As you move through life, it is as if you leave breadcrumbs for the future.
Let's take a look of why that may be so.
Every moment, from brushing your teeth, making breakfast, to stepping into your car, is an experience. Experience is a continuous ongoing recording of events as you experience them. Each experience is a piece of information. We could visualize each event as lego block.
You may be aware that each experience is more than the event itself. You 'add' something to each event: a mental and emotional aspect. For instance, you may have liked or not liked your breakfast - and you may have learned something from that about the types of breakfasts you like. All what you experience and learn from the event itself is also recorded in your memory. The lego block is the event itself - in its factual neutrality - and the mental and emotional aspect you added to it is 'linked' to the event part of your experience. We will visualize each emotional/mental construct you attach to the event as a taijitu. Together the lego block and taijitu make the experience.
Initially, we may look at these experienced events as being on a linear timeline.
The question now becomes: what influence do these memories of experiences have on your present and future experiences?
For this, the linear order, when it happened, may not be relevant. How often and how intensely an experience happened is of influence. We can remove the lineair time aspect of it, and focus on the relationships instead. If similar events happened often and are intensely experienced, then the relationship between the event and the emotional/mental construct is stronger.
Similar experiences connect to the same emotional/mental constructs. The more often and the more intense you have similar experiences, the stronger the 'charge' of that emotional/mental construct.
You give priority to the higher charged emotional/mental constructs. They start to dominate your experiences and are easily triggered. At some point, these emotional/mental constructs have so much charge they don't even need any event anymore to become activated. You can even start craving them. They become self-fullfilling prophecies. You can't see and experience it in another way anymore. Your emotional/mental constructs are constantly reinforced.
How do you build your next lego castle?
You could shake your box of lego pieces and see which block comes on top.
You could spin your mental/emotional constructs, see which one attracts you the most and see which emotion and thought is linked to that lego block.
You could bump into a new lego block, relate it to a similar lego block in your memory set, remember what mental/emotional construct it is linked to, and repeat what you did then.
We have to keep in mind that we are building the plane while we are flying it. In other words, the timeline keeps putting lego blocks in front of us continuously. You could say, the lego building robot in you, is highly automated. It keeps building.
How does your lego robot know what to build? From your memory.
Does that mean you are always building the same lego castle? Some people may experience that kind of repetition in life and yet you also have new experiences. You 'build' on top of and from your memory. By combining lego blocks in new ways, new castles are formed. By combining the blocks in the same way, you get similar castles.
Your lego building robot will make similar combinations automatically. To make new combinations requires your conscious attention, intention and creativity. That way, you give your robot new material to work with.
If your lego blocks are linked to fully charged negative emotional/mental constructs - that is what your robot is working with. It will seek events similar to every event appearing on your timeline, and activate the remembered linked emotion and thought, completing your experience for you. To change what you make of the events appearing on your timeline, you'll need to look at what your lego blocks are linked to, and undo and replace those links.
This is why healing often involves 'digging' into the past. If you want to build new castles, you need to disconnect and create new links in your experience memory bank. The emotional/mental construct you once added to the event may no longer serve you.
How do you change these links?
The event itself is the event. It's factual. The weather was sunny or rainy. Your conclusion of the weather is your subjective making. Now every time it rains, you have the same feeling and thoughts about it. If you want to change that experience, so that when it rains you feel and think differently, you'll need to 'remember' what your thoughts and emotions are when it rains, get a sense of why you 'see it that way, and what you could replace it with. Perhaps you are fine with the way you think and feel about rain. Or perhaps it depends on the context. Whatever your position may be - if you want to make a change, you'll need to decide on a different interpretation of rain: what is means to you.
Let's say you have been emotionally abused for 30 years. In your parents home you were told you were ugly and dumb on a daily basis. That's like the weather situation. You are presented with someone telling you that you are ugly and dumb. It's a lego block. It's still neutral in the sense that each person may experience it differently. Some may be untouched by it. Some may be deeply hurt. However difficult it may be to imagine that any two year old would be unimpressed with such abuse, what experience you make from it is your unique interpretation. One may develop anger. Another may develop sadness. The meaning of dumb and ugly is different for everyone. The lego block will likely get linked to a highly charged negative emotional/thought construct. After 30 years of such abuse, there is a significant probability that you have adopted the believe to some degree that you are ugly and dumb - whatever that means to you. How do you change that interpretation?
You can't just say one day I'm smart and beautiful and assume the emotions and thoughts around dumb and ugly will be gone. The reason for this is that would lack the experience. You need to experience being smart and beautiful to become smart and beautiful. It needs to be both emotional and mental - and it needs to be linked to events.
Remember that the experience is the event itself plus your added emotional/thought construct. To change your perception of yourself, you need to experience it - meaning that you have the event where your realize (interpretation) that you are smart and beautiful.
There are two roads to that realization. One, you remember an event and looking at it again you realize you were smart and beautiful in that moment. Second, you remember the events when you were told that you are ugly and dumb, and come to the realization that what was said to you isn't true. Perhaps you realize that this was said to you out of jealousy precisely because you are so beautiful and smart. That cuts the link with the ugly and dumb construct.
To make this transformation, you need to 1) remember the 'root' event when you accepted the emotional/mental construct (I am dumb and ugly), 2) change your interpretation of the meaning of the event to release and replace the emotional/mental construct.
Some of these experiences are far deep into your memory, too deep to recall in your normal awake state. This is why hypnotherapy is so effective. In the state of hypnosis you can retrieve any relevant memory. To transform your point of view, you also need to bypass your robotic tendency to filter and construct automatically, so that you can be open to a different point of view. In the state of hypnosis the robot goes to sleep and your intuition takes over. Your attention, intention and creativity can do their work to come to new realizations. You may come to the conclusion that concepts such as beautiful and smart are subjective and that everyone is as beautiful and smart in their own unique way. It's in the eye of the beholder. You may even realize that being beautiful and smart isn't even your intent in life. Your joy may especially come from simply being you - exactly how you are.
It is critical that you touch both the emotional feeling and the mental thought related to the event. Also, pure mental logic usually won't get you to the essence. The root 'cause' of your experience is often not what you may expect - as the related memories are too deep to remember and your robot is too busy filtering your view.
This 'work' of transformation is always related to a current experience you are having. Why else would it play a role now? You are not enjoying something in your present moment. The present moments (lego blocks) are shaking, spinning and moving your memory and finding the emotional/mental construct you then experience. It's like every moment is a gust of wind blowing through your emotions and thoughts to activate those that resonate. You can keep following that resonance to the original moment when you first constructed the belief and felt the emotion. Follow the feeling, not the logic.
This is how your past lays bread crumbs for your future - it holds the building blocks of what comes next. To change your future, change your past from your present moment.