Complete the Past to Allow Freedom In The Moment

June 25, 2012  |   Latest News   |     |   0 Comment

News_CompleteThePast We all have a past. We have all experienced events that have resulted in powerful times of growth, as well as varying degrees of pain. We have been shaped by these events and many of us feel that we are limited by the negative experiences we’ve had. Sometimes we can get tangled up with these past events which prevent us from living fully the life we want to live.

The best way to create the future we want for ourselves is to make sure we have closure, or completion, with past events. Perhaps:

  • We have not allowed ourselves to feel all of our feelings
  • We have not expressed ourselves fully
  • We have not forgiven someone
  • We have not acknowledged the successes we have achieved

When we do not pay attention to completion, we accumulate emotions that we carry around on our backs that inhibit our growth and ability to live life to the fullest. The residues of anger , sadness, pain of being a victim, and the guilt from being a hero accumulate and influence us, either consciously or subconsciously, when we do not take time to clear them away, or complete them.

Furthermore, when we think of endings we think of relationships. However, there are many other endings: a season in life, a purpose, a way of being, an era of a relationship, a job, a vacation, or the end of a school year, which can affect our emotional state just as much as ending an important relationship.

Completions get less attention in our society than new beginnings. Yet if we do not complete events that have already occurred, we are not giving those new beginnings the freedom and fullness they deserve. Such freedom is comparable to running several programs on a computer at once – it will zap processing power. With loose ends wrapped around our shoulders, we are subject to distraction and energy drain, which keeps us from being present and free in the moment.

If we do not keep clearing the path of our past events, new interactions will conjure up interactions from the past. These turn into emotional triggers and sensitive spots that keep us from living peacefully with others. Or perhaps, instead, we put up protective walls that keep us numb to the emotions of our past, which in turn keeps us numb to the emotions of our present.

So How Do We Complete?

Completion occurs when we intentionally review events in our lives and acknowledge the emotions that we experienced. We are then able to consciously pay tribute to the experience and what it meant to us, both positively and negatively. Some questions that assist us in this acknowledgement include:

  • What successes do I want to celebrate?
  • What people or things did I appreciate?
  • What did I learn?
  • What will I miss?
  • What disappointments did I have?
  • What will this allow me to do?
  • How does this fit into the bigger picture of my life?
  • Where do I want to head now?

While sometimes a completion happens right away, other times it happens later when the players have either moved on or passed away. However, whenever possible, we should complete by the end of every day. We complete what was, express what we need to express, and then sleep with an easy mind.

Sue Ann Gonis, M.A.,CPCC, PCC

is Professional Life and Leadership Coach who is passionate about helping others see obstacles for what they are, and helping them get to where they want to go. With more than 20 years of experience as an executive and coach, Gonis delivers dynamic talks and workshops to individuals, couples, business owners, and leaders. Gonis coaches individuals, couples, and leaders across North America via phone and online video, or in person in Irvine, California. For more information, email Sue Ann at