Leaving Your Past Behind
We all have things that haunt us from our past. It can be a very uncomfortable feeling that leaves you more devastated when a new problem occurs because you blame yourself for some event or action in your past. Unfortunately, self-defeating logic may dictate that if you are the common denominator of your life, then it all has to be your fault, even though it’s not.
It is much more productive to think of yourself as a product of your entire self, not just the past. If you only look at negative things, then those negative things can become a part of your personality, and that may keep you in an emotional bind where life becomes more difficult than it needs to be.
Holding on to pain is normal, but it is also normal to let it go after an appropriate period of time. This can be very hard if you were abused as a child, for example. Unfortunately, some things, if they continued for years, can become part of you, and you then look at the world as a scary place, which just isn’t much fun.
The first thing to do is to get totally honest with yourself and decide who you want to be. Even though you may have been victimized, you don’t have to remain a victim. It’s one of those internal decisions that is confounding. Yes, what you went through changed you and made your life different from other people, but you do have a choice here. You don’t have to live in victim consciousness; you can move through it if you’re ready to do the mental work that’s needed.
Imagine how life would look if you didn’t see yourself as a victim or bad in some way. Now just sit with these thoughts for several minutes. These thoughts will reveal that you really are okay, and it was never your fault: you are good enough and lovable enough, and you don’t have to jump through hoops to get people to like you. Make sense?
There’s an old saying, “Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is totally not true. Look, you won’t repeat your childhood—that can never happen—but you can step back from life if you think that you will experience the same pain in different ways. And stepping back from life can keep you from the greatest gift and healer we all have, which is love.
It is very difficult for anyone burdened by past pain to let love in. You think that you are unworthy or will only pick people who are bad for you. Again, even though that may have happened several times, the game isn’t over. You can grow from life lessons, but you have to make the choice to do so.
Sometimes we fear that if we release old pain, we will also release any love we felt from that time. I don’t think you can completely erase your painful experiences, but I know that you can put them in a place in your mind so that you can continue onward with life and find the love you deserve.
All it takes is a decision that you want your future to be better, and you are on your way. It takes a little effort, but it is well worth most anything you need to do to let go of thoughts that upset you. This way, life can give you the gifts you deserve.