Letting go of old wounds takes time and patience but by becoming more self-aware, acknowledging the past and focusing on healing, you can eventually move on to a more balanced, healthy and fulfilling future full of love and acceptance.
Healing is not a quick fix or a shortcut to happiness; It is a long, often painful road which many people are afraid of walking down. Many stop the healing process before it has a chance to penetrate their lives because they are discouraged by the time and effort it takes. But the only way to move on is to dive completely and courageously into the past and identify every emotion at its core.
You have to make a choice: either live in the darkness and be consumed by it or choose to fight for light and keep fighting until the light eventually and completely overcomes the darkness.
Inside each of us there are subconscious personalities that live within and affect our every day lives, whether we realize it or not. They are responsible for most of our irrational fears, phobias and the life patterns that we can never seem to get a hold of.
These subconscious personalities are made up of memories from the past (especially if those memories are traumatic). They are unaware of chronological time so, even though our conscious minds are aware of a past, a present, and a future, our subconscious minds cannot separate past/present/future and consequently are always living in the present moment and guiding our thoughts and actions.
It is not the memory or the event that controls us now, but rather the attitude we formed around that memory/event that controls us.
“I am always the one that has to do this . . .”
“I never get to do that . . .”
“I never have enough of this . . .”
These are all themes that a lot of people use to describe their lives. Most of the time, however, they are a result of the subconscious mind shaping our present lives.
These attitudes/ideas were formed based on certain memories/events in the past but because those unhealed memories will always live in the present moment, the subconscious mind tells the conscious mind that they are going to keep happening. Eventually we listen and without realizing it we create the same situation over and over again; we create our reality based on the themes of our past. This is why most people feel like they are out of control of their own lives.
With time, we can start to become aware of the difference between our past and present selves and our subconscious/conscious minds. We can start to notice when our past memories are trying to guide us and through healing them we can stop letting them shape our current reality.
a guide for healing :
To heal from the past you have to place all of your attention on the present moment. Everything happens in the present; even memories of events that took place in the past are really thoughts occurring in the present moment. This means that if we were hurt or angry in the past, every time we remember that situation we are going to feel hurt or angry in the present, because our subconscious doesn’t recognize or separate the past from the present.
Your current thoughts are what keeps the past feelings alive, but you can change your perspective and release the past’s grip on you; Instead of focusing on what you felt then, focus on what you are feeling now, what you are thinking now and what is happening now. Become fully aware of the present moment and your place in it.
A memory is a thought and a thought can only affect you if you give it the power to do so. There are some events from the past that, when we think of them, cause no reaction. This is because the original event had no affect on us emotionally. The events from the past that did cause an emotional reaction at the time will still cause us to have an emotional reaction when we think of them now. These are the memories that replay continually in our minds and affect our present lives.
It is not the memory though that prevents us from healing; it is the beliefs we formed around the memory. For example, if someone else was involved in the original event, we may feel justified in our hurt or our anger towards them. This feeling of justification prevents us from moving on. We are actually holding on to the memory and the emotions involved because we feel like we have a right to those painful emotions. Healing can never occur as long as this is the mindset. True freedom comes with acknowledging the memory from a perspective that focuses on the event and not the beliefs we have formed around that event.
Your goals should not be:
-To forget about the past-
This is an impossible goal, as you will never be able to completely forget about the past.
-To ignore or numb your feelings-
This is the gateway to addictions; when you ignore your feelings, you start to look for something to fill the emptiness that the numbing has caused.
-To wait for an apology from someone else or for someone else to acknowledge what happened and the pain it cause you-
This will only delay healing, and it places your happiness in someone else’s hands. Your healing needs to come from within yourself and not be dependent on someone else’s actions.
-To wait for time to magically erase your pain-
Time will only ease your pain if you are actively pursuing healing. If you just sit and wait for the pain to go away, using time as an excuse to not address the problems, you will be ignoring your feelings and post-poning the healing that could/should be taking place.
-To wallow in your emotions-
This is not only painful for you, but also for other people in your life. If you are focusing only on your hurt and sadness, it will affect the way you interact with and treat other people.
-To change the past-
You can never and will never be able to go back and change the past. Acknowledging this is crucial to being able to fully heal and move on.
Your ultimate goal should be to change the relationship that you have with the thoughts and memories of the past, not to change the actual events of the past. This is the pathway to freedom and healing.
Healing can only take place if you are completely open to it. If there is a part of you that is closed off or afraid of delving deeper, the process won’t work. There are going to be many people who want the healing for you and who will be willing to help you, but ultimately it has to be your choice: you have to choose whether or not you are willing to face the pain in order to free yourself form it. You have to choose to be happy. You have to choose freedom and you have to choose to heal; and it has to be a daily decision.
A lot of times when we are hurt from the past, we have a tendency to see ourselves as the victim in every situation. But this makes us passive, un-empowered and dependent on the words/actions of others and, because we can’t control the words or actions of others, we are actually handing over the control of our lives to someone else. We are making someone else responsible for our happiness. Not only is this unfair to that person, but it’s also unfair to you and will almost always lead you to disappointment, thus continuing the cycle of feeling like/being the victim.
When you come to the realization that only you can make yourself happy, you will finally be on your way to letting go and moving on from the past. To take responsibility means to become aware of how your own thoughts are affecting your life. The negative thoughts/memories you recycle in your head are controlling how you live, how you feel and how you interact with other people. You have to first acknowledge that, then do your part to learn how to catch the negative thoughts and change them. Instead of blaming other people for your unhappiness, you have to learn that only you are in charge of it.
There is a quote by Buddha that states “what you think, you become.” This means that if your thoughts are constantly revolved around sadness, hurt, regret, revenge, etc., then that is what your reality will consist of. When you have been hurt, you are more likely to have an imagination that creates stories in your head revolving around those negative emotions. You become fascinated with them without even realizing it and end up drawing them to your life.
You have to learn to control your imagination. When you feel yourself starting to imagine situations that revolve around anger, revenge, hurt or regret, catch it and change it. Become uninterested in those stories and instead allow yourself to imagine positive outcomes, positive people and positive interactions. Soon you’ll find yourself starting to attract those kinds of situations and people to your life. Pay attention to what kind of stories your imagination is creating, because the theme of the stories you focus on is bound to become your reality.
It’s possible that some of the beliefs you have about healing are preventing you from actually being able to heal. There are common lies we tell ourselves about the healing process and about what we need in order to heal, but these are just excuses. They prevent the healing process and are used to delay delving into the heart of the matter.
Some of these excuses/false beliefs about healing are:
“I was wronged and therefore am justified in being hurt.”
“I have to wait for someone to help me before I can get better.”
“If I let go of the hurt, it will mean that I am approving of what the other person did to me.”
“I need an apology before I can heal.”
“Life isn’t fair and never will be, so i’ll never be able to be happy.”
“The hurt was so bad that i’ll never be able to heal.”
If you are telling yourself one or several of these statements, it means that you are not yet open to being healed. When you catch yourself saying one of these, try to understand what you are really feeling: are you using it as an excuse to not face the pain? Stop recycling these thoughts and instead tell yourself that only you can choose to heal and that you can start to heal at any point and any time. Every day is a fresh start and all you need to begin the healing process is an openness to the healing. Anything else is just an excuse to not be happy.
Whether you realize it or not, your past has shaped the way you approach relationships; you have formed ideas from the past about how relationships are supposed to look and how they should work. If you find yourself in the same kind of relationship over and over again, it’s beneficial to reflect on your own past and see how it has influenced the way you act in a relationship and how the ideas you formed from your past may have caused the relationship to end.
Something in your past may have given you a:
– Fear of rejection
– Fear of commitment
– Need for approval
– Need for attention
– Tendency to isolate yourself
– Tendency to push others away
– Need for control
– Difficulty trusting others
These are all things that can lead to a breakdown in a relationship. By reflecting on past relationships and the ways they went wrong, you can become more self-aware and see if you are displaying any of the behaviors listed above. When you become aware of them, that’s when you can start to work on them and heal to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships.
Reliving the past over and over again and dwelling in it will prevent you from finding any peace or happiness in the present moment. However, completely hiding from your feelings and never addressing the past will also prevent happiness and cause you to search for unhealthy ways to fill the void your numbness has created. It’s important to find the balance: to be able to address the past without letting it consume you, and to be able to revisit painful memories without wallowing in those memories. Stay focused on your present day feelings and emotions when you are opening old wounds. By staying grounded in the present you can learn to revisit the past without becoming consumed by it.
It is true that the past shapes us, but if you allow the past to define you, you will be limiting yourself and your own potential. The mentality that your past should dictate who you are today is a crippling one, and the best way to break free from it is to discover who you currently are. When you start to become more aware of yourself and your relationship with your past, you start to realize that you can live freed from it and become the person you’ve always dreamt of being.
So, start challenging yourself. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do: face your fears, learn new things and don’t settle for letting the past define you. Instead, create yourself. You have the opportunity to make yourself happy. So, don’t be afraid of the healing; embrace it and let it free you.