The Past: It Has No Power Here

Recently a particularly vivid dream woke up me and wouldn’t leave me alone until I gave it some waking thought. I won’t go into all the details but the especially vivid part involved a former significant other from many years ago being demon-possessed and eventually being carried off for some kind of exorcism. Needless to say—not the sort of dream your friendly neighborhood Shower Channel loves to have, much less report.

The dream also coincided with a conversation I had with a friend on the subject of past lives and the extent to which previous incarnations (assuming you buy that premise) can have an affect on what’s coming around in the good old here and now.

So I asked The Shower Team to talk to me about the past or more specifically, my relationship to the past . . . to the me I used to be, whether in this lifetime or a previous one . . . Why does the past so often seem to haunt us or some cases, even terrorize us? What should we be learning—and what should we be letting go of?

Your dreams always give you an indication of where you are relative to where you want to be. In some cases, they provide you with a pretty clear indication of both the distance you’ve traveled to be where you are as well as the distance before you in relation to where you are going. In other words, you may encounter both the ‘you’ you were and the ‘you’ you are being as a way of helping you to gain even greater clarity around your desires.

As you become more and more the you that You really are, there are opportunities for you to shed the old skins . . to remove the layers of false self that you have acquired over time and in fact, to face your fears—your ghosts or demons, if you will—and to decide what to do with them and how to respond to them.

Understand that yours or anyone else’s past and the ghosts or demons from your past are only as real as you believe them to be, no matter how vividly or frequently they appear. You create the demons that scare or in some cases, actually take possession of your perspective. You give them every single bit of the power they have over you. There is no threat posed by your past that you cannot neutralize, no demon that you can’t exorcise . . . by choosing, by allowing yourself to see that they truly have no power here or now except the power you give them to dictate to you how you feel.

Your focus upon them is your invitation to them to reappear, to re-enter your perspective and your outlook and then, your experience. Your experts will often lead you into the past in order to unlock some secret that will free you in the present, and while this can be of some value in identifying the “ghosts” or “demons” . . . knowing who or what they are and having awareness of their impact . . . we really encourage you to limit your visits with them. Limit your excursions to where you were and even limit your time trying to trace your steps to where you stand now. More often than, the more of your time and attention that you give to your past, the more likely you are to keep the past active in your present.

Acquire whatever knowledge you need to have clarity about what you want and what you do not want and then immediately turn toward your evolving image of the future you desire for yourself. Tell yourself repeatedly, “I am not who I was. I am not where I’ve been. I am where I am, and I can get to wherever I want to be from here.”

Spend more time looking ahead at where you want to be than looking back. Focus more on what you want where you stand than on how or why you came to be there. As you give more and more of your attention and energy to the desire that is calling you forward, the ghosts or demons of the past will fade as easily and completely as the dream you forget as you move forward into the light of your day.

Well it beats skulking around waiting for someone to drop a house on me, I guess. Telling a Pisces with a degree in psychology to stay focused only in the present is a little bit like telling a fish to breathe through its mouth, but then I pride myself on not becoming too old a dog to learn a new trick.

The point seems to be a certain point of diminishing returns in looking back and tracing one’s steps (contrary to what we may hear on “CSI”). And that leaves me both pondering my extremely mixed metaphors, and for the moment, feeling more presently complete.


About Dan

Published novelist, poet, essayist, copywriter, photographer and college educator. Visit me at

Posted on July 1, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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