Is Your Past Holding You Back?
The saddest statement I have ever heard sounded something like this:
“I am [a pessimist, realist or fill in the blank here] because [ fill in the blank] happened to me, and it’s just the way I view the world now. It’s who I am.”
Sound familiar? Have you or anyone you’ve known ever said something like this before?Sometimes life serves us a one-two punch in the stomach.
Perhaps we have experienced a painful experience or set of experiences in life that potentially sent us reeling!
This can run the spectrum from a minor setback and disappointment to extreme life altering trauma. The continuum is quite large.
Recognizing the recovery path is unique to each experience, there are a few common cords to overcoming the past that are relevant across the board. In today’s blog post I will share 4 ways to overcome setbacks.
But first, consider this:
By allowing our past to determine who we are, and dictate our future, we abdicate our power.
- Our power to transform.
- Our power to choose.
- Our power to proactively create.
The potential pitfalls of this? We sit life out, we withdraw, we resist, we crawl back into our comfort zone, and we decide what’s not possible and stop ourselves before we begin. We essentially give up.
Life (including the human experience) is inherently dynamic and fluid (i.e.) not mean to be sat out.
If you or someone you know has experienced life altering trauma, please seek therapeutic modalities, take the time to heal, and engage in the necessary self-care and reflection that your beautiful spirit needs to return to it’s natural vibrant state.
However, if you are using what you didn’t get or have at any point in your life to determine what you cannot achieve in this lifetime, it’s just not gonna cut it. So cut it out.
Either way, if you are ready to get back into the game of life. Here are a few takeaways to consider as you shift into a new perspective towards what’s possible.
1. We cannot control all experiences - but we can control how we respond to them.
There are several things in life we are not individually in control of. Natural disasters, political and economic displacement, or the actions of other people who do us harm (intentionally or consequentially), to name a few.
But we are always in control of how we respond as a result.
Do we plot in return? Do we fight back? Do we heal and forgive? Do we reach out to understand? Do we remove ourselves and set boundaries? Do we ask for help? Do we help others in the same predicament?
What we choose in response is the pathway we pave that will either lead us away from, for further into, the fray of that experience. Which leads to the second point.
2. We have a conscious choice. Choose your filter. Decide what is possible.
For most of us, before dynamic things can happen in our lives, we must decide, first, that it is possible. And decide that we are capable, and decide that life supports us, and decide to be open and decide to love. Get the pattern here?
Life is a series of choices. Always. Even deciding not to choose, is a choice. And inherent to choosing is our natural power to create.
So ask yourself:
- What do I want to create?
- Is what I am choosing, in alignment with what I say I want?
- Why or Why not? What is getting in the way?
3. Overcoming is required, and a non-negotiable.
When I think of overcoming, I tend to think of Martin Luther King Jr. and those marching in the civil rights movement singing "we shall overcome”. These marches were about overcoming physical, psychological, economic and political slavery, including overcoming intergenerational trauma.
But in the case of overcoming, it is also overcoming a cold, a loss in the family, an unplanned pregnancy, or an educational or career oriented setback, to name a few.
In the dance of life, the act of overcoming any situation is required. It is a non-negotiable. It might take 5 days or 5 years or 5 generations. To be “in the game”, overcoming is mandatory.
And finally, the last point,
4. We are not our past. Our past does not define us or our potential.
In the narrative of life, it is important to separate situations from people. For example, a human may be experiencing homelessness, poverty, displacement, [fill in the blank here].
It is situational. Not static, and definitely not who you, or we, are.
I personally believe that our expansiveness, and thus potential is limitless and eternal.
Whatever your personal beliefs are, if we define ourselves by a past event or situation, we risk boxing ourselves into the finite limits or parameters of that situation or experience.
If life delivers you an unexpected one-two, be kind to yourself. Take the time that you need, but remember to let it move through you like the wind. Bend, contact, expand, learn, and grow from the experience. Allow it to inform your inner well of wisdom as you move forward in this shared experience called life.
Now, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic.
In the comments section, please share:
- A particular situation or experience you have had to overcome.
- Based on this experience, what is the 1 piece of advice you’d like to share with a fellow human?
Thank you for reading and participating!
From my heart-center to yours,