Given it is the time of year for thinking about what has been and what is to come, I have found myself lately pondering the classic New Year’s tune, Auld Lang Syne.
In true modern style, my pondering led to a Google search, since I really was curious about this poem-turned-folk song that everyone trots-out at midnight on New Year’s Eve, amid tears, kissing, hugging and bubbly.
According to good-old Wikipedia, Auld Lang Syne literally translates into “old long since” in English, so it makes sense that it is used to mark the end of a year. Wikipedia also claims it is used at funerals, graduations and the close of many functions, so it seems it is a time-honoured tradition symbolising endings.
But enough about the song’s title: it was always the lyrics that I was curious about in the first place. Let’s be honest, does ANYONE really know the words when they are singing along at midnight? I mean, I’ve heard people next to me singing all sorts of things, and most seem to resort to humming and drunken burble!
So I was most interested to read that the song points to fond reminiscing about times and people past, and almost ponders the question: should we keep looking back at what has been and who we have known – or should we just accept that ‘seas between us broad have roared since’?
How does your past affect you?
Should you keep a sharp focus on your past? Or is it just something you can’t help doing or are conditioned to do? Family trees and histories are all the rage these days; past-life regression is almost a mainstream therapy; and modern-day psychology encourages us to find the roots of our present-day troubles in our ‘inner-child’. But is over-indulging in all these activities helpful, or is it just complicating things by encouraging over-analysis and constant reintegration of our past into our present?
From my experience, however you do it, you need to let the past go: the fond memories will always remain, but hanging-on tightly to the past will only focus your sights firmly over your shoulder – meaning you will never see where you are going, because you are too busy looking back at where you’ve been.
How do you know if you’re still holding onto your past?
If you’re not sure whether you are living in or constantly bound by your past, take this mini-quiz to check:
- How much energy do you still have ‘invested’ in past situations? You can check this by simply thinking about a situation from your past, and then seeing how much emotion you still feel in your body – i.e. does your throat tighten or your stomach tie into knots when you re-live those events in your mind?
- Are you still trying to re-create situations that you enjoyed: that classic party that EVERYONE still talks about; Christmases when your family were still young and excited; that grand reunion picnic in the park with your now-deceased grandfather?
- Is there someone from your past that you just refuse to live without or torture yourself about: a partner who you broke up with; an animal companion you loved so much who has since passed-over; an ex-best friend who you had a falling-out with back in high-school?
How do you let go of your past?
If you answered yes to any or all of the above three questions, then here are my Australian Bush Flower Essence suggestions to start you on the path to letting go of your past:
Dagger Hakea and Bottlebrush.
That’s it – just the two Bush Essences to keep it simple. I feel that the main reason you cling to the past is because some part of yourself wishes you’d dealt with something or someone differently, or you wish you could go back to a time which you remember (sometimes falsely) as being better than the life you are living now. Dagger Hakea (Hakea teretifolia) helps ease any lack of forgiveness or resentment attached to the situations you wish you could change and Bottlebrush (Callistemon linearis) just helps you to let all those emotions and memories go and move on – accepting that change is inevitable and helping you embrace rather than resist it. And if you are worried that letting go of the good memories means they will disappear too, don’t be concerned: by letting them go, you’d be surprised at how much more clearly you start to remember them given you are no longer ‘clinging’ to them desperately – lest you may forget them.
Simple isn’t it? I wish! But at least the Bush Essences can help you to express and release the emotions, so that you can choose to think differently and create a new you.
Happy New Year and I hope 2013 will bring you all that you consciously desire – now that you will be looking straight ahead and no longer over your shoulder!
Wishing you flowering health always,
© 2012 Clare Chapman T/As Baliena Flower Therapies, All Rights Reserved
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Clare is available for distance Bush Essence consultations (via email & Skype™), as well as mentoring in flower essence practice.