What is it that happened that holds you back from creating a beautiful future, your beautiful future?
These two questions will immediately take you back to one or more memories from your past that affect you to date. Maybe it was something that happened in your childhood, with your first boyfriend, with your job, with a friend, or something else.
What I want to offer to you is that the past is now over and only exists as sentences in your head.
What happened 10 minutes ago, yesterday, last week, last year, 10 years ago is as over as the last century. You can’t go back and change any of it, no one can.
What I want to offer to you is for you to become aware of what being past focused creates in your life.
You’ve become limited by your past. You may have been living every single day and learning new things but emotionally, you’re frozen in the past at the same level you were when you were hurt. You may never step far outside of your comfort zone again.
Your life becomes repetitive. You avoid situations that make you vulnerable to similar pain, thereby limiting your ability to develop yourself and your dream life. You limit your potential by what you’ve been able to do in the past.
You explain your current behavior on your past experiences. You use instances and evidence from your past to identify as a victim today.
Did you feel attacked by the last statement? “How could you say that? I was a victim. These things did happen to me. This is a fact”. If yes, this is a sign that you’ve got work to do with your past.
I want you to take a deep breath and think about this again: The past only exists as sentences in your head. You were a victim in the past when that instance occurred. That instance is now over.
It cannot cause you to feel any pain today. What causes you to feel pain is the thoughts you have about that instance. Today, you no longer have to give that instance or person any power or give into the victim mentality.
You can take back all the power because it rightly belongs with you, to you, and not your past.
Past (adjective): gone by in time and no longer existing.
The fault isn’t yours. We are often taught to forgive those that hurt us. People often validate our victim mentality saying “Of course you feel this way. Horrible things have happened to you in the past”. And it feels good to be understood or validated, doesn’t it?
But you’re the one who continues to suffer as a result, you continue living the repetitive life, you limit yourself. You don’t have to forgive anyone you don’t want to and you no longer have to give in to the victim mentality.
In order to create your beautiful, deserving future, you just have to take your power back and I’m going to show you how.
The first step in taking your power back is to become aware of the story you’re telling about your past.
This story, for most of us, is going to be how that instance or person is the worst thing that ever happened to us.
And I want you to write that story. I want you to let it all out: your thoughts about the past, how you feel about it, how it has impacted your present and the results it has given you.
What is it that you’re holding on to from the past? Is it a failed relationship? Is it an abusive childhood? Is it dealing with the loss of a loved one? What story are you telling yourself about the thing you’re holding on to?
Are you telling yourself you don’t have what it takes to be in a loving relationship because of a previous relationship that failed? Are you telling yourself you aren’t enough because an ex cheated on you? Are you telling yourself that maybe you aren’t worthy of love because you’ve been lied to in the past?
Whatever you have been telling yourself and others is your story. I want you to write this story down and remember that even if everyone around you agrees with you, the story is just a thought you had about the past.
Thoughts aren’t facts. The story isn’t a fact.
Now, I want you to imagine being able to talk to your past self with love.What would you say to her? How would you be compassionate?
If your past, for example, is about a failed relationship, what would you tell your past self? Would you tell her she isn’t worth it? Or would you comfort her and tell her that she did the best she could and the failed relationship was not her fault? Would you tell her that she is so worthy of love and that she has better things, a better partner out there for her?
This is such a life-changing thing to do.
So many of us beat ourselves up about the past, thinking that we deserve it and that by beating ourselves up and constantly reminding ourselves of what we did wrong, we are somehow taking responsibility and taking action. This never works.
So instead of beating yourself up, I want you to imagine what you would say to your past self from a place of love and compassion.
For the second step, I want you to rewrite the story to how everything happened exactly the way it is supposed to happen.
This is not the same as “everything happens for a reason”, no. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason but I do believe that everything happened exactly the way it should have.How do we know that? Because it happened that way.
In the above example, maybe you can rewrite your story to say that the failed relationship is one of the best things that happened to you because you realized what you do not want in a relationship: a partner who lies. The story can include how you realized that you can be whole and completed and happy by yourself or how you raised your standards or how you learnt to be there for yourself or how the previous relationship had to end in order to make place for a better and happier relationship.
When you rewrite this story, I want you to ask yourself if there is anyone else in the story to whom you can show compassion.
You don’t have to forgive them, you don’t have to love them. You can if you want but you don’t have to. What I want to offer to you, is that you also don’t have to hate them.
You can say “Whatever you did in the past no longer affects me or my worth to create a beautiful future for myself. The past is over and this is over. You can continue living the life you want and I don’t hate you because I have everything I need to create my beautiful future.”
You don’t have to say this to them, you can just think this and when you believe this, it almost lifts the burden and exhaustion of negative emotions. More than anything, it allows you to take your power back.
This one is hard. Every exercise is and it is worth it because you are worth it.
The next step is to stop defining yourself by your past by identifying your limiting beliefs.
“I can’t lose more than 5 pounds because I never have been able to”.
“I can never be in a loving relationship or find the right partner because of the parents I grew up with.”
“I can never make more than a certain amount of money because I never have before”.
These are all the limiting beliefs that cause you to create more of the past. The more you hold on to them, the truer they seem.
This is why a lot of people live the exact same routine life year after year. When you look at their lives, you can predict with certainty what is going to happen next because they live based on their repetitive thought patterns from their past.
Everything they believe is from their past and not from up to date thoughts and information.
Contrast this to people who are living their life abundantly. They are creating new things, trying new experiences, meeting new people, and living from their future. They aren’t repeating any stories of their past but creating new ones.
I want you to identify the beliefs you have and choose which ones to keep and which ones to discard. What I want to offer to you is that you can choose to discard them all.
The third step is to deliberately think of new thoughts to replace your limiting beliefs.
“I’m worthy of living a better life.”
“I can rewrite my story in a way that serves me.”
“No situation or person from my past holds any power over me, only I do.”
“Moving on may be difficult but I can do difficult things”.
“It’s okay to ask for help.”
“Just because I believed something in the past does not mean I have to continue sticking to it”.
“Just because I’ve never done it in the past, does not mean I can’t do it now”.
“What someone else does is not an indication of my self worth, only my actions are”
“I will find the partner I’m looking for.”
It takes a lot of energy to create new thoughts that serve you and even more to believe them.
It feels hard in a lot of ways. The whole exercise does. It may feel easier to give up or to move on without making peace with the past but you will end up sabotaging yourself if you avoid the past.
If you go out and date again, the thoughts or the fear of being cheated on or lie to will impact the relationship you have. When you heal from your past before dating again will you be able to grow and develop that relationship. It won’t be perfect and there will be failures along the way. You may feel the fear of being lied to crop up and that’s okay. You don’t have to do this perfectly once but practice healing imperfectly a few times.
Everything you want is on the other side of the past and the fear.
It will never be easy but it will be totally worth it for you. You’re going to experience immense emotional growth that your future self will thank you for.
So go big. Stop hiding from your past. Stop fighting your past. Make peace with it and move on and get excited about the next chapter of your beautiful life.