Does our past define us?

We had a fantastic class in February 2023 called “Reincarnation – Escaping the Cycle of Life and Death”. In it, we touched upon what exactly makes us who and what we are today. 

When I looked at the possibility that maybe memories define us, I found an energy line that really pushes that belief into the larger society. 

This agenda is not just pushed to people on their own personal identity but also at a social identity level. Socially speaking, many groups take oral or written history to be the identifying parameter for the group.

This identity is then used to define action and normality of experience within that group. 

In life, I have met many individuals who have made one or more situations they lived through the basis for their identity, decisions and personality. For them, that situation was a defining moment.

This characteristic, for a person to define themselves that way, made me curious and I decided to look closer as to why they are doing this. 

A couple of common particulars among these people surprised me. 

One of these particulars was that in each case the defining memory of the past event kept the person in a very well defined and narrow path in life. The other aspect was that they used the memory as permission to behave in certain ways and made it the reason for their present feelings, decisions and world view. 

I then moved out a little bit from the individual energy lines and looked at a broader data and found that for everyone I have met, familiarity induced a level of comfort and pleasure that something unfamiliar was not able to do no matter how pleasant.

For example, let’s say you like a new song that’s playing on the radio (I know, old tech, but translate to where you might hear music). You quickly get the name of it, and then you listen to it over and over throughout the week. Every time you listen to the song, you become more familiar with it and therefore stronger emotions are attached to it.

So that’s the key right there; the more you are exposed to something, the more familiar it becomes and the stronger your emotions around it are. We even allot the word “familiar” to something we recognize and usually have positive feelings toward. 

This also translates to locations, situations, people, objects and even feelings themselves. A thing will give us a specific feeling and the feeling is so familiar we don’t realize it could be harmful or that it is not the healthy way to respond to something that is happening. It is just the familiar way to respond to it and therefore we accept it.

So, that’s the key. When something is familiar, we tend to not only accept it, but also think it is positive and allow it to dictate our overall experience. We allow it to define our inner world of feelings and thoughts, our decisions, and ourselves.

As we become conscious and aware of this, we are able to allocate different parameters to what defines us and our experiences.

We can identify recurring situations, or even impinging memories from the past, and even though they will feel familiar (and therefore normal), we can simply say “no” to them and start rewiring ourselves with new recurring experiences (of our choosing) and expose ourselves to other people’s memories that are healthy and empowering.

As empowered adults, we can now decide what defines us and what is familiar.

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