Resolution of past issues is critical to growth because the negative experiences gathered through our lives literally occupy precious space within the self. It is as though we are occupied by an oppressive regime of negative experiences and whilst these experiences remain unchallenged, the areas under siege cannot be used in constructive and creative ways. Like an occupying army, these negative energies deplete us, but when these issues are resolved the occupied territories can once again be returned intact to the self. A helpful way to conceptualise this is to think of a square. The square represents the self. Let us say for the sake of this illustration that 25% of the square is shaded, representing all the pain, hurt, sadness, unresolved anger and trauma gathered over the course of one’s life. This then leaves 75% of the square unshaded, representing what potential is left within the self. In other words, this individual can only ever achieve 75% of his/her potential because the remaining 25% is shut down and therefore unavailable. Bound up in a negative way it remains inaccessible in that form. By facing up to and doing what is needed to resolve this dysfunctional 25%, the space can be reclaimed, allowing the person to become complete, therefore fulfilling his/her potential.
This fairly simple illustration is the essence of self-transformation. If we were to really understand that the negative occupation by past events and hurts denies us the space and the energy to move forward, we would focus intensely on resolving those things that hold us back. Just think how much energy and time is wasted re-living events that you can do nothing about, where you crucify yourself over and over for your past mistakes. Think how much time you waste holding grudges, thinking unfavourably of others and wasting the opportunity to improve and change relationships. Just think how much time you waste justifying your own behaviour and motivations and laying the blame at the doors of others rather than taking responsibility for your own actions. All this time, energy and mental space given over to this type of thinking is terribly wasteful but worse still are the countless missed opportunities to create positive change and establish a new beginning. Every minute of every day is an opportunity for a fresh start, it is your chance to leave the past where it belongs, behind you, and to slip into the now and experience the joy of being you. If you take an honest look at yourself you will see you are living beneath the ceiling of your potential and every moment is another chance to change that. All you need to do is grasp the nettle of personal responsibility and make a pledge to resolve and release the past. Then you can create the space, time and energy to be all you are capable of being.
Use the understanding you have hopefully gained about the square to invoke your determination. Once you finish reading this, make time to sit down by yourself and think of all those people and events that still hold you hostage, that negatively bind you and through a simple mental role-play, talk to the people in question in such a way that all that needs to be said is said. Speak from your heart without apology because it is only when you truly express your feelings in a healthy way that you can be free of them. Unhealthy expression breeds even more negative consequences. Healthy expression brings resolution and the opportunity for a new beginning. So, systematically over the coming weeks and months, speak in your mind to those individuals where you need to address outstanding issues/concerns and in time the negative feelings will ease and eventually evaporate and you will be able to make peace with those things that once troubled you. This is one of a number of ways to bring about resolution. However, you will need to do these exercises several times (over a number of weeks) before you achieve the desired outcome but be sure of one thing, if you do repeatedly address these issues in your mind, in this way, you will become free of them and be able to fully reclaim yourself.