Your past is exactly that! Yes, you are who you are because of it, but it does not depict who you become and where you end up. When people say, “Leave the past in the past,” I don’t disagree…but before you can do that, you have to look it in the eye, face it head on - It is yours. Weather you like it or not, own it. If it brings you a sense of shame, that is understandable. If it brings you chills because it was so amazing that your afraid your future will never live up to the past, totally acceptable. Regardless, it’s gone. You do not get the chance to relive it; however, you can feel better about it and about your role in your own movie. Until you face the old you yesterday or even ten years ago and fix your feelings regarding that time period, you will never transition into today. Something will always be stealing a little bit of your joy if you do not pick up your past, hold it in your hands and set it exactly where you want it. You always hear inspirational speakers say, “Your future is yours to create!” Well, same goes for your past! It is yours to decide how it lies in your heart.
I say all of this as someone who not only is advising but doing. You see…my past is such a challenging area for me. I never actually thought it was until recently. Sure, I had challenges, as all people do, but I didn’t think that they actually were having an effect on me until one day, I realized I had stayed in the same spot for quite some time. I actually was not moving forward. In some areas, I saw myself even taking steps in reverse. Here is what I suggest and examples on what I did to grab my past by the testicals and take charge:
Do research on yourself.
Research myself? No one knows me better than me, right? Wrong. I have found somethings, I have forgotten, because life happens so fast! If your like me, your doing a thousand things at once and only 80% of it is actually registering in your brain-files.
Somethings that have happened in our past, we shut out. We intentionally block it out. When we try to go back and revisit those moments, they are not exact. People who were there, can help.
How did you make people feel? Not what do they think of you…but how did you make them feel. This will tell you a lot about yourself. If you have a lot of people tell you that you made them feel all a very similar way - chances are, they are not all wrong and your right. This can be helpful when owning who you are. The only way to create a future full of goals that are reached versus goals that are forgotten is by being honest with who you really are. Then, asking yourself the question, do I have to change and if so, in what ways?
Analyze your relationships. This is not family. Family, we are given. Friends and relationships that we choose speaks volumes to our past. Why did you choose the people you did? Were you trying to fill a void in your life or did they really make you happy?
Do not be afraid to take a quick picture with your phone of these questions, and text them to a few of your past-peeps. If they really love you, they will want to help you be a better version of you!
Over the course of time we have known each other, how have I made you feel?
Can you give me three times that come to mind that support this?
When you think of me, is there an incident that pops in your mind? Good or bad?
What qualities, do I bring to your life?
Would you say I lift you up or bring you down?Have I ever really upset you?
It’s ok to be honest.
Real friends are able to have hard conversations and come out the other side stronger for it!
Once you get this portion of the research back on yourself, study it like you were supposed to study for that fifth grade science test! Learn it, analyze it, listen and make the decision - regardless of your “grade” you are going graduate from your past. Your going to learn how the old you is going to be only a foundation for the new you! Not the actual you!
Be open, this may also start the thinking process of weather some you have chosen to be in your life, may not be the best fit for you. Are you making them better? Are they making you better? You know the research works both ways.