No good thing can come from dwelling in your past. It makes you feel things you don’t want to feel. Makes you yearn for something you once had or makes you angry at what you once endured.
Thing is, no matter how much you try to move forward, sometimes that sucker hits you right in the face. Sometimes those past thoughts come flooding in wrecking havoc with your present. The anger or hurt feels all too real. The sadness may once again consume.
There’s lots of advice out there. There are lots of people willing to tell you how to deal with it. The steps you need to take to overcome those feelings. The thoughts you need to have.
Psychology Today ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201411/let-it-go ) advises to:
- Anchor Yourself In The Future
- Discard (The memorabilia of that past)
- Repair (Make amends to those you have wronged or who have wronged you)
- Transform Your Narrative (Look at the past events from a more understanding or mature perspective)
- Learn To Be Present
Look, I get it, all that advice is great. It’s sound advice that works. Use it.
Here’s my problem though. Whenever I’m in the middle of feeling that past hurt. That hurt that is now in my present. I couldn’t care less about what the right thing to do is. I don’t care about what I am meant to do. How I am meant to think. I don’t care that no good will come of feeling like that and dwelling on those feelings.
At that point I’m in a destructive frame of mind. I know it’s not good for me. I know not to take it out on anyone around me. I still have to deal with it though. Right then and there. It’s in my head. It’s not going away anytime soon.
Sure, once those feelings have subsided a bit I’ll be in a better frame of mind to process all that lovely advice that will help me in the long run.
But in that moment. When it’s all so overcoming, so overpowering. I just want to be alone. Words and advice at that time isn’t going to help. I don’t think they ever do in the heat of the moment. Especially if you’re feeling the hurt and pain as raw as ever.
We can move on all we want. We can try to forgive. We may have created many new happy memories since that past event. We might think we’ve let it go. We might believe all our issues around it have been resolved.
But then it’s triggered. The darkness consumes our light. All that previous good work goes out the window and we’re right back in the middle of the despair. Those memories once again filling our minds.
If you’re like me you’re not like Buddha, you’re not a mindfulness guru, not a Tibetan monk. You’re not someone who can easily shift or subdue those dark, heavy feelings. You can’t be ‘present’ like all the advice likes to talk about. You can’t think of all the things you have to be happy for. Can’t think of how your life may be better now than it was. You can’t be non-judgemental in regards to the thoughts and feelings you are having. All that is in your mind is that past. All that you are feeling are the emotions it brings to the fore.
I think when that is the case all you can do is ride it out. Let those thoughts take their course. Allow yourself to dwell at least for a little while. Accept that pain, anger, frustration and hurt you are feeling. Right at that moment that is your reality. That is your present. Don’t try to deny it.
A bridge can still be built, while the bitter waters are flowing beneath.
The feelings will pass. The intensity will subside. Your ‘normality’ will resume. You will get back on track. But as with most things of this nature it takes time. Time and a little bit of effort.
Have heart, have faith. Let the time pass. Hang on for all your worth. Tomorrow will always be a new day. At the very least it’s another day away from that past. You never know what that new day will bring.
Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!
P.s. If you are having trouble with letting go of past events seek professional help. This, like all my other blog posts, is based on my experiences. What I believe to be true.
Much love to you all,