QUESTION: How do I move forward when past thoughts/memories keep coming up?
Have you ever tried to make a change in your life and been reminded of how “badly” it went in the past? Or how you didn’t show up for yourself in a positive way previously so why would you now? I say “badly” in quotes because this is often very subjective and we tend to be our harshest critics.
This is a topic that comes up when working with my 1-to-1 clients a lot. Let me start by saying that thinking of, or being reminded of your past is not a confirmation of how weak you were or how badly you coped with “fill in the blank ________ experience” in the past. It also does not take away from the steps you’ve taken forward. It was merely an experience that happened in your life, but does not define you til the end of time.
Keep reading for a mindset reframe on struggle or skip to the end for questions you can ask yourself to begin the healing process.
Overcoming any hardship in life is not a linear journey of taking the “right” steps in the “right” order. There is not necessarily one protocol to follow other than to shift your mindset regarding the thing that is making you feel like you can’t break free of a specific negative pattern.
Healing is not the absence of thinking about pain from the past and all of a sudden being able to move forward. True healing is about learning how to decipher the signs of your body’s needs, take action to honor them, and listen to how it received the action so you can adjust accordingly the next time you hear, see, or feel the next sign. Life and the body is constantly in flux and traditional goal-setting sets us up to fail a bit if we make forward progress but do not hit the EXACT goal we set out to reach.
By learning how to read and better understand your body, mind, and emotions - it helps you create a team of various practitioners that can help you achieve your goals, but there first has to be a willingness to listen to your body and what it wants beyond the initial negative habit it’s been using to cope.
Today we have so many labels and it’s AMAZING. From a health and mindset perspective, they are helpful in that they help articulate and clarify what you may be experiencing to highlight various best treatments to proceed forward with. From an expression standpoint, we are learning that its okay to express ourselves in new ways and labels are a way to help us better communicate with and show respect to each other.
However, when we identify so strongly with certain mental health labels like depression, anxiety, cutting, eating disorders, etc. that so many of us have or are experiencing it can keep the past habits or ways of being cemented in the present despite the positive progress we may have made.
I have experienced tremendous bouts of depression in my life. The bulk of it happened between ages 13-22, and while it went on for damn near a decade, I, am not depression but I sure experienced it.
To read more about what depression was teaching me and several questions you can ask yourself to begin overcoming your struggle click here.
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