Thank you Dresden Files for this wonderful phrase. Psychological necromancy. What’s it mean?

Reviving old memories and emotions and using them to torture yourself.

We drudge them up from where they’ve been buried in the past and we give them new life. Sometimes it’s an accident, sometimes a bad mood triggers it, sometimes we just want to drudge it up to punish ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made.

I am a huge believer in the wisdom of the past. It has so many things to teach us about our behavior and about how far we’ve come. The past is a story that we can read to learn a lesson. Sometimes we need to read it twice (or more) for the moral of the story to sink in and for us to truly learn from it.

We learn the lesson but we keep reading the story.  

We’ve changed the behavior, made amends or attempted to, learned the consequences of those actions, and yet we still relive them in our minds. We replay events in our heads, wondering about the what-ifs and should-haves but thinking those things does nothing but turn those memories into brain eating zombies.

There’s no use to it, nothing good comes out of it, and at the end of the day all you’re left with is a bad mood and a burden of regrets.

The past is meant to be learned from, it’s a map of where we’ve been. We get to cross those places off on the map with the knowledge that there are better places ahead and we are better equipped to handle them. Drudging stuff up after the fact is just no good.

The ABCs of combating psychological necromancy.  

Accept that the past does not define you. You get to make better choices. You get to rise above it and be something better than what you were.

Be in the present and remind yourself where your path is leading you and where you are going. Ground yourself firmly in the present and in the now.

Commit to actively working through it. When gunk from the past crops up, ask it what it has to teach you, look at the situation and ask yourself if there’s anything you have left to learn. If the answer is nothing then commit to mindfully moving past these thoughts and feelings.

How do you deal with those yucky feelings and emotions from the past?

  • Tabetha Smelser

    This is something I definitely need to remember. I am almost famous among my friends for reliving the past over and over again. Thank you for posting about this, especially tonight. I think I really needed this now.