>to deal with ghosts of the past!


Had a chat with a few colleagues and friends this evening.  The chat was intended towards finding an arrangement for a business proposition, but before that it was focused towards looking at the emotional tonality lying around.  What came about were the past hurts, reactivity and mistrust that were lying around, willingness to bring in some clarity about the way forward and some new resolutions.

This process evoked many things in me …. some relief, some clarity, some resolution, some understanding of where others are located in their mind, and some emotional turmoil with a certain intensity.  I chose to not engage in an emotional drama but to engage with the process of clarifying and understanding what was happening and what issue belongs to who or to what context.  I also acknowledged that while I had a greater intellectual clarity, I have to let the emotional turmoil take its time to settle down, and find a new level of balance within myself.

At the end of it all, it has left me with a sense of internal control that I may not have experienced earlier.  What threw me off balance internally were the past ghosts of perception about me by others.  These ghosts don’t need too much time to jump up from their dark shadowy corners to jump at me, crowd around and fill me with their whispering bitter voices that say ” see this is what others think of you … we told you so, how dare she/he … blah, blah, blah …

Usually there are two unsuccessful ways I deal with these ghosts.  One is to listen to them and allow them to overpower me with bitternes, remorse, anger and reactivity; the second is to tell them to go away and then tell myself that they don’t exist, but simultaneously keeping a small voice alive inside which whispers:”may be some of what these ghosts bring are true.  is it true?  can it be so?” and so on and so forth.

today I decided to do neither.  I listened to the ghosts and asked them stand aside and did not shut the door on them;  I also listened to the other voice of the critique which usually commands me to get on with life, to move on, to not make an issue out of anything; I asked it too to stand aside.  I then became my spokesperson who was compassionate to both how I was feeling emotionally and understanding and accepting what my rationality was telling me.  I also looked around – these people were my friends and colleagues – they were not my enemies – they were expressing their deep sense of anguish and hurt and disappointment and anger over something that happened to them and it involved me to an extent.  Could I understand and grace that?  Yes, I could.

Could I also grace my frazzled emotional state rather than telling it to shut up and critique it?  I did.  I felt what I was feeling, did not hide it, neither did I let it take over the entire reality and paint it only with its intense emotional tonality.

Then I spoke to my friends telling them how I understood what they had felt and went through.  At the same time, there was an intensity of feeling that I had and tht I needed time to let it take its course, take time and settle down.  That I did not intend to let the feeling dictate my action, nor did I allow my dry logical critical self override my emotional self.  I accepted and graced both and I felt good towards myself.

I am writing this post to also put this out in the open to all of you as this process helps me to reach out to others without filtering or without shame.  

I would love to hear about your experience; do you encounter old ghosts?  What do they tell you?  What is your relationship with them?

How do you deal with them?




I live in Bangalore, India, and by profession, I am CEO of a consulting organization, an Organization Consultant and an Executive Coach. I write because I like writing my thoughts and reflections for me to review my life and the life as I see around myself. However, sometimes it makes sense to convey my thoughts to others and connect with others. Maybe it strikes a chord; may be it does not. My life has been my most outstanding teacher, which is why I like sharing my experiences, memories, encounters and other narratives that I build as I go along. I am interested in people, society, culture, ways of life, individual and collective narratives/stories as they lead us to discover each other as nothing else does. I also write about coaching, people's lives, culture, stories, mothering my daughter, believing in a feminine way of life, and most of all, believe that all politics starts from the self and personal convictions

14 thoughts on “>to deal with ghosts of the past!

  1. >Hi Sharbori, read your post after a long time, but instantly felt with you, most of what you write is parallel to what I have to say, how I would have also described it, just that your language of more polished then mine. There are lots of ghosts in my past too, and they all leave a scar on our personalities most of the times, they make us the person we are, how we react to situations, how we feel for someone else. Lots of things, some we may not even be able to register but they are there, the scars the lines. What happens with me is, I don’t know since when, but I have always, knowingly, unknowingly, shut them in some corner of my head/heart. May a times, I even am not able to recollect the incidents consciously, I think my system outs such incidents in the trash can, I am not saying they don’t effect me, they indeed do, but the particular incidents or happening has been shelved away somewhere I don’t know.I don’t know if it is for the better or for worse, but this is my way of dealing with the unworthy things in my life.


  2. >@p00ja- thank you for visiting my blog. it seems that you have shut the doors on the ghosts and thrown the key away. that too is a way, many of us deal with the ghosts of the past.


  3. >Just playing catch up with your posts…I'm learning to love my old ghosts and not shut them up in a closet. But it's a process – like everything else in life. Thank you for your wisdom, Sharbori. You touch at least one life each time you write – mine! Hugs


  4. >@corinne – thank you. loving them is the most difficult task, most can tolerate them from a distance. you need to have a lot of grace and love for that … touched. hugs.


  5. >Oh there are many many ghosts. I try to justify them away, wish them away, but to be honest, sometimes i shelter them and pull them out and air them — they make me go through all the emotions you have detailed and it leaves me drained. your method of exorcising them without compromising your inner self is very brilliant. I wonder if I will have the courage to go through the process. Thanks for sharing, Sharbori. I love coming here and reading your mind and being touched! 🙂


  6. >@zephyr- thank you and hugs for being so kind to me. 🙂 I think why we keep these ghosts as pets and keep them around, is because they act as energy sources for action, e.g. "i will show the world my worth", or "i really don't care and will dissociate myself from these worthless people" would be a few action potentials that would come from keeping them alive.My search of late has been to find different kind of energy sources, because ultimately "showing them" never really ends and I have started to feel very tired!


  7. >Hi, thanks for the comment. Started following you just because I found what you write about is different and interesting. I'm not a techie and I don't have knowledge beyond the level of a common middle class man. What ever I write are the emotional outbursts of a typical South Indian Sambarman-You'd agree once you start reading me 🙂


  8. >I am begging you for mercy..why won't you release me…They never do release do they? Over a long long time I have learnt to deal with them by listening more closely to them and talking more openly about them( to people very close and dear). I have learnt that by giving up my fears of being exposed by the mirrors these ghosts carry, of my pain-my actions- my thoughts.. I breath a little more freely now..


  9. >I have at various points in time dealt with the ghosts differently – depending on how mature I was at that time I guess. Earlier on letting them affect me deeply, later pushing them into a closet and ignoring them, and now just letting them be and not being bothered – just at peace, acceptance. Maybe someday I will learn to and love them, but right now it seems impossible, in fact just writing it seems illogical :)nice post


  10. >Lovely Post :). The more I shut these ghosts out, the most some part of me is aware of their existence and I find myself reacting with a lot of emotion when they surge their heads. What I would like to do, and succeed rarely is to look at the vastness of who I am and in this location I am often able to accept them. I think the question for me now is – can I really forgive myself?


  11. >@rachna – thank you for your comment.good point, but perhaps an earlier question is can i live with whoever i am, however i am? forgiveness is perhaps looking at oneself from an outside in location, living with oneself as is is perhaps an inside in location. what do you think?


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