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Are you in love with your past? Letting go of your past, whether good or bad, is the only way to live in the present and move on to the future.
Like most people, I am a strong believer of the notion that we should find a way to accept our past and be proud of it in order to move on to a better future. I consider my past as a struggle and the fact that I was able to break free, is something that I have always been proud of. Then again, I find myself referring to my past time and again albeit proudly.
When you think about it, how often should you remember or talk about your past? How healthy is it for your current self? Accepting it and being proud of it is one thing, but hanging onto it and constantly recalling it, is a whole different aspect.
Most people hold onto events that have been judged to be strongly negative or positive. It could be a past that was too painful or it could be something that brought you tremendous joy/success. Either way, hanging onto that past dominates the present and dictates what’s possible and what’s not.
By letting the past dominate over your present, you are limiting yourself. Whether it is a past filled with struggles or one with a lot of success, holding on too tight to your past may not be that beneficial in the long run, says the experts!
The question in your mind, obviously, is what can you do? What is it that you need to do to fall out of love with your past? What can you do to ensure that you have moved on and moved on for good? Here are some tips that answer your question.
When starting your journey into the present and the future, the first thing you have to do is to look back one last time. Yes, you read that right, in order to move on, you need to look back and confront your past – be it your past success or your past struggles!
If you find it too traumatic, reach out for help. Talk to a loved one, a mentor, a therapist or anyone you trust, but talk! Do not feel ashamed to open yourself up completely to that person. If you have decided to talk, then do so sincerely! My personal experience taught me that it was best to speak to someone who knew nothing about me. That way, I was sure that whatever advice they gave me was unbiased. That’s why I chose to speak to a therapist.
Once you confront your past, the next step is to accept it. There is nothing you can do to change the past. What has happened has happened, thinking about it every time is not going to undo or redo it for you. Your pain is not going to wash away just because you keep trying to play it over and over in your mind neither is your success going to repeat just because you reminisce about it at all times! The only thing to do is to acknowledge and accept it as a part of you.
I know, it is easier said than done. People tend to hold onto their fears, resentment, past failures and success because unbeknownst to them it gives a kind of orgasmic pleasure. This is hard to break off but not impossible.
Start by keeping a tab on yourself. Every time you catch yourself falling into your past, stop yourself! Tell your mind to just ‘Shut up’. Seriously, try it and you will know what I mean. Use something like ‘I am not talking to you now’ or ‘Just keep quiet’ or whatever that you find amusing. But say it out aloud and you will notice that your mind suddenly switches off those thoughts from the past. As you keep doing this, your mind will eventually start to forget everything that you want to push away.
The next thing you need to do is to forgive – Forgive yourself and anyone else that you hold responsible for your pain. When you forgive yourself you will automatically begin to forgive others. As impossible as this may sound, it can be extremely liberating for you! You will feel as though a heavy weight has been lifted off your chest.
Finding yourself is no easy task either. You need to do some ‘soul searching’ and also learn to be relaxed at all times. Try activities like Yoga or meditation or swimming, biking or running- whatever relaxes you. It is important to find an activity that you enjoy but be consistent with it.
Write down your feelings, if possible, every day or at least on the days when you feel you are emotionally charged. It would be a good idea to keep a journal or an emotional diary. Write down everything that is on your mind and read it back to yourself. You will be amazed at how much this exercise can help in finding yourself.
Think about what you would like to achieve from your life and set a goal for yourself. Do you have a dream that you would like to fulfill? If yes, then find ways to start working towards realizing that dream. If no, then think about what makes you happy and start working towards achieving that. Some people find happiness in helping others, so join a local charity and do some volunteer work. Others want to achieve something for themselves like love, money, fame etc. whatever it may be, work towards achieving it, but remember to be realistic while setting the goals!
Finally, make a fresh start. Analyze your social circle and spend more time with family and friends who genuinely care about you. Weed out the ones who create a negative impact, burn bridges if you have to! You will be doing your mind a favor with this activity.
Letting go of our past and moving forward is one of the most amazing things we can do for ourselves. When you begin to heal, you start to uncover a whole new person. You will radiate, glow and start feeling fully alive. You will also find yourself surrounded with those that mirror this back.
Remember, our life experiences only make us wiser and stronger hence more prepared for whatever is coming our way in the future.
Published earlier here.
Image source: bird tattoos come to life by Shutterstock.
A Single Mom with an un-breakable passion to LIVE the Life! I am a
Very encouraging thoughts and quite well written 🙂
Thank you, Surbhi
Brilliant post! Every single suggestion and tip is exactly spot on! More and more each day this has to be the mantra by which everyone, especially women need to live their daily lives so that we are fortified with the inner core capabilities to stay strong and resilient. Everyone has struggles, some face bigger one than others. Yet, the techniques to cope and move on and achieve a higher state of consciousness and resilience are exactly the same. You have very articulately drawn out in detail, the map of what to do and how to do it. I hope lots of people read this and follow its positive and realistic suggestions.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the article.
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