Walk past the past

Walk past the past

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

Mother Theresa

This morning when I got up, I got a weird insight that really caught me massively off guard after realising I had been meditating all wrong; not in terms of method but more like in terms of the mental picture that I create in my head.

So basically, I like to connect my meditation sessions to past and future selves and my image of my past self had been gloomy for a while, I thought it was a pretty good representation of what it was like, seeing that in early years of high school I was violently beaten by seniors and chased around in the darkness by our housemaster who for some reason saw the darkness in boarding school at night or early morning as his playground as he chased us from one activity to the other most of all being during lights out and this was normalised to be part of boarding school culture which at guy seemed fine but what many didn’t factor in was the mental conditioning of the fear program and constant adrenaline and cortesol release to deal with the stress. If done more intentionally then yes, might be good for training you for the real world in constantly changing and hostile environments like Modern day Nigeria but this wasn’t the case and like all things, affect different individuals in different ways, for a few like me that meant heavy resentment towards my entire high school life and my school mates as a result of this constant exposure to unnecessary and faux danger, this was why my visualisation of the past was always dark and gloomy.

But here’s what this morning made me finally understand and realise, all this danger, and activities that freaked me out was only like 10% of my high school experience, a majority of the 90% were extremely fun and memorable while the rest were “meh”. My aunt brought me new provisions; cereal, clothing, milk and food with some pocket money every now and then, I enjoyed playing basketball and football with my friends at the time, housework period were mostly running about (at least, evening housework) and honestly the “meh” parts were actually going to school and night prep as well as church because even siesta periods weren’t boring if we weren’t sleeping so what exactly caused me to embrace this Victimised program when in reality there were a lot more bright and exciting days?

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Simple! The lizard brain aka the amygdala aka the limbic brain(I believe). When we sulk up and really begin to see all the past programming that caused us some form of pain or suffering as a cause of current conditions, embracing Victimisation, a part of our brain tends to blow things out of proportion and make things that are generally within our present self’s ownership and make them seem impossible to deal with, like they are permanent and sometimes they actually are but what isn’t permanent is the effect that they have on us, our brain stores up memories and the ones with emotional ties are the ones that stay longest but here’s the thing, depending on the emotion, it can become something more active than passive and because Happy, positive memories do not particularly protect us from anything, most of the memories that serve as defence mechanisms are the ones sensed by the amygdala as dangerous because in the old days, memories of fear and danger were what kept your from being a bunch of broken bones and carcass the next morning. 

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
– Rick Warren

So think about life with a new perception of the past and be honest with yourself; if it was that bad, you’re here right now which means you’re still standing but choose to face forward to the future rather than bury yourself in the past.If it wasn’t that bad, Great! You’re also still standing so quit being like me and focusing so much in the past when you can really be grateful for the person it has made you and make the choices that will keep you grateful for the past as life goes on.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Søren Kierkegaard

My name is Adeolu Michael and Welcome… To the Torch.

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