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Making Peace with Your Past: The Six Essential Steps to Enjoying a Great Futureby Harold Bloomfield
Synopses & Reviews
Healing a Painful PastHurt Was Inevitable,
Suffering Is Optional"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."-- George Santayana
The three most profound questions in every person's life are: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? This book will help you explore and answer all three. As you unravel the tangled web of your past, you will be able to extract from it the golden thread that is your essence and weave your future into a bold, brilliant tapestry.
Scientific research, depth psychology, and the great wisdom traditions of every culture all strongly concur that the root cause of human suffering is the accumulation of unprocessed experience from the past. In my 30 years as a psychotherapist and seminar leader, I have learned that no one can experience true love, or a joyful presence, or create an optimal future until he or she makes peace with the past. People come to therapy to deal with an immediate crisis or persistent problem. They are often depressed about the present or anxious about the future. But without exception, they soon discover that the pain and chaos of the present have origins in the past. To understand themselves and move forward with confidence and freedom, they must reflect on what brought them to this moment. Aspects of their personal history that are holding them back must be confronted and resolved; aspects that can rejuvenate their creativity and strength-the fun and wonder of childhood, for instance, or the visionary enthusiasm of adolescence- need to be rediscovered and resurrected.
Without a doubt, many of the here-and-now conflicts people have with their spouses, lovers, bosses, or children are, in part,reenactments of incidents that happened earlier in their lives.
Here are some examples from the people I'm currently seeing in my practice:
As the great novelist William Faulkner once said, the past is not dead, it is not even past. Indeed, the past lives on in everything we think, feel, say, and do. The cells in our bodies may die and replace themselves every seven years; we may change jobs, spouses, addresses, even our names; but the imprint of every experience-large and small, pleasant and unpleas ant- remains with us, each one adding to the sum of who we are, like the bricks and mortar in a house or the words on a page.
The past does not just sit there like an obedient child, waiting to be called upon when we want to remember things. It is a full participant in our lives. A painful past can haunt us, stirring up rage, regret, sorrow, shame, and other bitter feelings. The emotional residue of that pain--a background buzz of self-punishment, fear, and anger--can quite literally control us, turning us into victims of memory and drowning the more delicate emotions of love, joy, and compassion. Positive memories haunt us, too, making us long for the freedom and excitement of days gone by. But it's not just the past we remember that influences the present. To a large extent, the unremembered pastshapes the feeling tone of our lives, sometimes calling forth confidence, generosity, and exuberance, and at other times unexplained anxiety, despair, and physical illness.
What echoes of the past are disturbing your peace in the present? To assess the extent to which you can benefit from this book, please answer yes or no to the following questions:
Includes bibliographical references (p. -247) and index.
Do You: Harbor guilt or grudges from past relationships? Feel plagued by thoughts of regret? Think "Oh, no, not again!" when personal problems arise? Wonder why life hasn't turned out the way you wanted? Feel anxious or depressed about your future? Seem to be less happy as time goes by?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, this book can help you make peace with your past — here and now.
The past lives on in everything we think, feel, say, and do. Medical studies show that adults who've had adverse or traumatic past experiences are much more vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Now, world-renowned psychiatrist Dr. Harold Bloomfield, bestselling author of Making Peace with Your Parents and Making Peace with Yourself, offers practical, scientifically proven techniques that can help you heal the wounds of the past; transform feelings of pain, shame, and blame into high self-worth; and reawaken to the magic and joy of being alive.
About the Author
Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D. is a Yale-trained psychiatrist and a respected leader in alternative medicine and integrative psychiatry. He is the best-selling author of Making Peace with your Parents, Making Peace withn Yourself, Hypericum (St. John's Wort) & Depression, How to Heal Depression, How to Survive the Loss of a Love, and TM Transcendental Meditation. His books have sold more than seven million copies and have been translated into twenty-six languages. His work has been featured in every major media outlet, including 20/20, Oprah, Larry King, Good Morning America and in Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, Forbes and People. He lives in Del Mar, California.
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