Unpack Your Past… For an Intentional and Worthwhile Future
There is a perceived notion with motivational speakers and influencer who tend to speak on forgetting your past and living in the present moment. Most of the time these “gurus” are talking as if this is an easy to do way to live; making peace with your past troubles and experiences. If you are one who has regrets or who made some bad decisions in the past that still bother you then this information may resonate with you. This type of motivational talk is good to hear and also gives you insight to learn from. We are meant to live in the present moment and strive for a better, more abundant and happy future. Most of the time these motivational speakers do not give us the action plan to get to a place where your past is not bothersome and isn’t affecting your present life. You are mostly given inspiration and hope. This only gets you so far and usually doesn’t help you free yourself of your past.
If you are a person who lives in the present moment than you are ahead of the game. Kudos to you. That’s awesome because you have put in the time, energy and key practices to get you to where you are in a peaceful state, for the most part. And yet for most of us, this message of forgetting the past is a lot easier said than done. We all have things that have happened in our past that may be hardwired in us and may be on our minds quite a bit throughout our days. We go into this cycle of negative thought which may seem this is how it’s always going to be and we get stuck in this mindset rut. This can cause stress, anxiety, and depression in our lives if we do not figure out a way to change our mindset. Living in the past can hinder your growth and keep you complacent for years to come thus keeping you from living an exceptional life. Aren’t we all striving to be happier, healthier and live successfully?
So, you may now be wondering, how do you get out of living in the past? What do you need to do?
Well, for one, we are all where we are in life because of the past choices and decisions that we have made. This may be a hard pill to swallow because this is more than likely all on us.
“You are in the driver’s seat and no one else. There’s a reason that the windshield is much bigger than the rearview mirror. Where you are going is so much better than where you have been.”
What you need to realize is that you must take responsibility and ownership of your life if you want to get out of your rut which stems from your past. Everything starts in the mind before it happens in the outside world. Taking ownership gives you personal power. It gives you control back in your life. You realize that now is the starting point towards creating more beneficial habits for yourself.
What we must do is unpack our past experiences, learn from them and then change our story behind it. Once you make peace with your past and change your story to something that is empowering then you will be on your way to living optimally. This will take a lot of deep inner work, thinking and writing to come to the conclusions of why you think the way you think and why you do the things you do.
When you take a personal audit of yourself, you reveal ownership and awareness that will set you up for achieving a better life. When doing this exercise you must figure out who or what has hurt you in the past. Typically it’s people who have caused us harm. Usually this is the catalyst for our negative thought processes that we feel stuck in. Who do you hold anger and dissatisfaction against. A lot of the time, ego sets in which causes us to hold onto those negative thoughts of people and negative experiences for some psychological reason. This is one reason you are living in the past. The best way to make peace with these people who have done harm to you mentally, physically and/or spiritually is to forgive them.
Forgiveness involves letting your ego down and embracing compassion for yourself and others. The key is to not just forgive them just in your mind but in conversation or in writing. If you are truly wanting to move on with your life positively then do your best to confront the person or persons that have hurt you and tell them. Most of the time those people that have hurt you didn’t know that they were doing it to you and will apologize. For those people that intentionally hurt you and knew they were being hurtful, say your peace and move on. Writing a letter to these people explaining to them that they hurt you and that you are now forgiving them for their harm to you is also a beneficial method. You can send this letter to these people or keep them for yourself. The point is that you took initiative for your inner peace and happiness and confronted the issue that has been on your mind for a long time. Forgiving the people who have hurt you is a big step in the healing process so that you can move positively forward in your life. This will help you ten- fold in regaining a peace of mind. This will be uncomfortable, especially with a face to face conversation but necessary and well worth the initial angst of making peace with your past.
If writing this out, don’t be alarmed if your inner self tells you to keep holding that grudge and/or put the pen down and just carry on with your life. This is your ego trying to keep you where you are; hardened with a closed heart. Break free of that egotistical talk and push through the resistance and get to taking the necessary action of crushing your past in full. Taking the time to write your past issues out will free you and also empower you. Your ego will be put in check and your heart will be open. You will then be set on the right path towards a better, peaceful you.
There are a few other big actions to take when unpacking your past that will help you free yourself from your troubles. Audit your habit loops. You must figure out what you are doing on a consistent basis that keeps you where you are. What are some habits that are hindering your progress? Really spend some time in silence and think on this. Being in quiet thought has a lot of power and most of the time you will be given the answer. Use these answers that you receive constructively so that you can eliminate those negative habits and build new ones that are more conducive to your present and future life. When you are progressing in life and changing your inner self for the better, you become happier and healthier. Life is just richer because you are being intentional and have control over the things that used to keep you tied down. You become free. You become mindful of how you operate and will be able to catch yourself when you start to creep back into your negative past.
It’s just as important to figure out what you must NOT do as it is figure out what to do. It’s paramount that you make the necessary additions to your life for your personal happiness and inner peace. Its equally important to simply subtract the things in life that are keeping you in your negative and past state of mind. Your personal, deep and inner audit should give you all the answers that you need to create better habit loops and strive for that great life that you have always wanted. Your best life is definitely in your reach, and yet you must do the work and spend your time and energy and getting there!
Be easy and good to yourself throughout this process. Don’t beat yourself up if the old negative thoughts briefly come back into your life. Understand that you reconciled your differences with your past experiences. This is a huge step in which 90% of people will not do. Use the awareness that you have gained and learned from to keep moving forward. You have taken control and looked the problem in the eye. You have defeated the resistance and you are ready to forget the past, live in the present and look positively forward to a bright and abundant future.
“If you can find the peace and clarity to accept where you are, you will soon have insight to get where you’d like to go”- Urja