Baba says, ‘Let the past be the past and learn your lesson from the past and be careful in future.‘
For half a cycle, I have been stumbling around as an orphan with no guidance as to what is right and what is wrong. I committed many sins as a result and the burden of those sins is heavy, explains Baba. But, He explains, you have now died alive and taken a new birth and so you have the choice to let the past be the past and move into your new future. He is the Purifier, He comes to purify souls and take us back home. Purification means that I carry no more burdens, am no longer caught up in any bondages of past mistakes, sanskars etc., all my sins are absolved and I become brand new. That purification happens when I am in remembrance, His love alone is the alchemy that can take iron and change it to pure gold. So He says, ‘I give you no other difficulty, simply consider yourself and a soul and remember Me alone.’
But often, I remember my past rather than remember the Father. I rewind the past memories, analyze, dissect, and relive the whole experience over and over again. Baba says, ‘anything of the past should be experienced as though it is a matter of a past birth. When your stage becomes like this, your speed of efforts will become fast.’ To let myself be caught up in the past is to come to a standstill; it’s as though I have stopped along the route on my pilgrimage and am refusing to continue. This is the main thing that makes your speed of effort slow is thinking about things of the past: either your own or those of others and keeping it in your awareness, points out Baba. One is to keep it in your awareness (chit) and the other is to think about it (chintan). So neither should it be in your heart and nor should you be thinking about it and you most certainly shouldn’t be speaking about it, He teaches.
Not only do I choose to dwell in the past but then I cry to Baba about it: ‘Baba, why did this happen to me?’, ‘this shouldn’t have happened…’, ‘I shouldn’t have done this…’, ‘what if…’, ‘if only…’ etc. Let me realize that God doesn’t live in my past. He is in the present, helping me create my future. So if I am dwelling on my past, then I am doing it alone. Baba says, ‘if you continue to think about whatever has happened in the past, that will become an obstacle. Continue to apply a full-stop and you will be able to stabilize yourself in the stage of a point.’ Sometimes, I am still caught up in something that happened 20 years ago, still carrying that heavy burden of someone having betrayed me; still feeling the pain, the rage, the bitterness, the resentment. It is said that getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go in order to move forward. If I hang on to the same bar, it’s a matter of time before my arms ache and I fall to the ground. Let me not allow that to happen.
I find courage to reach for that next bar when I remember who I am and Whose I am. Sometimes, I am caught up in shame, guilt and regret over something I did and I feel ashamed to face God. Let me remember that He is my Father, my Supreme Surgeon, the Purifier. Rather than run away, let me run to God, give Him the burden and become light. The Surgeon says, ‘to heal your wound, you need to stop touching it.’ Yes, I made a mistake but true repentance is to learn from my mistake and move on. To stay where I am is laziness and carelessness; it serves neither the self nor others.
To continue to hold on to the past is the easiest thing to do, I’ve had the practice for half the cycle. It’s how Ravan has and continues to hold me captive. He reminds me of past hurts, betrayals, mistakes etc. and makes me believe that it’s too big a thing to move past, that somehow what happened has set me back in my journey, or he makes me believe that I am too big a sinner for God to like me, that I should quit and move back into his world. Let me not believe his lies. God says, ‘let the past be the past. Take just a step of courage forward and I will match it with a thousand steps of My own.’
Previously, as an orphan, I had no guidance but now, I have knowledge that the Teacher has given me; I now understand the principle of the drama: ‘whatever has happened is good, whatever is happening is better and what is to happen will be the best.‘ My best is always in my future, not in the past. Those mistakes, betrayals, losses, whatever, are all part of the plan. They were all needed to teach me something, make me stronger, build my resilience, or maybe to simply settle. The point is, it was beneficial even though it may not seem that way on the outside. And so letting go takes faith in God and in what He is teaching me; letting go is easy when I realize that no matter what, God is in control and the drama is beneficial.
When I know and recognize God, I trust Him and where there is trust, there is surrender. I will find the courage and the wisdom to let go of the past and move forward on the journey with Him. I KNOW that my best days are still ahead of me and I can’t wait to see what all God has in store for me.