From Eckhart Tolle’s classic, The Power of Now, which I wholeheartedly recommend to all sufferers of retroactive jealousy:

There is no need to go and investigate your unconscious past except as it manifests at this moment either as a thought, an emotion, a desire, a reaction, or an external event that happens in your life.
Whatever you need to know about your past, conscious or not, the challenges of the present will bring to you. If you start to seek things in the past it will become a bottomless pit, there is always more and more to analyze, to understand, to make peace with.
You may think that you need more time to understand the past in order to become free of it, to make the future free you of the past, but this is a delusion. Only the present can free you of the past. More time cannot free you of the past. Use and access the power of now. This is your guide, the key to making peace with all that has happened to you and in your life.
The power of Now is none other than the power of your presence, your consciousness free from thought forms. If you think it is complicated to understand this you are missing the point.
The power of Now is felt, not understood. The power of Now is in you today, everyday, it has always been there except you now know it to be true. There is no need to go analyzing it or try too hard to get at it. Relax, let the energy you know is inside you flow. Just be.
So deal with the past in the level of the present. The more attention that you give to the past, the more energy you are feeding into it. You will begin to make a self out of it. Your attention is extremely important, but to the present. Give attention to your behavior, to your reactions, to your mood, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur now, in the present. That is the past in you.
If you can be present enough to watch all those things, not critically or analytically and without negative judgement, then you are dealing with the past and dissolving it with the power of your presence. You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming to terms with your present.
As you become more conscious of your present reality, you may suddenly get certain ideas of why your conditioning functions in a particular way.
For example, you may begin to understand why your relationships follow a certain pattern and that will help you see things that happened in the past more clearly. That is OK if it will bring you no further pain. However, it is not essential. What is truly important is that you keep your consciousness present. That will dissolve the past. That is what transforms your life from here onward.
So don’t seek to understand the past, just be as present as you can. The past cannot survive in your presence, only in your absence.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, The Sun, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.