Why do Bad Past Experiences stay in us?
There are two possible types of learning from painful or difficult experiences in our past. The first is a physical learning. If you put your hand on a hot kettle when you are a kid you learn not to do it again. It does not create any anxiety in you when you see a hot kettle the next time – does it? But if you have an emotionally difficult experience it’s a completely different story. When you have an experience that is emotionally upsetting, you simultaneously create a thought in your mind. This is mental learning.
Let’s say your emotionally difficult experience was around failing at something and that created sadness in you. The thought or thoughts now created in your mind by this experience are something like “Sadness is bad” ” I must not fail”. The difference between the kettle experience where there is no thought created is that experience just naturally stays in the past. Whereas the experience of failure has created thought formations in you that will live in you until you die. You therefore can not leave the difficult emotional experience in the past as those thought formations are now “stuck” in your mind.
The answer is to learn how to let go of the difficult past experiences stuck in our minds. If you would like to learn more about this process click here.