#19 - I Am Not My Past Self
Updated: Aug 29
by KC Johnson
I’ve Changed So Much Since You Last Knew Me……. Yesterday.
We have lived circuitous lives following paths that took us in directions that no longer reflect who we are at present. However, these zigs and zags played critical roles in allowing us to grow into our present selves.
I’ve flinched at recalling some of my past decisions and behaviors. Prior to shedding the emotional baggage acquired by my inner little boy’s survival efforts, I constantly judged my former self using a ‘persona non grata’ sensibility. That was a 'me' that I did not want to recognize.
I just couldn’t see that old self of mine being who I thought of myself as being. Many of us, no doubt, share this sense of denial wanting to forget about our less flattering, or even illegal, behaviors. This denial doesn’t absolve me from having harmed others and I do own my past, but I don’t have to live in that past.
As tempting as this denial may be an escape from my past memories it is not a productive way for growing beyond my past. This denial approach would likely guarantee me a lifetime of reoccurring anxious feelings whenever my thoughts from my past resurfaced.
A better approach is to consciously release the emotions held by my micro-voices. I have found the way to release these difficult emotional energies is by giving my thoughts a thorough airing. In my blog articles “How We Can Release Our Fears - parts 1-3” I discuss some of the techniques we can use to access and release our hidden fears. It’s not as difficult to do as it is time consuming requiring patience.
I have talked to my inner self voices while walking around the track, lying in bed at night, driving my car, and sharing with others. I have written hundreds of pages about my past behaviors, about my micro-voices that once tormented me, and I have written directly to my little boy once I began discovering his fears.
That seems to be what my little boy and the micro-voices he uses needed to rid their(my) held fears…a hearing about their concerns with someone who won’t judge them -- me!.
This process took me several years to begin eliminating my judgmental-mind tendencies. As the negative thoughts began fading my sense of self became gentler, more supportive of the person I was. It became easier to smile at myself, at my progress to feel deeper happiness, and to realize that I have an important place in this world.
I could finally take full responsibility for my past actions. I wanted to contact those people I had harmed, to apologize for causing them significant pain and loss. This was the core of my emotional healing. It didn’t matter where or not they responded or wanted to ask me questions, it was important for me to simple let them know that I have taken full responsibility for hurting them.
Over the years I have hurt people who cared about me deeply, yet I was not able to embrace their love because I could not love myself. Reviewing my life I now realize how many times I slighted people, not intending to do so, but still not being cognizant of their feelings and intentions. So many missed opportunities to build solid connections with people I actually needed in my life.
Each of those missed opportunities became the building blocks to the ‘later me’ that has not gone in vain. Those experiences were needed for me to be able to grow into the person I have become. That’s how it works, every one of our thoughts and decisions leads to our present moment.
We are continually evolving into a new self at every moment.
Just as my new cells renew my physical body shedding my old aging cell structures with vibrant new cells, my mind continually adopts new insights and responses to my life experiences. I could see my personality evolving into my new me. This led to eventually living intentionally, taking responsibility for every little moment I was experiencing, even as I did not have all of the answers, and as I continued making decisions that caused me additional distress, at least I recognized that they were my decisions and responsibilities.
I can remember many, many years ago asking the universe to help me break out of my jumbled, aching mind. I could see other people enjoying life, laughing and playing, having intimate relationships that seemed to make them extremely happy. It made me crazy trying to figure out how they did it. What was the secret ingredient that made them so lovable and happy? Even if they weren’t that happy I wanted to at least feel their outward joy and contentment.
My soul kept presenting me with experiences and opportunities to learn from that could help me release my fears. In hindsight, I can see that now, but at the time I kept repeating the same mistakes and remained in the same mind traps and mucky thoughts. Yet, I was making some progress. Looking back after a year I could see there were new shoots of change growing. I just had a lot of small steps to do before I could grasp the greater messages my soul was sending to me.
My greatest challenge was learning to accept myself for who I had been. Fortunately, a core part of my sense of self did know that I was a good person, and I was able to tap into that aspect of me to guide my very slow evolution into my today-me. I thank my parents for supporting the outer-me I let the world see, and that was enough of a foundation for starting my inner-me exploration.
Accepting who I have evolved into being and who I can become within my future self has given me great powers to grow and change. It is done intentionally. I have learned how to love my many selves and all that surrounds me.
Accepting others requires releasing micro-voice fears.
Learning to appreciate the path each of us has to follow is an immensely satisfying and freeing feeling. We do not know what any one person’s path has been, nor do we know what learning moments each person has to experience as that person’s soul ‘manages’ those experiences.
Once we are able to eliminate our tendency to judge others, and our own many selves, we can begin appreciating and respecting each person’s path. Even when their path results in consequences for their actions we can still see them as equal human beings just having to experience their life path differently than what we are following.
This has been one of my greatest challenges….to not judge another person. Many of us live within the traps of superficial assessments of people we see based on their skin color, their clothing, their speaking voice and words, sexuality, gender, their age and so on.
Where did I learn this? Why do I even today catch myself pre-judging others? I’m able to realize my tendency in the moment, but old learned impressions persist. It is becoming less of a tendency, but vestiges of those old thought patterns pop up still.
My sense is that my ultimate purpose in life is to make progress towards learning how to love every moment without judgment or fear. Our choices for professions, life partners, interactions with others, creating families, and everything else are just steps on our unique paths leading us to discovering how to fully love. As long as we listen to our deep inner voice that is our soul speaking to us, we will make faster progress towards our ultimate life purpose. - kc