“Life is a perpetual instruction in cause and effect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yesterday morning, my daughter unearthed an old Italian Disney comic book, and asked me to read it with her. In the story we read, Mickey Mouse and Goofy are hired by the local museum to go investigate the historical sinking of a large ship that tragically went down right after its inauguration. To get them back to the day of the event, Professor Zapotec invites them to use a time machine he invented himself.
Mickey and Goofy embark on their journey back in time, and “land” near the shipyard just a few hours before the inauguration. The story is ripe with adventure and imagination, and eventually, our heroes are able to save the ship, and the accident—due to a miscalculation on behalf of the engineer in charge of the design—is avoided.
When they return to the present, they walk out of the time machine to find a surprised Professor Zapotec who asks them the reason why they were inside of his invention. Mickey and Goofy exchange a confused look, and tell Zapotec of the mission he had assigned to them that same morning. When he seems to have no clue of what they are talking about, Mickey asks him to read the article in the old newspaper Zapotec had showed them before the trip. Professor Zapotec peruses the paper, but he cannot find the article. Since Mickey and Goofy changed the history of the event, the accident never happened, the story was never reported, and the professor never hired them to investigate the mystery.
The story was one of pure fantasy, but the concept behind it embraces a very important point—if we can heal what happened in the past, we no longer need to worry about the old hurt impacting our present and future.
Unresolved issues don’t just go away. Once they have slipped away from the grip of consciousness and are stored into our subconscious, they are no longer available to our memory, but they still impact our realities. Quite often, an honest reflection on the patterns in one’s life can cue the individual to the identity of the hidden triggers; if the triggers are lured to the surface, dealt with and released, the spell is broken—once healed, the old wound disappears and its effects on the present reality of the individual are erased.
Coming face to face with old wounds is an important step into dealing with our present problems. Until they are dealt with, past hurts continue to replay and affect our lives negatively, but the emotional charge associated with them is no longer as powerful as it was when we originally buried them into the chamber of our subconscious. Being our present circumstances different as well, once we bring them to the surface they no longer appear as big as they did when they occurred.
Inviting our past hurts back into awareness might not be as quick and simple as Mickey and Goofy’s adventure in the time machine, but once the journey is complete we will be thrilled that the article was never written.