Many people accept rumination as a natural part of humanity – that dwelling on the past is simply a necessity of life. The fact is that self-reflection is a good thing in limited amounts, allowing you to use introspection as a tool for self-development and growth. However, when one obsesses over the past, it becomes unhealthy and actually hinders growth. In The New York Times bestseller, "The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart," Lee talks about this tendency to dwell on the past and the human capacity to move forward.
"It's natural to have emotions or memories that are hard to let go of even when you know they're blocks to your growth," Lee wrote."But no matter how deep the hurt or emotion may be, if you let go of it, you can. It doesn't require a lot of time. You can let go if it right away. The problem is that you can't easily separate the emotion or memory from yourself, and there's a part of you that is holding on and trying not to let it go."
It's all too easy to hold tight to negative emotions and thoughts rather than see them as they are and learn to embrace the positive aspects of life. As Ilchi Lee noted in "The Call of Sedona," one who obsesses over the past is like a child who is crying after having stepped into a puddle. It is not deep, and the child has only one foot in the filth – all there is to do is to lift the foot out and move along, but instead the child stays put and cries.
Lee asks the reader to imagine that there is a wound you suffered long ago that left a scar. Whether large or small, this scar is only that – a harmless blemish that does not interfere with your life. However, if you continue to see the closed wound as open, the pain will remain and the healing will never be complete.
"The things we are attached to are no more than shadows of the past," Lee wrote. "However, we do not recognize that, and as long as we hold onto them, they become a part of the present and follow us around."
The first step toward moving on, as Lee explains in his book, is to ask yourself if you are really trying to overcome your negative thought or emotion. If so, you must recognize and accept that you are the master of your own emotions, then you must make the firm decision to leave those harmful feelings behind, shun regret and attachment, and go through with your decision.