Don't let your past
define you

We are often consumed by thoughts of our past, negative thoughts of things we have done wrong of things we should have done better.

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Andrew Hackett: Good day and welcome to Illimitable Living. I am Andrew Hackett and I'm here to talk to you about everything that the world needs to discuss about living a life free from fear's restrictive boundaries, so that you can not only live a limitless life, but so that you can become truly illimitable. I am here from sunny Australia talking with my remarkable cohost, Patricia Morris, who has her own highly successful podcast series, delving into the mysteries of the universe and how we live within it.

Good day everyone. Welcome to Illimitable Living, pure freedom without limits. I'm Andrew Hackett and I'm talking to you with Patricia Morris. Good day Patricia, how are you doing this week?

Patrica Morris: I'm doing great. Thank you so much for asking. How are you Andrew?

Andrew Hackett: I'm fabulous. Life is good, I really can't complain. And I really look forward to our weekly chats. And I certainly hope that all of our listeners do too, because it really puts me on a big high talking about all of these crazy, crazy stuff.

Patrica Morris: Me too.

Andrew Hackett: So tell me, what did you want to chat about today? I'm really curious.

Patrica Morris: Well, I tend to observe a lot lately, especially because I've had a lot in my past and there are a lot of other people out there who've had a lot in their past as well. And I've just been thinking about the ways my past has shaped who I am, and also the ways that it has possibly defined who I am. And I know you could probably say the same for yourself, Andrew, and even our listeners out there can think about their own pasts and things that they have done in life and how it may have shaped who they are today and possibly how it may be even defining who they are today.

So I want to talk about or I would like to talk about, how we do that in letting our past define us. But I want to talk about it in a way where, if we're doing that in a way that's not serving us, so not letting our past define us, if that makes sense.

Andrew Hackett: Absolutely, makes complete sense. And in fact, this is a major thing that I work on with a lot of people. And there's different ways to phrase it. So not letting your past define you or not letting your story to continue to run your life. And look, I had my own story. My story, as articulated in my book, Free from Fear, I was sexually abused as a teenager. It was a single event by a male school teacher. It was a teacher that I trusted and in fact it was the teacher that everybody wanted.

At the time I thought it was just me, I thought I was the only one. And although I never put myself in that situation again, I realized some 12, 15 years later that in fact he had been doing it to dozens upon dozens of kids. In fact, it may be even into the hundreds over a sort of 15 to 20 year period. This all came out when some students eventually got the courage up to go to the police. The police questioned him. He disappeared off into the forest, hose to the tailpipe and took his own life. And then there was a whole range of court cases and everything that flowed on from that for another 10 to 15 years.

Now the interesting thing was, is I did allow that single moment to define me for 20 to 25 years. It was well into the mid 200s, 2007, where I finally made a decision that I was not going to let my past define me anymore. Now, the interesting thing about me, and I was slightly different to what a lot of people were, was that I, although I had my story and my story was in my head, I could never talk about my story. Nobody ever knew. Even my wife at the time, we'd been together for probably the thick end of about 15 years by that stage, not even she knew what had happened to me.

And the interesting thing was is that some people get caught up in their story, some people's story ... So what Eckhart Tolle refers to it, he calls it the pain-body, where people have these negative based story that they kind of associate their value to. It's almost like if they didn't have those troubles going on in their life, they didn't have that pain going on in their lives, they didn't have that suffering in their life, they wouldn't have an identity. Their identity is completely based around their story.

Now that certainly was my case, although I can never articulate my story because I didn't want anybody to know. And when I did, I finally felt so relieved from it and I got some professional help and stuff, which certainly helped, no question about that and I highly recommend anybody dealing with some serious issues to go and get professional help. But the issue with that is I had finally decided to not let my past define me anymore. My desire to find myself, to find my purpose and to live my purpose, was so much greater than my desire to live in the bottom of a bottle. And ultimately speaking, I ended up by making the right choices, getting the help and moving on. And eventually that 20. 25 years of living in that fear-driven low vibrational frequency did very much determine who I was. It made me very grumpy, very bitter, very quick to judgment, quick to temper as well. The alcohol that I was drinking certainly didn't help by a long shot. There was no question about that.

But in making a choice and the choice is always there for us. We need to understand that. A lot of people think ... And even the coaching clients that I work with, there are certain circumstances where the most difficult discussion I have to have with someone, and I don't do it on session one because they're not ready to hear it, but usually I get to a point where they're ready to hear the fact that all of the problems they are experiencing in their life is coming from the fact that they are focusing on their pain-body, on their negative story. And their entire identity is based around that story. They want to change the story, but they also don't want to lose the identity and the, call it the fame, that goes with that story.

I've heard of practitioners healing, spiritual practitioners, healing people of longterm chronic pain, back pain, leg pain, various different clients. This isn't my work, this is other people's work. And they've healed these people and the people have gotten angry at them because suddenly they don't need their walking cane. Now 20 sane minds, you would think that was a beautiful gift. That was a wonderful thing. That was an incredible thing that they've been waiting their entire life for. But in fact, what it was is their entire identity had been shaped around that story, that event or that trauma that they have experienced.

Now, even if we haven't experienced trauma, even if we haven't experienced a really tough past, we still develop, most of us do, certainly develop a kind of a preconditioned state that is less than what we certainly could be. And I think what I want to make clear to people is that everybody can get themselves out of whatever situation they're in. Everybody can. It's just a matter of choice. Yes, those choices have consequences. That's another universal law. We can't ignore that. Every choice you make has a consequence. The only thing I'm saying is you can often influence the consequence by making that choice based on either love or fear.

And that's a really important thing. Remember, everything we think and feel, every thought, every feeling, every choice we make, is based on love and fear. And the universe is a mirror that reflects back to us. And what's important about that, is if we are focusing on our pain-body, if we're focusing on our negative life story and we are assigning all of our identity to that, what do you think every thought, every feeling, every choice we make is going to be based upon? It's going to be based upon that story. It's going to be based upon that pain and that suffering.

So what do you think the universe is going to reflect back to you as a life experience? It's going to reflect the same thing back, the pain, the suffering, the life story. Until we make a constructive choice and we choose to do something about it. Like one day I just woke up and I talked about the story of the two angels visiting me. One was my son, and although he's a big 15 year old boofhead at the moment, he, at that time, he was a beautiful baby in nappies. And I would have to go in late at night to change his nappy because he was a prolific bottle drinker and he would ... I would just feel his nappy and wet his cot if I didn't.

So what was happening for me then though, is I'd go in and I'd change his nappy and, now you've got a child who's dead to the world, completely asleep, having his nappy changed in his cot. There's a vulnerability with that, that is really ... just can't be ignored. Now what I was seeing was my own vulnerabilities. What I was seeing was the vulnerability that it came from my abusive aunt, and I was seeing that in him. That's why I talked to him about the visit from the first angel. What that did is a brought to the surface some stuff that I'd repressed for 20 odd years and then started to realize, hold on a second, I'm going to have to do something about this. Because if I don't do it to me, I sure as hell have to do it for my children. Because they can't grow up in a house with a broken father like this.

The second angel was ... the angel that visited me in my dreams. And she was a beautiful angel and she was just reassuring me that I wasn't alone, that I had effectively, the universe was supporting me. And then eventually got to the point, and I'd had these dreams every night for something like three and a half months, every single night. And it was a short dream and it was a dream I used to look forward to every single night. And then eventually it got to the last night and she said, "It's time for you to heal." And she kissed me on the lips and she disappeared. And I never saw her in my dreams again.

Now what that ultimately was, was the universe orchestrating intuitively. So my higher self, my soul, intuitively orchestrating a set of events that were happening to get me to snap out. They were saying, "Enough is enough now. You now need to move on Andrew, time has come." And I'm so glad that I did because even though that was, what, 12 odd years ago now, I'm so glad that I did because what it did, it snapped me out of my funk. It got me to make a decision that I was going to make a change. And yes, that change had consequences. That change effectively made my marriage fall apart. That change, although made me a much better father, that change made me a better person. It helped me find myself. It led to my awakening. It then led to me dedicating my life to helping people. All of these things are really, really important.

But the thing is, is it all comes down to a choice. I don't care what your story is. I don't care what background you come from, what religious beliefs you have. I don't care about any of that. If you were living a life that is leaving you wanting, that is leaving you unhappy, that is leaving you depressed, anxious, fearful, you can do something about it. Yes, it is easier absolutely, if you can find someone who's a specialist in this field who can help you walk through a known process that works for everybody, and can support you and provide advice to you along the way. Absolutely, there's no question about that. And if anything it will accelerate the process exponentially.

However, it is something that you can do yourself. You've just got to make the choice. You've just got to seek the answers. Because the answers are out there and they're available to everyone.

Patrica Morris: Andrew, how would you say that they would do that by themselves? I do know, yes, there are professional services out there to help you and assist you and expedite that, but what kind of tips would you give the listeners in how they can do this for themselves?

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, absolutely. This is actually one reason why I created my Recognize, Reflect and Resolve process. Because it's a very, very simple process and I believe simplicity is always best. But it's a very simple process that helps people resolve almost any matter that's going on in their life.

And it's very simple. So what I would do is I would first recognize what's going on for you. That's really, really important. You can't fix anything unless you know what it is you need to fix. Recognize what's happening within you. So for me, I was recognizing the fact that I couldn't continue to live with my head in a bottle, that I had responsibilities that were greater than myself, in other words my children. That I had to get out of this so that they weren't living with a broken father and therefore passing on my brokenness into their ongoing life as well. These were the sorts of things that I was recognizing.

I was also recognizing that I kind of deserved to feel better about myself. I deserved to do more with myself. I deserved to be the superhero that I had sought to be, even though I had no cause at that stage. So it's all about recognizing what is truly going on within you. Recognizing what the triggers are, what painers are being caused, why is it happening, all those sorts of stuff are very, very important.

Then we get on to reflect. Then we reflect on, okay, if we can now recognize this is the situation we're in, this is the position we're in, this is the state that we're in, what do I reflect on? Reflect on, what is it that I want, in other words to that. And what do I want that is the opposite to that? So I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be a connected, present father. I wanted to be successfull, and I wanted to help people. I wanted to do all of these sorts of things. And what did I want other than what I was recognizing was happening. That's what the reflection is all about.

Then resolve. Resolve is all about action, action, action, action. The resolve is about taking the action required to make it happen. So for me, I needed to tell someone. So I told my wife at the time, for the first time. And look, although she was saddened by the news that I told her, but she was also relieved because it explained 15 years of my behavior to a certain degree. Even though it may not have excused it did explain it. I then went and got some professional help. That's an action. I went and spoke to a couple of psychologists and they've, no doubt, which helped me understand what had happened, that it wasn't my fault, that I can move on from this, that I can find my strengths and all these sort of beautiful things.

As other actions might be about trying to tell my story. That's actually the reason why I wrote my book, Free from Fear, is because I wanted to put my story out there. Not because I necessarily thought the world would really react to it but more, I knew other people who had been in a similar situations, with the Me Too movement that has happened since my book was released, obviously it's a lot more common than people think. And part of the issue that sexual abuse survivors face, is they think that they are alone. They think that they're the only ones that have been and then nobody would believe them. So I wanted to put my story out there so the world can just quietly digest it.

So that was another action. Another action was to also seek the answers to my questions. I suddenly had all of these questions pop up about everything and they were all intuitively provided, as were the teachers that I sought the answers from. All of these are quite simple steps. Recognize what's going on within you, reflect on what you want as an alternative life experience, and then resolve through taking action required to make it happen. To me, it's a foolproof process that has been used time and time again. The reason why I put it in my book, so people could access that information and start using that in their everyday lives.

Patrica Morris: That's beautiful because one thing that I have found, not just in my own life, but what I've observed in my own clients' life and even just my friends and family's lives, is as soon as you put that signal out to the universe that you want to change, that you want to turn your life around in a different direction than it has been previously going, and you start making that effort to do that, all of a sudden you're going to have the right people show up in your life to assist you with that. Whether that be professionals, whether that be a new friend that you make that helps you with that process. So many people will just show up in your life that will assist you with that process.

Andrew Hackett: Absolutely, they call it synchronicities. And ultimately the synchronicities come from our thoughts, feelings, and actions that we're having, is sending a signal out to the universe and the universe goes, "Great, finally you're making some choices. Now let me help you with that." And the universe provides these peoples through intuitive thoughts, through intuitive thoughts in others that then get in contact with us or synchronistic events, things that just happen that appear to be a bit of a coincidence, but in fact they're not. They're actually quite deliberately provided to help us move forward on our chosen path.

Patrica Morris: Yes, exactly. Exactly. One thing I wanted to mention too is, we all have people in our lives, this is just kind of one way to think of it is, we all have people in our lives who when we're around them, the entire conversation is about something that has happened to them. And that is okay if they're currently still going through the grief process, but if it has been many, many years and they're still just angry and bitter and just regurgitating the same thing over and over again, we all can think of somebody in our life right now probably who we just don't really like being around them for that reason. It's like, oh, it's going to be the same story over and over again. So one way I think that we can identify in ourselves how we might even be doing that, not just by what we could possibly be telling others verbally, but what are we telling ourselves in our minds about our stories?

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, and that's a really big deal. You're right. A lot of our stories, a lot of the back story so to speak, that happens, happens in our minds, happens in our thoughts over and over and over again. And a lot of that is actually controlled and run by the ego for a lot of people. And it's all fear-driven, all of it. All of it's completely fear-driven.

My story was all about the fact that the guilt and the shame that I'd experienced through what had happened to me. The guilt and shame that I'd experienced for not doing something about it, for not telling the authorities at the time. But of course I didn't know. I thought I was the only one and I didn't think anybody would believe me anyway. The guilt and shame I felt from not pulling myself out of my situation sooner. Not getting myself out of that 20 odd year funk that had happened.

These sorts of things happen. I've taught some people who, their life story is based around the government attacking them. Their life story is based around the diseases that they have, the disabilities that they have, and all this sort of stuff. And I say to them all the time, "Your disability, what's happening to you, doesn't need to own you." There are too many examples of people with extraordinary disabilities that have gone on to become some of the most successful, some of the most capable, incredible people in the world. And all in all, it's all because those people chose to no longer live the story or the narrative that was going on in their head. They made a conscious choice to do something about it and to rise above it and to use it as a strength.

Every motivational speaker on the planet has had a major traumatic event happen in their life that they reflect back on as the single catalyst that made them who they were today, that enabled them to change the lives of others, to help others change their lives. Whether it's suffering sexual abuse, whether it's suffering a gang rape, whether it's suffering from the loss of limbs, a major accident, paraplegia, Quadriplegia, you know, suffering from a major disease. All of these things later with the right mindset, become a moment of empowerment. It becomes their superpower. It doesn't become and maintain their story of self destruction. It becomes something that they can use to help others. And to me, that's where the beauty of it is. We've just got to have the courage to step out and, and choose our moment of greatness.

Patrica Morris: Yes, that is so true because when we are going through our challenges and tough times in life, we sometimes can't see that in the moment. We have to go through the grieving process, everything that you need to go through in order to move forward. But when you do move forward, you can look back and say, even though you couldn't say that in the moment of, "That was probably one of the greatest blessings that ever happened to me."

And let me illustrate that just a moment cause I don't mean to minimize anybody's pain or any tragedies or traumas that people have gone through. But one thing that I can say at least that I've seen for me and others that I've observed this through is, for instance, I can say now, and I could not say this in the moment, that losing my baby son in the delivery room was the greatest blessing that ever happened to me. It doesn't mean I ever want to go through that again. Doesn't mean that I ever want to go through that kind of pain and loss again. But that was the catalyst that changed the way my life was going. That was the wake up call that I needed to do all the immense healing that needed to take place in my life to become who I am today.

So if in that regard, I am grateful and thankful to the universe, I am grateful and thankful for that priceless gift that my son gave me, even just for the wee little time that he was here. So that's what I'm trying to say is, that I'm not saying that to minimize other people's pain or to minimize tragedies they've gone through, but like you said, Andrew, with the right mindset later on in life, if you can look at that from a different perspective rather than one that's just drenched in pain and tragedy and trauma and heartache and flip it around, not only just, like you said, to help others, but to help yourself as well.

Andrew Hackett: I completely agree. Absolutely. And thank you for sharing that as well. Look, I think we all have our own story from time to time. And the only difference between people that live a happy, a healthy, a successful life, irrespective of what success is to you, it doesn't matter. The difference is is that they changed their mindset. They start to actively associate things that would normally have been seen as traumatic, they start to associate it as actually a strength and an opportunity for growth. An opportunity for in fact a solution.

And that was a major turning point for me. It was a huge turning point for me that I suddenly started to realize that it's actually my choice. I don't need to suffer anymore. I can in fact pull myself out of it. It is my choice. Up until that point, I thought that the universe worked against me. I didn't actually realize until much later, the universe actually works for us. And it was me that was working against me.

Patrica Morris: Yes, yes. And it takes a while to get to that point, definitely. You know, so anybody who is currently not in that place right now, that's okay, but as long as you eventually can move forward, then that's what matters.

Andrew Hackett: Absolutely. And again, look, you can do these things yourself. Run through the Recognize, Reflect and Resolve process. Read what you can, reach out to people for advice and guidance. Maybe even get yourself a spiritual coach or a performance coach or a health coach, it doesn't really matter. All I believe is what matters is you make the choice that you say to yourself, "Enough is enough." That you keep an open mind to accept different perspectives, that could just be the different perspectives that fundamentally changes your life.

To me, that is ultimately what's important. Nobody wants to see you living in pain and seeing you suffer. Least of all, you don't want to suffer anymore and live in pain. There are people out there that can help, and if anybody wants to reach out to me and they want to talk to me about what's going on for them and stuff to find out if I can help them, I'm happy to have that discussion. That isn't an issue for me because that's what I'm here to do. Just like people like Patricia as well who are here to help people get over their pains, to get over their suffering and everything like that. We all kind of want to do our bit and I think it's important that we do as well.

Patrica Morris: Yes. Yes. Very nicely put.

Andrew Hackett: Well, thank you. What a great subject. I've really enjoyed this week's subject. I really appreciate you raising it and I love having you on here to chat. I really enjoy the way that we connect and I really appreciate you, Patricia.

Patrica Morris: Thank you, Andrew. Likewise. I echo those words exactly.

Andrew Hackett: Fabulous. So look, anybody who wants to continue listening to these fabulous podcasts, you're very welcome to. You just need to subscribe so that they end up in your inbox each week. Also, if you want to connect with me, you can connect with me in a number of different ways. You can go to andrewhackett.com wherever you are. I've got lots of free stuff on there as well. Articles, podcasts, videos as well. Plus you can connect with the services that I offer the world. You can also connect with me on Facebook. If you go and search Andrew Hackett Australia, you can find me on Facebook and that's where all my daily inspiration and everything like that is put up. And of course if you want to email me, you can always email me at andrew@andrewhackett.com.au. That's andrew@andrewhackett.com.au.

Thank you everybody. Thank you Patricia. What a wonderful week. I've really enjoyed this. I can't wait to get talking with you next week.

Patrica Morris: Yes, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Goodbye.

Andrew Hackett: Have a great week everyone.