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Episode 198: Making Peace with Your Acting Past

core work Sep 28, 2022

Time Management Workshop

The Language of Letting Go

"The more I cling to my past, the more I'm wasting my energy."

When you have a computer, and you have a program minimized, understand that that program is still using battery life on your computer. 

"Not even God can change the past." 

"Holding on to the past, either through guilt, longing, denial, or resentment, is a waste of valuable energy. Energy that can be used to transform today and tomorrow."

I want to transcend my past so that I have more energy to fulfill my day.

"I used to live in my past. I was either trying to change it or letting it control me. Usually both."

An audition where I didn't feel I did my best with the casting director, and then that casting director called me in again. What I used to do is then go, Oh, that casting director doesn't like me. So yeah, I will probably mess this one up as well.

Instead of going, Wow, that casting director called me back even after an audition where I didn't feel I did so well. Hey, wow. This is an opportunity to show that casting director how good I am and do an audition that I feel good about.

But when I'm holding on to my past, I'm not in the frame of mind where I can do that.

But when I've let go of that past, when I've transcended that past, I am in a place of power.

I am in a place where I can claim who I am and show the best work that I know I can do. 

"I constantly felt guilty about things that had happened, things I had done, things others had done to me, even though I had made amends for almost everything. The guilt ran deep. Everything somehow was my fault. I could never just let it go."

One is, is that the definition of shame is believing that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.

"I held on to anger for years, telling myself it was justified. I was in denial about a lot of things. Sometimes I tried to absolutely forget about my past, but I never really stopped and sorted through it. My past was like a dark holy crap cloud. I can speak cloud that followed me around, and I couldn't shake clear of it. I guess I was scared to let it go. Afraid of today. Afraid of tomorrow."

That's the other thing when we don't work through the anger. The frustration, then, why hasn't it happened for me in our acting careers? The only thing it does is hold us back. And I think it's impossible to force yourself to forget something.

There's a fear of success and a fear of failure. I always say those two things are opposite sides of the coin.

But, what it is, is about taking responsibility for your past choices—taking responsibility for where you are today—and then understanding that you have a responsibility. And most importantly, and this is what is exciting, is the opportunity, the incredible opportunity I have. You have. We all have to shape our future.

Trace it. Face it. Erase it. 

And then that is how it will be. Let go. Forgiving is not forgetting. It's letting go of the hurt.

"I've even developed gratitude for my failed relationships because they have brought me to who and where I am today."

All of the "failures" have actually been opportunities to learn.

I automatically develop peace with my new past.