Within each one of us, hidden, are ghosts; fragments of unanswered questions of emotional issues. We all have a past, so we all have these spooks. It just happens that some people are better at seeing them than the rest of us. Our experiences are collected in our subconscious, and if we have the nous, we process them away.

We can learn from these remnants, retain what is useful and discard what is not. But if they cannot be processed they will continue to hang around in our subconscious emerging in dreams or our desires. They are like having a record, stuck on one particular phrase, playing it again and again, never changing or ending. As children we are often afraid of ghosts, of things we don't understand - because we haven't learned how to recognize or understand new things. This can continue into adulthood. Belief in ghosts is unimportant, what is, is the ability to see that as people we fear what we don't understand and when this fear is there it causes us to fixate on the object of fear and keep it close.

Case Study; Judith, a client of mine, regularly dreams of a man she loved in high school. When they were together, they were just kids, and even though their connection was strong, she left him to pursue another man. Since then there has been little contact. They got together a few years later out of the blue, shared a few dates and intimate moments. Once again she didn't really know what the attraction held for her. This time it was he who stood her up and disappeared out of her life. Lately, even though it has been four years since they had seen one another or had any contact, she had been thinking of him, to the point where she contacted him through Facebook and began to obsess over his profile.

This is where the study takes a turn. Judith remained fixated on his profile, even though she knew he was in a relationship at the time - no matter how she tried to lure him he made it clear he was not interested. This sent Judith into a depression, she kept thinking over and over again, "what's wrong with me", " why can't I find love?". For Judith there was an unresolved issue with her ex-boyfriend, one she could not fix by being with him again. But for all that her mind could not let it go - she was trapped. For her the answer was to be with him and sort it out and then, all would be right in her world. But through talking to Judith it emerged that she really didn't want to be with him and live happily ever after; she couldn't even identify what it was about him that kept her enthralled - she just wanted to see him again.

The reality was, all Judith wished to do was start the relationship again and this time get it right. That way she could file the experience away as "sorted"; to lay her ghost. The issue at the heart of the problem was her ex knew her when she was young, happy and free of issues. Now she was busy, totally work orientated - perhaps this was why the relationship had failed at the second attempt. As this became apparent she realised he must have changed as well and however much they had been meant to be together again, it was also clear they were doomed to fail. The important point to emerge was that it was her subconsious saying to her, I want to be young and free again. It is this denial of your wants that causes the broken record to keep playing in your mind, telling you over and over, what it is you've lost and need to find again.

In effect, you are hooked on the past because you are not really facing up to your own desire. Instead you are seeing that X brought this into my life and I rejected / lost it / didn't fight hard enough etc. As long as you still need whatever it was the X brought you are tied to X. Like a child is tied to its mother until he or she no longer needs the mothering in the same way, then he or she is free to move on to other relationships. As long as you still need X to give you Y, your subconscious will continue to haunt you and take you down the old pathways, looking to resurrect the path.

To find resolution, you must locate what you have locked away; you have to find the gaoler that has been keeping you in chains so you can find release. These ghosts that haunt you are simply the remnants of the past which you can't release, the shadows of once where. As creative beings we our minds have endless ways of discovering the route to our dreams. But we can only do this if we know what they are. If you continually chase ghosts you will never find them. Why? Because they don't exist. Listen to your personal story, note it down; what did or didn't happen, what you wanted, your desires.

This is what you are still waiting to happen. Reclaim the part of you that is still waiting, that part that wants something to happen... Write down what you want (leaving out the details or names, people, places, dates) e.g. I want justice , I want love, I want passion, I want to be understood, I want to be accepted. Do a short meditation on visualizing a new pathway for this to happen, one that doesn't involve going back into the past or with past people. Let your intuition guide you forward. Be open to anything that comes up (except the past). If the past situation appears in your mind's eye, simply move past it and say to yourself 'I am exploring other pathways - thank-you'. Allow your mind to create new opportunities for you. Then in the future, when your desire comes up, your mind will open many avenues to help you achieve what you want.