Tackling pain requires courage. To move on, you need to stop living in the past and look at what really matters, the present. If you can be brave and heal yourself, you’ll be able to go back to living your life.
It isn’t easy to heal the past and move forward. Wherever you go, your past usually goes with you. Indeed, your emotional baggage is integrated into every part of you. It absorbs itself into your thoughts and embeds itself in every limiting attitude, fear, and a sleepless night. In fact, it’s impossible to forget all of your past experiences. However, you can learn to face them and not let them hurt you.
Goethe rightly said that a day is excessively long for those who don’t know how to use or appreciate it. This is truer when someone is experiencing a period of anguish or disappointment due to something that happened in the past. Because, at these times, it becomes extremely difficult to appreciate the present.
“There’s a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it.” -Eckhart Tolle-
How to heal your past
Healing your past means different things to different people, as there are infinite forms of trauma.
Some suffering might start from a specific event. Like the death of a relative, for example. At other times, it might be due to continued stress, like living in a troubled neighborhood, working in a stressful environment, or being bullied at school.
Whatever the cause, it’s essential to heal your past if you want to have a more worthwhile and fulfilling present. Studies conducted at New York Medical University by Dr. Marylene Coitre suggest that, if you’ve suffered a traumatic event in the past and haven’t dealt with it, your post-traumatic stress will increase. This puts you at risk of new adverse events, such as emotional breakdowns.
Here are some basic keys that will help you heal the past.
Talk about the past, but only with the right people
It’s often said that to overcome your pain, you have to get it out in the open. You have to talk about it and vent your feelings.
- You must understand that not everyone you talk to will understand your experiences. In fact, sometimes, sharing with the wrong people can make you feel worse. Therefore, you need to know who to talk to.
- Of course, you can always talk to professionals. Psychologists are trained to understand you and give you concrete, valuable advice that can help you change.
- It’s also useful to talk to people who might have been through the same experience. This way, you don’t feel so alone, knowing that others have gone through the same thing and managed to overcome it.
Redefine yourself and stop being a victim
Whenever there’s an abusive relationship, there’s always an aggressor and a victim. For example, a bullied child, a mobbed worker, or people who suffer a natural disaster and lose everything they have. These victims always have two options:
- The first is to assume that position for life. However, not reacting and staying stuck in your suffering will never help you heal the past. Therefore, you mustn’t become a perpetual victim.
- The second option is to take an active stance. Become resilient, accept what happened and that you’ve suffered, but move forward. This way, you’ll become stronger and able to face both the present and the future.
- At the same time, remember that hate doesn’t help. Holding an eternal grudge and asking “Why me?” imprisons you. Clean up those emotions and free yourself from the most harmful ones. Then, you’ll open yourself to true healing.
Turn off your anxiety switch to heal your past
Post-traumatic stress often leads to anxiety disorders. In fact, trauma often causes panic attacks. In these kinds of situations, you lose control. To heal the past, you have to manage this anxiety. Because this is what takes you back to the past, immobilizes you, and gives you sleepless nights, exhaustion, and headaches. The list goes on!
In these cases, learning breathing, relaxation, and stress and anxiety management techniques can help. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you think you need it. Don Ramón Gómez de la Serna said, “All the mirrors of the past flow by, drowned in a river”. Indeed, yesterday no longer exists. It’s been carried away by the current of life. However, if you can still see reflections of certain aspects of your past that hurt you, stop looking at them.
Your opportunities lie in the present. Your true commitment to yourself is in the here and now. Don’t waste it. Heal your past.