While recently attending a wellness retreat, I was asked one of the most important questions I have ever been asked: Do you want to be right, or do you want to be free? True to its nature, my analytical brain kicked in and began questioning why I couldn’t have both.
Maybe I can, who knows, but the point that the practitioner made was there I was on the edge of a defining moment, and I needed to make a choice. Fortunate for me I chose freedom and continue to do so repeatedly.
Let me explain. While I was free externally and still am, I was trapped internally by various intrusive thoughts, tethered to some strong emotions. And as much as I tried to rationally release myself from the mind chatter and negativity, which was seeping into unwanted and unpleasant anxiety, I was powerless until I fully understood that the thoughts lived in my subconscious mind and it was running the show.
I had to reach the source–my subconscious. More on that later. Anyhow, the same person who helped me face this truth has a term for latent, yet disruptive and unhelpful facts. He calls them dead facts. Let go of them or they will control you, identity, and all.
In hindsight, I can see how hundreds of dead facts have lived in my mind and slyly defined my present and future, too. But let me be clear. I have not expelled all dead facts, though I’d love to do so. However, being aware of their destruction has redefined how I deal with adversity, how I manage conflict.
There is no point in digging in my heels when I know I am right for the sake of my ego. Just ask a few politicians, celebrities or even friends and family how counterproductive that can be.
Make no mistake about it, I will always seek justice and resolution to problems but doing so is different to holding on to negativity and allowing the situation to become a part of my identity.
So how do you reach the subconscious to let go of dead facts? First, recognise the dead facts for what they are. No matter how right you were and still are, the facts are dead. Of course, it is important to acknowledge the wrong, do what you can to resolve it and then let it go. Only then can healing begin.
Next, make sure you send the fact(s) packing and not back to your subconscious mind. It will not rest quietly, though it might seem so. Likely it is causing more problems than you are aware of and some of the ones that you absolutely know about and would like to resolve.
And you wondered why that insult that was hurled at you some ten years ago keeps coming back to haunt you. But don’t despair, there are many ways to address letting go of the past such as meditation, prayer, and physical activity like walking, running, and exercising.
Further, there are loads of resources to aid as well, including retreats like the one I attended and highly recommended books and podcasts, too.
Also, listen to your body. Anxiety over the past and worry about the future pushes us into fight flight mode. And when your body stays there too long, it suffers. As you likely know, this system was given to us to flee danger and do unbelievable things like run faster, pick up something far beyond our weight and so on.
It has worked a jewel for me many times and one of them was early 2020 when I got one of my fingers trapped in my father’s garage door. Ouch, ouch, ouch, though garage doors no longer trigger my anxiety. Though I could not get that door to open, I waited fully conscious for what seemed like forever before the fire department and ambulance arrived on the scene and freed me. It was only after I was safe inside of the ambulance and on my way to hospital that I began to feel pain and then zoned out.
Miraculously, my smashed finger did not have to be removed nor was it broken, contrary to what the firemen and paramedics believed. My fight flight system shut down any unnecessary systems and piped up the necessary ones to protect me. Now, imagine it shutting down systems like digestion unnecessarily on a regular basis. It is not a healthy recipe. Thankfully, your body well let you know when you are overusing fight flight.
In short, try to eliminate as many dead facts as possible from the depths of your subconscious by using helpful resources and listening to your body for much deserved freedom.
And by the way you might be asking, what does all this have to do with legacy? Glad you asked. It’s all about sharing and handing down positive change, which often means abandoning thoughts, facts, beliefs that hold you back or cause problems. No better place to start than now, wherever you are.