Our past is IMPORTANT. Everything that has every happened is a learning opportunity and we want to get as much out of it as possible.
That means facing the pain of whatever happened as openly and honestly as possible and taking full responsibility for how it provided us an opportunity to grow…
What USUALLY happens, though, is NOT THAT.
What usually happens is that we experience something painful, and instead of fully facing the pain of the experience, the cold, hard truth of whatever it was that happened, we pull out our survival mechanisms… because our mind *thinks* that it isn’t best or safe to really fully feel the pain. It *thinks* it is much better to avoid, distract, blame, offload, compartmentalize, rationalize and justify whatever the pain is as something that “isn’t our fault” (which is true) but rather “is someone else’s fault” (which is untrue) and therefore we miss important learning… OR the other thing that can happen is that we internalize inappropriate guilt or shame about something painful that happened, thinking that it is our fault when actually it wasn’t really (or wasn’t fully) and we miss the actual learning and growth and internalize an incorrect lesson around not being good enough.
In either case, instead of getting the full lesson from whatever the pain was, growing stronger, we end up getting poisoned by it… and get weaker.
When we do not fully face and process the pain of the past, we do not fully forgive (either ourself in the case of inappropriate guilt or shame OR the other person or situation that we view as having hurt us).
The past continues to hold power over us, the power of making upset, afraid, angry… and it poisons us. The trauma of the pain keeps us in fight or flight whenever it gets triggered, and it keeps us from fully growing, fully showing up and fully enjoying our lives.
What to do?
First, breathe. Conscious breathing keeps us in the present moment.
Second, move into your heart and work on forgiveness. Be open to the pain of what the past holds and let it flow up and out, accepting the lesson and growth and releasing the wound. Taking your power back. Growing stronger. We can do it and it changes everything.