What are Samskaras?
The first time I heard of a Samskara was in Michael A. Singer’s Book, The Untethered Soul. He defines it as a “blockage, an impression from your past. An unfinished energy pattern that ends up running your life.”
An article in Wikipedia says that, “In Indian philosophy and Indian religions, Samskaras, or sanskaras are mental impressions, recollections, or psychological imprints. According to various schools of Indian philosophy, every action, intent, or preparation by an individual leaves a samskara (impression, impact, imprint) in the deeper structure of the person’s mind. These impressions then await volitional fruition in that individual’s future, in the form of hidden expectations, circumstances or a subconscious sense of self-worth. These Samskaras manifest as tendencies, karmic impulses, subliminal impressions, habitual potencies, or innate dispositions. In ancient Indian texts, the theory of Samskara explains how and why human beings remember things, and the effect that memories have on people’s suffering, happiness and contentment.”
Isn’t that interesting? Basically, every event, intention, and action that we’ve ever seen or done leaves an impression within us. That is a huge concept! Intellectually we know this, but what we don’t realize is how big an impact it leaves on us. When these samskaras are attached to physical scars that we see and live with each day, it makes it much more difficult to process and deal with them.
Mental Scars and Samskaras
As more people learn about my company and my mission, I get asked about mental scars frequently. They may ask, “how do I deal with the mental scars that people have behind the physical scar(s)?” While I am quite aware that the physical scars tie very closely and are intertwined with mental scars as I discuss in my blog post “The Truth About Scars,” I know that I am not a therapist. I don’t have the background or training yet to provide mental health therapies, so that is not my role.
My role currently when it comes to mental scars is to inspire, to empower, and to bring awareness to the powerful Being that you are. To let you know that you don’t have to hide behind your scars. I want to be the catalyst and the inspiration that makes you decide to come out of your comfort zone and move into your power.
So, in talking about Samskaras, awareness is one of the most powerful things you can have, because it gives you the power to change. First you have to be aware of how these mental scars or impressions affect you, because now it’s not just a scar that you have on your face or your chest, it is the reason why you won’t buy that shirt or wear that dress. It is the reason why you’re spending hundreds of dollars on makeup each month. It is the reason why you won’t go out on dates or take vacations. Once you understand how it affects your life, you can decide to continue living as is or break free.
Although you may not be able to change the physical scar, you absolutely have the power to change your mindset around it. If you want to live fully in this life, you must have the courage and initiative to make that change. In The Untethered Soul, Mr. Singer says – “In order to grow, you must give up the struggle to remain the same and learn to embrace change at all times.”
How to Deal
As human beings we were made to evolve, if we weren’t, we wouldn’t age or grow! Our body understands this concept, but sometimes our minds take some time to catch up. We age and physically change every single day, so that means our minds need to be doing the same thing. We should be reading, constructively and critically thinking, conversing with people that help us grow in some way, and doing things that moves us forward. It is impossible to live and not change, but some of us do everything we can to resist life.
Internally, we are a mess!
We are holding on to so many Samskaras in our mental that we cannot move confidently forward. We can ‘t fight life! It’s like trying to fight the wind. And I’m sorry to have to be the Adrian to your Rocky here, but “YOU CAN’T WIN!”
So, what does The Untethered Soul teach us? To let the energy pass through us. Let all the good, all the bad, all the scars, all the impressions that we hold deep inside of us just pass through. Don’t’ close your heart. Love, live, laugh, and just let everything flow. Do what you must do, go through all your emotions, but don’t hold onto these impressions and trap the energy inside of you. Know that life is an experience to help you learn and grow, so learn the lessons and grow into the tallest flower you can!
I may make it sound easy here, but I know it’s not. But what will make it easier is self-development. Learn to control your emotions and breathe through the difficult times. Read my blog post, The Importance of Self-Development to learn how I did it. After being trapped inside myself with this scar for 12 years, I found the courage and empowerment to be free by reading books, attending seminars, meditating, and journaling. I learned, and am still learning, to love myself first.
While it is not easy to come face-to-face with your fears, feelings of worthiness, forgiveness of the people that have hurt you, self-forgiveness, or judgment, it is NECESSARY and so worth it. Self-development is the ONLY thing that will free you from your Samskaras. And only YOU CAN DO IT! This is not a task that can be handed down to anyone else. You are the only person that is in control of your life and your feelings, so take that control back today!
Now that you know what Samskaras are, how can you manage them to move your life forward?