The Past Is History, The Future’s Mystery ….

06 Feb 2007

Some wise, but anonymous person once said “With one foot
in the past and one leg in the future, you can only p*** on the present.” 

Long term ezine readers of my ezine "The Woman You Want To Be" (subscribe through my website:  may remember that this is a
phrase I love and have quoted before. I
repeat it now, in part, because learning, and especially emotionally learning,
is like the childhood game of ‘pass the parcel’. (For anyone not familiar with the game, CLICK HERE for a

Emotional learning demands that we strip off, layer by
layer, the false and limiting beliefs that people have taught us. 

One of these limiting beliefs is: “The past is history,
the future’s mystery, the present is a gift – that’s why it’s called the
present.” It’s not entirely false; the
present is undoubtedly a gift. Equally, it is our own personal parcel and we may need to pull off a
fair few layers before we see and appreciate that gift.

The rest of the phrase is more problematic. Yes, the past is history, although it
only becomes history when you consign it to history. You consign it to history when we you longer need to keep it in
our life to justify who you are today. This happens when you allow yourself to see all that is valuable about
you and so no longer experience the past as your only badge of honour. 

But is the future really a mystery? It’s the rare, gifted person who can foresee
the future, admittedly. Yet almost
everyone thinks as if they could foresee the future. What they foresee, or more correctly expect,
is generally more of the same. More bad
stuff. Either more of what they have
already experienced, or the bad stuff that other people have, helpfully, told
them about. 

Most people cannot predict events, especially major
events, because they lack information. But
the can play an active part in shaping their own future.

This week I was talking with a delightful
multi-millionaire (who I am trying to clone, but that’s another
story). For the best part of 20 years,
without anyone ever telling him to do so, he has visualized what he wants. He has visualized the business partner,
wife, home, lifestyle he wanted and he has found them. 

Bully for him, you might say. Why bother telling me this stuff?

The reason for doing so is that visualizing and believing
that you can have good things in your life, just as many good things as
anybody else
, is something that abused women stop doing. If they ever really started.

Never underestimate the abusive intelligence. It is geared to break your spirit and your
dreams. An abuser carefully programs
into you the belief that you cannot have the things that are available to
others – except through him. We
all know that script. Reduced to its
essence it goes essentially: ‘without me, you will be an outcast. You’ll eke
out a wretched existence in a cave somewhere, coated in mud, dressed in rags,
scratching around in the dry earth for roots to eat.”

It’s powerful stuff. It erodes your self-worth. It
sounds more and more convincing the more you hear it. And you stop dreaming and visualizing the healthy, available,
positive things you deserve. 

It impairs what? The ability to visualize or the

It may well feel like the ability, but it is actually the
habit. You lose the habit, if you ever
had it; or never having acquired it you don’t see the sense in it. 

What is the sense in not visualizing? What do you get by staying within the old
destructive beliefs? 

Absolutely nothing.

But you may find visualizing difficult. 

In a well known experiment piranhas could see guppies
through a glass dividing wall in a fish tank. The piranhas couldn’t get to the guppies, but they did get a sore head
trying. In the end they gave up. Even when the glass divider was removed, the
piranhas didn’t try to get to the guppies. They starved. 

Happily, human beings are the top of the evolutionary
tree. Unlike other animals we can
change our responses to situations. In
my experience, abused women may well carry on responding in the same way to the
difficulties of an abusive relationship. But this only happens until they learn that there are other ways
available to them. That revelation changes
their beliefs and behaviours. This, in
turn, changes their life. 

Visualizing what you desire – as opposed to what you
really, really don’t want more of – is an extremely powerful tool for getting
what you want.


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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