Overcoming Your Past

We all have some trauma in our past. The key is whether or not you let it define who you are now.

Many of us walk around, dragging the burdens of our past, sure that we can’t change the way we feel. Some of us even have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from events in the past. (Be sure to check out https://www.pinterest.com/mentallyinteresting/post-traumatic-stress-disorder.)

So how do you get rid of a nasty past and the way it makes you feel?

First, forgive, the best you can, the people who have hurt you in the past. This doesn’t mean forgetting the past. You’re forgiving these people to help yourself feel whole and to move past the traumatic event. Forgiving carries a great deal of relief.

Second, if there are still toxic people in your life, back away from them and be aware of their affect on you. Sometimes you have to banish a person from your life all together. For example, my father is a narcissist and after years of him tearing me down, I told him I no longer wanted any contact with him. That was 20 years ago. I forgive my father, but I will never forget his deeds and words.

It isn’t easy to tell a parent that you’re done with them and mine is an extreme example. Often it comes down to limiting your time with that person.

The third thing I recommend is to see a therapist for counseling. A good therapist can help you unwrap your past and build a new future. Sometimes, just the act of telling your story is enough to give you a boost.

Fourth, along with talking to a therapist, you can tell your story to a trusted friend or family member. The more times you tell your story the less of an impact it has on your current life.

Fifth, write a letter to your younger self and tell that younger person you’re going to be taking better care of him/her. This isn’t meant to bring about guilt, it is a way of establishing a connection between your former, helpless self and your new stronger self. You’re going to protect that younger self. You’re going to lavish your younger self with affection and positive thoughts.

Sixth, write down the hurts from the past and how you have changed your life to avoid getting hurt again. This can be painful and you should take things slowly and gently. Don’t feel like you have to do it all at once.

Seventh, it may help to perform some kind of cleansing ritual. Smudging is a good way to clear away past hurts. You just buy a bundle of sage or other herbs, light it and carry it through your home letting the smoke drift all around. If this isn’t your bag, no worries, it certainly isn’t necessary.

Eighth, write down some Positive Affirmations (https://www.mentallyinteresting.com/positive-affirmations )and read them daily. Add inspirational quotes that make you feel good about yourself. You can address your past by googling “positive affirmations for past events”.

Ninth, keep a journal to record your progress. You will be amazed at the difference you will see in your attitude and feelings.

Tenth, build positive memories that you can replace negative memories with. You can do this by hanging out with friends and family, going to your favorite places, or participating in activities that you enjoy.

Now you have ten activities to help you overcome your past. Remember how strong you are and what you are capable of doing. Connect with friends and family and tell them you’re trying to rid yourself of a toxic past.

I know that none of this is easy, but it’s so worth your time and effort. Overcoming a difficult past helps you build your future and can make you a happier, more positive person in general.

I would really like to hear from you. What do you struggle with from your past? How do you handle it when your past rears it’s ugly head?

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