Working through the past

In my previous blog, I wrote about taking responsibility for our past so that we can move on and look to our future, but like many things in life, in reality it’s never that simple or easy to do.

I start this blog by outlining some of the things that should help us understand a little more about possible explanations and thoughts about the past and how we can change learned unhelpful bad patterns.

As we grow up, we condition ourselves to believe that we can’t enjoy our lives because of things that have happened to us, whether we are responsible for those or not. Without us consciously being aware, we condition our thoughts not to expect the best. We put barriers up, to protect ourselves from further hurt and disappointment, without realising that our actions will bring about more unhappiness.

Our lives will never be improved by fearful thinking. An obsession with the past will always bring predispositions to failure in the future. When we anticipate the worst we will make the worst happen. Sadly that’s a reality. The memories we hold, have no power to harm us, it’s the emotions that are associated with them that create resentment, anger and fear.

The mental stress we put ourselves through by holding on to bad memories and experiences are self-inflicted, which will serve to hurt us more. Those emotions are like a time bomb waiting to go off. We need to let them go and release them completely so that we can move on.

The way we think is the way we choose to think. If we choose to think happy thoughts, that’s what we will do. If we choose to think negative thoughts that also is what we will do.

We need to be aware that what is holding us back is what we have chosen to hold on to. We need to be equally aware that we are free to choose to let go of those thoughts, once we’ve dealt with them.


26 Oct, 2010

8 thoughts on “Working through the past

  1. I know that I put barriers up to protect myself from further hurt and disappointment. Although I try not to obsess over the past, I cannot help it sometimes when I’m trying to do something that I’ve failed at before.

    From a major thing to a small thing, like putting a toy together for my kids. But a failure is a failure no matter how small it is, it bothers me. Once I get into that frame of mind its hard to get out of.

    1. Bill, thanks for posting. I totally understand your frustrations. You are right if we fail at something yes in effect we have failed, but doesn’t it depend on what we fail at and whether we fail because either we didn’t prepare or we couldn’t be bothered to prepare for what we then failed at.

      We both have cerebral palsy, we both have our limitations because we have cerebral palsy, therefore there has to be some acceptance on our part as to what we can and cannot do. Beating ourselves up because we cannot and never will be able to do things that perhaps those without cerebral palsy can do, will only serve to make us more miserable.

      Like me concentrate on your strengths, accept that you have limitations and make sure those around you accept you with your limitations. I think some of our battles without us realising it, come from family too.

      Once you start feeling more at ease, you are less likely to put the barriers up and less likely to dwell on those things you feel you have failed at in the past.

    2. I think I do the opposite to you. I open myself up to people too much and then just end up getting hurt by people I thought I could trust. But on the other hand, I push the people closest to me away….and they and myself just end up getting hurt. I lose either way, no matter what I do. Any advice?

      1. Heather, thanks for posting. I think you’re not really alone in your thoughts. A lot of the people we put our trust in and open up to, are often the people we sometimes have the most problems with, obviously not all the time but it can happen that way.

        I also think that because you deal with Bipolar, to some extent that dictates how you communicate with other people and because other people don’t necessarily understand your condition, it may seem like you push them away. It’s not something you’re doing wittingly. It’s a shame more people don’t understand. I understand and am here for you.

  2. Sometimes I work hard and remove a lot of the emotional barriers that hold me back and it goes well for a while. The only problem is that some limitations are realistic and if I don’t keep them in mind it can cause me to get into trouble.

    I tend to go overboard and do too much not giving myself the much needed rest and down time that my disorder needs.

    1. Brian, I think any disorder we deal with comes with realistic limitations that we are not consciously aware of and by the time we are, we’re already in trouble. This can set us back in our endeavours to change things in our past, because we tend to have to work round our disorder first. What you deal with isn’t so easy.

      You are right though, we tend to lift the barriers up when we’re feeling fine, do too much, then find we haven’t given ourselves the rest we need to deal with what we have to deal with. That also sets us back.

  3. I agree with you totally. I’m always telling people we need to be positive about things and look at the bright side. But it’s hard to follow our own advice sometimes. I’m doing much better, letting things go and living for today and not in the past.

    1. Lisa you are right, it is hard sometimes to follow our own advice, particularly if we have lots that we’re dealing with. But any small changes where we let go of some of the past will always be beneficial.

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