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My tribe

My past doesn't define my future

manuelita otero

Life is made up of experiences and memories that we gather as days go by. Many of those are from our childhood, and even if we don’t remember the actual events, the impacts last a lifetime.  Most of the initial memories come from the closest people to us, our family.  Sometimes a positive word can set a determination to succeed in a child and a negative one could stay imprinted in a child’s mind, building walls and low self-esteem.  Even though we can’t choose what happened to us as children, we can do something about the feelings we have now.  Build on the positive and let go of the negative.

Have you ever stopped to think how memories from the past affect your everyday life? Even if you only see that family member who hurt you once a year, you try to ignore their comments and avoid confrontation. Tough issues need to be dealt with because anything in our life that we leave unresolved will come up when we least expect it.   Problems have to be faced, no matter how hard it may be and the sooner the better. 

Who wants to go through life carrying unneeded negative stuff, weighting our journey down and affecting our relationships? The following are some ideas to help us get rid of those heavy feelings that are stealing our joy:

- Enjoy the silence: Sometimes we keep busy on purpose so we won’t have to be silent with our thoughts, but taking time to think and analyze the things that are bothering us is necessary. How can we fix something if we don’t know what  we need to fix? Take time to think and write down your thoughts, it is step one towards inner de-cluttering.

- Be honest: Facing tough memories is hard, painful and scary; that is why many times we prefer to do everything else but that.  When we finally accept that we are not perfect, and no one else is we can bring down the walls that we have built to pretend that we have it all under control. That is when we start to be honest with ourselves and with others.  

- The blaming game:  Blaming someone for all our problems is not going to make them better, it only perpetuates heavy feelings and never allows for true healing to occur.  When someone hurts us deeply our initial reaction is to blame them and make them feel the same pain we have felt, but the feeling that “justice” has been served doesn’t last long.  True healing only comes when we forgive, let go, and we take control of our life. 

- Letting go: It is important to face the people who hurt us, if possible, letting them know what they did that affected us.  But this can only be done at the right time, when we have dealt with issues on our own so we won’t be talking out of anger but out of the desire to have closure and be able to move on.   We can’t control how others are going to react, but we can control what we do and what we say.  The goal is to face the issue and finally let it go.  The past is gone; we have our present and our future ahead and we don’t want anything negative from the past to get in the way.

- Step by step: Be patient, letting go of heavy feelings takes time so we can’t expect to be able to unpackthe unnecessary stuff in our life all at once in just a few weeks.  Some issues are going to be easier to get rid of, others will take some time, but dealing with them and defining strategies that will help us finally get over them is a step in the right direction.  

It helps to remember that no one is perfect, and sometimes people hurt because they have been hurt.  Issues from our past don’t have to define our future.  We decide what stays and what goes.

Manuelita @manuelitaotero