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By Tania Kotsos

 

Past negative experiences tend to influence our daily thoughts and actions long after their event. Life is supposed to be a wonderful collection of always new experiences but too often we focus on the negative experiences of our past and so live our life in their presence and create our future in their shadow. Each of your experiences has taken place only once but you may have re-lived them a thousand times in your mind, thereby giving them a thousand times more power than they are due; a thousand more places in your life than they are due; and a thousand more strings to pull you with than they are due. Ultimately, negative experiences can be transformed into positive lessons and so can become the ticket to your success rather than the excess baggage that prevents it.

 

The Deception of Perception: Know that everything you experience in life is in itself neutral. It is your perception that labels your experiences as good or bad, positive or negative, happy or sad in accordance with your beliefs, which themselves are a product of your perception of your past experiences. Perception, therefore, can be very misleading because it colours your experiences and reinforces your beliefs, irrespective of whether they serve you or not.

 

Re-Experiencing the Experienced: You cannot experience any reality other than the one you perceive based on your beliefs. So you create something of a cycle, where your experiences validate your beliefs and your beliefs your experiences, with the cycle being virtuous or vicious depending on the nature of your beliefs. This is why most people tend to repeat their experiences whether it is in their relationships, their health, their finances or in any other area. Ask yourself how many times you have drawn the same experience to yourself over and over again. The people or the setting may change but the fundamental experience, or how you felt as a result of it, is the same. This is not coincidence or the luck of the draw. You are always the only common denominator and your inner world the only cause.

 

Three Steps to Neutralize Negative Experiences

You may find that a specific experience from your past has negatively affected your general outlook on life or your belief in yourself. You may have even forgotten how you felt about life and yourself before it. The influence of a past negative experience may feel very real to you today but this is only because you have carried it with you beyond the one time that it occurred without learning its lesson and the longer you carry something, the heavier it becomes.

To easily free yourself from the grip of a negative experience follow these three steps: 1. Learn its lesson by finding your belief; 2. Change your perception; and 3. Leave it in its rightful place on the imaginary time-line of your life. Each of the steps can be used independently or you may find that one step is more suited to specific experiences. However, using the three together is by far most effective and will yield the most permanent results.

 

Step 1 - To Learn the Lesson, Find the Belief

Whenever you have a negative experience that causes you pain, it is telling you that something is "wrong" - not with your outer world but with your inner world. Just like physical pain alerts us to a physical problem and allows us to correct it, so mental pain alerts us to a mental problem that needs correcting. Think about it. When you touched a hot flame or stove as a child and burnt yourself, the pain you felt taught you not to do it again. Were it not for the pain, you would have been severely burnt. In the same way, the pain in the mental world is trying to prevent you from getting severely burnt in your life. Learn to see each and every one of your so-called negative experiences as a dear friend coming to tell you what is wrong.

 

So, What is "Wrong"?: You can discover what is "wrong" in your inner world once you recognise that you create your reality. The truth is that you attracted the negative experience in accordance with your subconscious beliefs. The experience is doing nothing more than letting you see your negative beliefs so that you can change them and hence not repeat the experience. This is growth. Mentally collect your similar experiences together and look for the common thread. You will usually find that one or a number of negative beliefs come up repeatedly, whether it is that you are not good enough, not clever enough, not attractive enough or perhaps that wealth is only for the lucky or that you are not cut out for success; the list is endless.

 

Finding the Culprit: If the underlying negative belief is not obvious to you, then look at how you felt or reacted during the experience and work backwards from there. Ask yourself why you felt and reacted that way. You can also examine your daily habits, your fears and those outcomes you desperately want to avoid at all costs or that you are otherwise desperately attached to seeing manifest in your life. Your subconscious beliefs drive them all.

 

Create a Belief List: Alternatively, make a written list of both your positive and negative beliefs about yourself and life. Examine all areas and write down everything that comes to you. Start with your "I ams", e.g. "I am stupid", "I am a failure", "I am attractive" and then add more impersonal terms like "money is", "relationships are", "love is", "life is" and so on. The words that come to you first are usually most accurate. Be honest with yourself.

Look closely at your beliefs because the innocent may in fact be most guilty. For instance, a belief like "I am competitive" may look innocent enough but its influence can be negative because it can make you compare yourself to others and to experience life as being either "a winner" or "a loser", both of which drain you of your authentic power. Once you have your list, it should be easy to match the negative belief to the negative experience. Keep your list in a private place, make notes next to your beliefs and add new ones as they come to you. Use it to assess any experience in your life. Just remember to keep it light.

 

Take Charge of Your Beliefs: By finding the belief behind a negative experience, you can easily understand how and why you perceived it to be negative. The experience is then positively transformed because you have learnt something about yourself that you can change. Even if you attract that experience again you will be able to instantly see the lesson without the associated pain and take steps to change the belief. Again, the most effective way to change your beliefs is by re-programming your subconscious mind using creative visualization, affirmations and prayer, knowing that you are one with the All-Powerful, All-Knowing Universal Mind for which nothing is impossible. Once you change the belief, the experience need not be repeated again in your life.

 

Step 2 - Change Perception and the Experience Changes

You can easily change your perception when you recognise the fact that you made it up in the first instance based on your beliefs and past experiences. In a relaxed state with your eyes closed, create a mental image in your mind of a negative experience you wish to neutralize. Neutrally observe yourself experiencing the specific event, how it started, how you felt, where it took place, why it was negative for you and how you reacted. As you continue to neutrally observe the scene unfolding through to its end, see how your beliefs about life and yourself made you perceive the experience as negative.

 

Have Fun with Your Mental Image: Have fun with the scenes in your mind as you change your perceptions. Keep it light. Allow yourself to sense how differently you would have felt or reacted had your beliefs about yourself and life been different. For instance, had you had more self-love, self-esteem and self-confidence when an important relationship ended; or had you had no attachment to money and no fear of failure when your business was in trouble; how would your perception of that experience be different? When you change your perception so does the experience.

Whatever the negative belief you had at the time, see yourself believing its opposite. Sense how your experience changes from one of disempowerment to one of empowerment as your beliefs change. Feel how the experience doesn't matter as much anymore or how you even feel stronger for it. From this place of strength, take a deep breath and as you exhale release the experience, seeing the image gently float away. Enjoy the lightness you feel as you mentally count upwards and slowly open your eyes. Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

 

To Change Perception is Not Denial: To change your perception of an experience does not mean you deny its occurrence. When you change your perception, you change your perspective which really means to "see" something from a different vantage point, through different eyes. It doesn't mean the experience didn't happen. It simply means that you attach a different meaning to an otherwise neutral event. It is you who attaches meaning to all your experiences in any case, so you might as well attach a meaning that serves you.

 

If You Are Going Through it Now: The first two steps (i.e. finding the negative belief and changing your perception) can effectively be applied to any negative experience you may currently be going through. When you remove the emotion, change the perception and recognise your negative underlying beliefs, you will be able to deal with the situation far more calmly and effectively with inspired rather than desperate action. You will find solutions which were otherwise invisible to you. As Albert Einstein said, "You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created". In other words, you cannot expect to find a solution to a problem created by a negative belief if you are still operating at the level of that negative belief.

 

A Special Mention About Our Perception of Death

This article is aimed at those often repeated experiences that we attract to ourselves and that stand in the way of our success. It is not aimed at directly dealing with the death of a loved one, although its principles can generally be applied. Death can be an undeniably heart-wrenching experience. Know though, that it is often our false perception about the finality of death which makes its pain so acute. If you could only change your perception and see the truth that death is a new scene for those who have left the physical plane, rather than the final falling of a curtain, you would alleviate much of the pain that we carry with us as a result of it.

 

Step 3 - The Art of Mental Time Travel

The third and final step in neutralizing negative experiences from your life is to leave them where they belong - in the past. There is no need to travel faster than the speed of light or to break any laws of physics in order for you to travel back in time. All you need to do is access a world that is not subject to time. You have instant access to such a world. This world is your mind. Know that time is an illusion of the physical world to which your mental world is largely not subjected to. Just as in your dreams many years can elapse in the space of a few hours, so in the realm of your imagination you can travel anywhere you want, backwards and forwards in time, without any obstacle.

 

Give Every Experience its Rightful Place: Scientific experiments have shown that the mind does not know the difference between that which is experienced and that which is imagined. This suggests that every time you re-live a negative experience in your mind, unwittingly adding some extra negativity as you go along, your mind believes you are experiencing it again. So instead of living an experience just the one time, you live it a hundred, a thousand or even countless times.

 

The Mental Time Travel Meditation: By learning to mental time travel with this powerful meditation, you can leave a past negative experience in the past and have fun with it. In a relaxed state with your eyes closed, mentally create an image of a horizontal time line of your life where the furthest point to your right is your present moment. Make sure your time line includes an exact point for your negative experience as well as a length of time before that experience stretching back into your childhood. With this time line in mind, mentally sense how you have carried the negative experience with you since its occurrence through to the present moment and how its shadow has somehow hovered at every point and coloured every experience thereafter.

 

Freezing the Negative Experience: Next during your mental time travel meditation, imagine yourself travelling backwards in time along your time-line until you come to your experience. With the new perception and clarity you have gained by identifying the negative belief and changing your perception, mentally freeze the experience in its place and thank it for its lesson, knowing that it cannot follow you back to your present moment in its frozen state. Now continue to travel back in time to a point when those negative beliefs or feelings that created that experience did not exist.

You may find that you have to travel back to your childhood years, or it may be that the experience itself created new negative beliefs. In that case, just take a couple of steps back to the moment before the experience. Allow yourself to truly feel how light, happy, carefree and confident you felt without those negative beliefs and see yourself stepping into and embracing those feelings.

 

Returning to the Present Moment: Next during your mental time travel exercise, mentally make your way back along your time line to the current moment. See yourself effortlessly gliding past your once negative experience without any emotion and notice how it is and always will be frozen in time as just one of your many life experiences. Notice its absence from every point thereafter as you continue traveling forward to your present moment. Sense how the present feels different to what it was prior to your mental time travel and how your expectations about the future have changed now that it is no longer under the influence of that event. Allow yourself to enjoy this sense of freedom and lightness. Then, from this place of strength, start to mentally count upwards and slowly open your eyes. Repeat this exercise for any experience you wish to let go of.

 

Know that Your Reality is Yours to Create

Your past experiences have no power over you, other than the power you grant them. Resolve now to release yourself from the grip of the perceived negativity of your experiences and allow yourself to enjoy the glorious game that is life. Apply these three steps with consistency and you will enjoy positive transformation in all areas of your life. In a very short period of time, you will find that while the specific experience may still exist in your recollection, there is no emotion attached to it, you are stronger because of it and you are free of its influence. Know that by Universal Law you can not attract the same negative experience into your life once you have positively changed the belief that originally attracted it. When the lesson is learnt, the experience is neutralized.

 

In a nutshell, too many people create their life in the shadow of their past negative experiences and so fail to achieve the success for which they strive. Know that you can free yourself from the negative influence of a past experience by identifying and changing the beliefs that attracted it in the first instance, by changing your perception, and by placing your experience back in its place rather than carrying it with you indefinitely with the help of mental time travel. When you learn to see your negative experiences as an opportunity to learn and change something about yourself, you will find the pain you once felt will have been transformed into gratitude for a lesson well learnt.

 

Article sources:  http://www.mind-your-reality.com/negative_experiences.html#Part_2

http://www.mind-your-reality.com/change_your_perception.html#Part_2

http://www.mind-your-reality.com/mental_time_travel.html#Part_2

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