  2. Samira says:

    Thank you Craig

    It seems possible with the right support and right amount of support provided over period of time .You have to be ready to take that direction and need have a good insight of the process and your own ability to control and manage flooding of pain . But the key is the skill of the therapist . I would love to read more on this topic.


  3. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Thank you SO much for this Craig. It's lovely, wonderful and inspiring. Start digging and don't stop! 🙂

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  4. craigholliday says:

    Beyond it being the skill of the therapist, it is also a willingness on the part of both to step beyond egoic consciousness and into the depth and openness of our nature.

  5. karlsaliter says:

    Nice work! Just posted to Elephant Spirituality on Facebook.

  6. Kehaulani says:

    Tears of truth and Beauty fell as your words opened me up wider then ever with a clear consciousness of truth. Thank you!!

  7. melissa says:

    I love that you said "grieve the past with an open heart. It takes courage to grieve this deeply. " And, "By uprooting projection, we step into the freedom that comes from seeing life as it is."– Truth. thank you for sharing.
    Melissa Smith
    Fellow EJ contributor

  8. Linda says:

    This reminds me of a quote from Eckhart Tole: Who would you be without your story?

    Thanks for this reminder to embrace the present untainted by our story.

  9. craigholliday says:

    Without our story, we are free. We don't even have to get rid of it, we just don't have to believe in it!

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