Community Add OnsFourteen Fundamentals

Fundamental Eight: Get Present-Oriented

Negative experiences effect us all; and to some extent, such experiences will, even for the most healthy among us, come to mind on occasion. But for the past-negative personality, the bitter past is always close to mind. In some cases, it can lead to emotional disorder. But in most cases, it simply robs us of the ability to lead a happy life.

Most “past-negatives” are true victims of life. Many are the elderly — abandon from their jobs and family. Some are among the homeless and society’s failures. Others have experienced a disproportionate share of burden and tragedy in their lives. Some are the victims of crime, or abuse, or natural calamity. For these, it is not hard to understand why the negative past remains so vivid in their minds.

Yet for many “past negatives,” even minor hurts can become major mental issues. An award that wasn’t won, a goal which wasn’t reached, a spiteful comment from an in-law, a let-down of personal morals — these can often become the stuff of intense regret or bitterness. Most of us might consider such setbacks as petty, but for some, even the most insignificant of life’s rebuffs can be devastating.

Whatever the case, the prognosis for the “past negative” is poor. The past-negative personality is trapped in a revolving door: unhappy feelings from the past infect the present, making the present day unhappy; the next day is similarly infected — and so it goes. Each day’s happiness is diminished by the “heavy hand of the past.” The actual joys and happy events of the present continue to happen, but none can be fully enjoyed because the niggling feelings from the past tend to discolor them.

The solution for the “past-negative’s” dilemma may often require counseling or therapy to help dis-lodge and emotionally resolve the negative bottlenecks from the past. Somehow, the pains from the past need release. Only through true healing can present joys and pleasures be completely enjoyed without the constant tainting of unhappy memory.

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