We all have things in our past that in some capacity influence our present and future. Some things are good and help us live a better life, and then there’s the bad that makes life difficult when it doesn’t need to be. So today I’ll give some tips and tricks to make peace with your past.
(Please remember that I am not a health care professional and that if you have experienced trauma that is negatively affecting you I highly recommend you seek help from professionals that can help you work through your specific problem)
Accept it happened
The first on the list is to accept that it happened, and that you can’t change it. People have a tendency to get stuck in the “if only” mentality. If only I hadn’t said, done or walked… If only, is such a dangerous thing because it keeps us stuck in the past, and can let past experiences take up permanent residence in our heads in a bad way. So the first thing to do is throw away the what ifs… because it did happen, and we can’t change it.
Now, you can’t ignore problems away, unfortunatly. But, sometimes when we look at why we are stuck in the past, it becomes clear that it’s because we want to get even. Someone wronged us, and we want to make them pay. We get so focused on this, that we can’t move on, because moving on means that what they did wasn’t that bad, right? Wrong. What you are doing is letting the person live rent free in you life, trapping you in a situation you don’t want to be in. In this case, ignoring them is the best payback, and the best gift you can give yourself.
Sometimes it isn’t someone else who wronged us, but us that fucked up. In this case, forgiving yourself is an important part of letting go. If you’ve apologized and made it as right as you can, the it’s time to forgive yourself and move on. Mistakes happen, and letting them define us is not the way to go. Instead learn from them and work on not repeating them.
Talk about it
Sometimes, the tip to moving on with our lives is to talk about what keeps us stuck in our past. Often a good talk with a good friend can help, but sometimes we need the help of a professional to make sense of what happened.
Don’t let it define you
One thing I see more and more is people letting their bad experiences define them. Their identity become synonym with often survivor or victim – which brings the problem of “who am I if I’m not this?” It makes letting go so much harder because if your identity is tied into something in your past, well, if you let go, then who are you? Instead, let the awesome things in your life define who you are.
I hope these tips help you take a step closer to making peace with your past.