It seems you have no choice in the present when you bring a choice from the past into the present moment.
You meet someone you had issues with and you immediately see them in the same way. You were defensive and cold before and now you are doing the same thing again. You’re bringing your past perception with you, without awareness, and so there seems to be no choice in the present.
But the present is not a victim of our past choices, unless we make it that way.
“Happily, every moment is discontinuous from the one preceding it, always allowing us to make new choices about how to respond to current circumstances. Releasing past thoughts and concerns, and with it our stress, is essential, since indiscriminately allowing past programming to dictate our present approach to life is unsatisfactory at best and maddening at worst.”
Carol M. Howe from her book “Never Forget to Laugh”
On my recent visit to Ireland I had the opportunity to stop bringing my past into family relationships. I wrote in my journal during the trip:
Pleasing my mother (parents) is an attempt to please God so that he would let me back into the Kingdom. God would look at me and say “you have been such a good child and so you deserve to return”
Hmm – that strategy has to go! It never worked anyway.
It only reinforced my sense of unworthiness because it assumed I had to do something to gain something that I had lost. Playing the role of being nice keeps my identification that “I’m not good enough” in place.
I experienced on the trip that releasing the past allowed love to speak to me and those around me.