One of the things that I always tell people is this:
And yet in my own life I've given the past far too much power over me. I still allow things that happened over 20 years ago to keep me from moving forward today. I know it, and it makes me mad!
So why do I do it? Why does anyone do it when clearly letting go of the past and moving forward is the ticket to getting you where you want to go?
Lots of reasons, and I want to highlight a few here in case you find yourself getting stuck in the past like I do:
- Self-Esteem issues - This is my number one problem, and the reason many people can't seem to let go of the past. Because of this thing or that person in my past, my self-esteem got knocked down to ZERO. Below zero actually and at one point I'm pretty sure I was in negative double digits. It's hard to move ahead when you don't believe in yourself. So thing number one is to start working on your self-esteem!
- Trauma trapped in your physical body - Never believed this was true until I experienced it for myself. When something traumatic happens to you, that trauma can actually get trapped in your body. A good example of this is someone who is in a car wreck and bangs up their head really good, after which that person has a headache every time they're in a car. The emotional component of that trauma has actually gotten trapped in the physical body, causing symptoms.
- We are onions - We all have many layers. I'm beginning to think we have infinite layers, or at least I seem to. So when something happens way back in the past if affects us, then it gets covered up by layers and layers of memories and stories until the original cause is long forgotten. It's no wonder it can be difficult to get to and release the root cause.
- Getting trapped in our own stories - There is reality and there are the stories we tell ourselves about reality. It's often hard to separate the two, and it's very easy to get trapped in our own stories, especially the junky ones! The truth is no one remembers accurately things that happened many years ago. If you don't believe me go find someone from your distant past and compare notes. You may find it hard to believe you even inhabited the same planet, much less the same point in time and space. Once you see your stories for what they are, a bit of fact mixed in with lots of embellishment from you, then you can begin to unravel things and get to the core of what's holding you back.
- Holding grudges - This stops people in their tracks all the time. I actually know someone who won't go to a certain restaurant because 25 years ago they got bad food. I mean really - 25 years?! But people hold grudges all the time and it can severely limit their life experience. Time to let go. I'm sure they have a new chef by now :)
There are many other things that contribute to getting stuck in the past and being able to move forward in your life. If you think this is part of why you aren't making progress then think about the things above, do some research, and talk to people who can help you with that.
I am working very hard to forgive and release my own past so that I can begin to create the life I want. Lots has been done already, still a lot more to do, but I can do it!
We all can :-)