We think the past can cause us pain. That events and people in the past still have influence in our lives. But the past is over. The past only exists in our mind. So the pain we feel in this moment, is created by a thought that we are having about the past, right now. BUT we get to decide what we think. We can decide what we make it all mean.
I want to give you an example. My past is not perfect. I did things I’m not proud of. I was unkind to people in my past. I’m going to use a specific example. My twin sister. I tried to change her. From a place of fear for what might eventuate if she didn’t change. I thought I knew best. I didn’t let her just be her. I didn’t trust her and believe in her. When I noticed what I had been doing (thanks life coaching). I felt terrible for the pain that I had caused her. I realised that I was the one who had been creating distance in our relationship. But focusing on regret and guilt was not serving me. I couldn’t change my actions of the past. So I decided two things. Firstly I consciously decided what I wanted to make them mean instead of beating myself up (there is never any point in doing that). And secondly I decided to focus on the future.
I focused on what I did right. I reminded myself that at the time I wanted what was best for her. I took responsibility for my actions. I decided consciously that I wanted to move forward in the best way. To stop trying to change her. To trust and believe in my sister. And guess what? Our relationship is amazing. (Our relationships are also created in our mind but that’s another blog post hahaha and truly our relationship is only blossoming!)
We cannot change what happened in the past, wishing it was different and trying to change it is frustrating. We are disempowered. If we focus on what we do have control over, we are then empowered. We can manage our thoughts and we have the ability to change our future.
Do you want help with rewriting your past and focussing on your future? I’m going to write some questions below to help you. But if you want some help. I’d love to offer you a free mini session. Sign up here.
Write about something in your past that causes you pain. Write about how you currently think about it. Now decide if you want to keep thinking about it in that way. If no, ask what a compassionate bystander might say about the situation. Does that feel real to you? Borrow their story.
Image by Elijah O’Donnell