As Halloween approaches, the one day each year we actually celebrate scaring the bejesus out of each other, I thought I should warn of a scary door you don’t want to open without total awareness – the door to your past mistakes, regrets and losses.

At Clarity, we live and teach that our vital energy comes from focusing on the difference between where we are now and what we want to create for the future. Staying consciously in the present allows us to maintain that energizing focus.

When we visit the past to partake of the bitter taste of remorse, guilt or anger, we drain a lot of energy from our daily life and our forward movement. And yet, somehow it is still tempting to walk into that dark basement, even as we hear that menacing music and the screams “DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR!”

Turning on the lights in a dark basement usually illuminates the scary corners. It’s the same with our mental visits to dark history. We want to illuminate the lessons that help us live our lives with more passionate aliveness today. And, we need to leave behind the emotional baggage of regret, guilt and loss.

Personally, I make a point to recognize with gratitude the lessons I’ve learned from my past lapses from perfection. I can talk very openly about where I learned the lesson. However, I seldom revisit the gory details of the actual lesson-giving screw-up. “I got it. I know where I learned it. No need to bring it all up again.”

And then I hired a creative writing coach. The book I’m writing requires replaying some long ago history, where certain lesson-causing events happened. Rather than just tell the readers how I was not perfect, I now have to write creatively with enough detail to show what happened. The readers will then see with their own eyes the depth of my lack of perfection.

I very clearly see how the scenes from my past add richness and wisdom to my present. I just wish I didn’t have to show readers my old emotional pimples with such scenic clarity.

I am experiencing and learning a couple of things by writing this history. Time does soften the impact of the recalled emotions. Even as I create emotional scenes from the past, I’m well aware of the lessons I now apply daily to my current life. While I still feel some loving sadness from the losses, I’ve released my attachment to the regrets and the guilt.

So, if you must revisit old dark rooms in your mind, open that creaky door very carefully. Prepare yourself with gratitude and love for the acquired wisdom. And, for heaven’s sake, turn the lights on.

Keeping my lights on bright,