Living The Story Of Others: How Your Past Dominates Your Present

Peter Hoddle How Your Past Impacts Your Present

The average person lives 95% of their day under the influence of the past, from our  unconscious patterns. In fact, most of the time we are actually functioning under the influence of those who had the greatest impact on us in the past. Parents, grandparents, close family members, teachers, priests, leaders etc. Of course, the problem with the past life patterns that we drag with us into the current day is that they relate to eras gone by; old patterns don’t work so well in the present.

Up until the age of seven years old, we have no mind filters. We simply absorb the patterns of those around us. From seven to 14 years, we begin to develop some filters, but still absorb most of what we are subjected to. From 14 on, we can become rebellious. This is something, I believe, that can be due to having unconsciously absorbed the patterns of others; we instinctively start fighting to stop it from happening any further. We become rebels without causes. Our defiance is self-preservation.

During a recent meditation, I found myself standing on a hill. When I looked around, I saw that there were three other hills near to me. All three hills were higher than the one I stood on. I saw that grandfather stood on one, my father on another one and on the third was an Indian Yogi (I intuitively knew that this was me in a previous life.) As I considered this scene, I realised that these three individuals were ones that had been a great influence on my life. I had, in recent times, been thinking deeply about freedom (and had realised that our concept of freedom varies dependant on our past experiences and influences.) In my mediations, I saw that these three influences surrounding me were all people that contributed to my perspectives on freedom.

My grandfather and the yogic me had been very similar. Both had roamed about, with little possessions or responsibility. My grandfather had left his family when my father was 12 years old. He came back three years later, as if nothing had changed. He did this on three occasions. My father was forced into the workforce at 12. He had his childhood denied by his father’s actions and had to become overwhelmingly responsible at a young age for the family that had been left behind. As I considered all of this, I saw clearly that I had absorbed these somewhat contradictory stories and made them my own. In the early years (up until I was 40), I wandered the world, carried little responsibility (except for myself) and had little or no possessions – exactly the same as my grandfather and the yogi I saw before me.

When I got married, the tables turned and I activated my father’s story. I stopped roaming, became super responsible, worked hard - just like my dad - and became responsible for those around me.

I was caught between two stories.

Neither of them was mine.

I am waking up to the fact that for a great part of my life, I have been living the stories of others - a story relevant to them and to a bygone era but not relevant to me. Where have I been in all this? Somewhere, lost in the wilderness. I have been sleeping, existing, passing through life, and riding on the stories of others.

The thing I have found most perplexing is that almost everyone is doing this and have no idea that they aren’t being themselves. They are enacting someone else’s story, and in many cases it may be someone whom they don’t even like.

So HOW do we change this?

In my next mediation, I set about creating the change required. First I, envisaged the same scene with my father, my grandfather and the yogi on the three hills around me. Next, I reduced the size of the three hills and made them the same size as mine. I then placed a fence with a gate (to which I held a key) between myself and each of the other three hills - not a wall, but a fence. A fence which would still allow any positive and constructive influences from each of my mentors to flow through, however a fence would block the dominating effects of their patterns (which I reminded myself, were theirs, not mine).

And here’s what happened next: EVERYTHING changed. I suddenly had myself back. Life seemed different. Colours were different. Sounds seemed clearer. I felt at immense ease. An anxiety, which I didn’t even know I was carrying, was gone.

I felt centred.

I felt free.

Have an honest look at your life and at yourself, and see whose story you are really living? Then try my technique - it works. Start to truly live and have the courage to be you - it has to be better than living someone else’s story.