Here are 4 ways to help you deal with your past. You cannot undo what has happened so it is best to leave it all behind.
Most of us seem to have a fondness of living in the past. At times some people go back to recall their memories as far back as three decades ago.
The trouble is, many people remember their mistakes, failures, hurt, pain and missed opportunities rather than triumphs and joy.
You cannot undo whatever has happened in those bygone days.
The mistakes, wrong decisions and blunders have taken place. They have led you to where you are now. If you have accepted them and used them as invaluable lessons, you would be happy and doing well right now.
But if you have allowed yourself to live in shame, guilt, anger and hurt from then until today, you have wasted many years of your life. This is damaging to your physical, mental and emotional health because you will continue to live with little hope for the future.
You may not be able to forget your past if an event or incident has caused so much trauma and pain during your childhood or adolescence. But you can release the emotional attachment to it.
When you are able to let go, the emotion will weaken or diminish and you won’t feel the same way whenever you remember them.
4 Ways to Deal with Your Past
1. Catch Your Thoughts in Action
When you think of a particular thing that is long gone, it will lead you to another thought. These thoughts that are in the form of mental pictures and self-talk that appear on the mental screen in your head. In your normal and habitual way, you unconsciously attend to them and entertain old dialogs and arguments. Soon enough the emotions intensify and even though your body is in the present, your mind is back to the old days.
If you want to deal with your past, catch yourself each time when the first thought appears. Look at your mental screen of images as though it is happening to someone else so that you do not feel attached to the memory. Mentally move the image further from you and reduce the voices that you are hearing.
If you think this is silly, reflect back. Can you recall hearing a song or seeing a movie that you have watched replaying in your head? How did you shut it off? The same applies with your memories. You can do the same.
2. Accept, Release and Forgive
The first person you must forgive is yourself. Get rid of the “It’s my fault” thought. Even if you had made a mistake or contributed to something that happened, remember that you acted based on your knowledge then. You were too young, too naive or too emotional. Let the thought go.
Tell yourself, “Even though I have made a mistake, I choose to accept, forgive and love myself.” Affirm this statement each night or whenever a thought of the past surfaces.
Forgive the person who has caused or contributed to your anger, pains and emotional trauma. It won’t be easy especially if you were abused. But forgiveness is the only way to release your pain. Tell yourself that you forgive him or her. By forgiving you release the baggage and are able to make peace with yourself. Let bygones be bygones.
This tapping into forgiveness video by Brad Yates may help you if you have trouble forgiving.
3. Learn from Your Past, Live in the Present
Past mistakes are useful if you learn from them and invest those experiences to better yourself. Mistakes help you notice what worked and what didn’t. The experiences will enable you to make better decisions and do something different.
From now on, decide to be mindful. Live in the present. Be aware and alert of things that are going on around you. It is easy to be more conscious.
Just stop whatever you are doing for a few seconds every now and then and consciously breathe in and breathe out. When you live in a conscious state of mind, you can choose your feelings and your thoughts.
4. Find Your Life Purpose
One of the ways to live in the present is to find your life purpose. Think through and think hard to discover which direction you want to move towards and what you want to achieve in life.
Having a sense of purpose will give your life more meaning to live for.
This life on earth is brief. It is such a waste of time and energy to reminisce the painful past. It is wiser to live in the present but at the same time plan for the future.
Your present moment is going to be your past.
You deserve to be happy regardless of what has happened before.