The Bonfire of Past Hurts
With love comes pain. To love is to become vulnerable, opening your boundaries so that you become one with the Beloved. But, because we are all human, all imperfect, there inevitably comes a loss of connection either in small ways, through subtle distancing, criticism or conflict, or in much more powerful ways, through betrayal, breakup, divorce or even death. To love is to open ourselves to the greatest joy, which in turn, can become the greatest pain. Our past hurts.
As Emmet Fox wrote:
It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble,
How hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle,
How great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it.
This is why love takes so much courage. I am proud of you for charging into it again and again, taking chances with the one you are with or with someone new who could become your Beloved. You are a heroine in your own life. And you need to recognize and love yourself for being on this journey.
If you have just suffered a loss or still feel the slings and arrows of past tangled mistakes, as Emmet Fox said, a sufficient realization of love will dissolve it. Love can heal any wound, any guilt, sadness, anger or fear that may linger from your tangled past hurts. However, that love has to start with you—loving yourself. You have to care for yourself, lick your wounds and recharge yourself.
Past Hurts: Don’t Fight the Painful Memories
It is important not to fight the painful memories– the thoughts and unhappy feelings that come up. Fighting off the memories will paradoxically result in them sticking with you and ruining your future love life. Rather you need to welcome them. Only then, can you transmute and transform these past hurts so that they no longer hold you captive.
Here is a simple yet powerful 12-step exercise that has helped many people just like you. Close your eyes and follow the exercise step by step, after each of these instructions:
The Bonfire of Past Hurts 12-Step Process
1. Visualize a huge bonfire, multicolored with orange, gold, red and blue flames, crackling, sputtering and popping, burning so hot that you can feel its heat.
2. Magnify that image, make it five times stronger, more colorful, louder and hotter.
3. Set the bonfire image aside.
4. Remember your ex or an incident from a past relationship that is particularly troubling.
5. Let whatever feelings or thoughts come up be there. Think the thoughts, feel the feelings, no matter how painful they are.
6. Take the thoughts and feelings and imagine throwing them one by one into the raging hot bonfire.
7. Imagine the huge bonfire burning up all those scenes, thoughts and/or feelings that are troubling you.
8. Make the bonfire stronger and hotter so that all those past hurts are being burned up into a fine white ash.
9. Make the bonfire even hotter, ten times hotter, so that there is nothing left of all the past hurts.
10. Make a statement of self-love from your heart. Something like, “I love myself for daring to love.” “I am my own heroine of the heart.” “I give myself love.”
11. Create a Love Intention affirmation by first ending this sentence over and over again with whatever comes to mind:
“In the realm of love I want______________”
Next craft your one sentence Love Intention in the present tense. Make sure it expresses the love future you would like to create, regardless of your present circumstances. Some examples include, “I give myself a loving devoted life partner.” “I meet and marry an exciting, committed, caring partner.”
12. Now open your eyes and write down your self-loving declaration and Love Intention. Post them in a private place like a drawer or closet where you can see them every day.
When To Use the Bonfire of Past Hurts
You can use the Bonfire of Past Hurts any time that you are feeling hurt, sad, angry, fearful or guilt-ridden over things that happened in your past relationships. By using this simple tool you can turn these down periods into opportunities to nurture yourself and to facilitate your growth as a person who lives a deliberate life.
I believe the purpose of your life is to become your own beloved heroine. No matter what has happened you can heal and build a life you are proud of, that is fulfilling to you in all dimensions, a life that leads to love. You and only you can determine the right path. Craft your self-love declaration, choose your love intention and then act with one-pointed intent. Be open to your deepest intuition, listening carefully for the faint voice in your heart. When you are willing to follow that whisper and be as flexible as the reed without compromising your integrity, the wounds of the past will heal and all will unfold perfectly.
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