Memory Lane: How to Overcome Your Past and Move Forward
Guilt, resentment, mistrust, stress, fear, shame, insecurity or pain…..Ever felt these before?
These emotions are human. We all have these feelings at one time or another in our lives. These feelings exist, they are real and they are not healthy. In this article, I write about memory lane and how to overcome your past and move forward.
Believe me, I have had to eat the words I am writing today. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it must be done. Greatness, your greatness, depends on it!
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Emotions are extremely powerful – more so than words or thoughts alone. Emotions make us “feel” something. This sense is more powerful than any other sense we have.
Feelings are never forgotten
We remember our feelings. We remember them with such clarity that we can think about something that happened many years ago and “instantly” have the feeling we had when it was taking place. Our heart has a memory that never forgets. Our heart’s memory has power over us.
When dealing with negative emotions, we tend to feel that we “deserve” to have this feeling. It doesn’t matter to us “how long ago it happened” or even if “we have been forgiven by someone,” we feel that we deserve to feel the way we do when this memory crosses our mind.
This doesn’t just involve something we’ve done, it also involves “things that have happened to us.”
Sometimes, bad things happen. Sometimes, it is our fault they happened and sometimes it is not our fault they happened.
People make mistakes
Every single person has made mistakes (some worse than others).
Sometimes It’s Not Your Fault
If someone hurt you, it is paramount that you acknowledge “it was not your fault.” Do it right now. If someone hurt you, say….” it wasn’t my fault.”
You know, deep in your heart, when someone hurts you it wasn’t your fault. The reason this is such a hard thing to acknowledge is that we feel like we should be in control. If someone hurts us, we have a deep-rooted feeling like “we let them hurt us.” No, you “let them keep hurting you” by not letting it go – that’s the only responsibility you have in this situation. Letting it go is the only power you truly have.
You are in control of how you respond
You are not in control of what happens. This, “I am not in control of what happens, but I am in control of how I react” is a logic that gets blurry in our minds. How can we be in control of one thing and not the other? This is the part that keeps us feeling like it was our fault.
You are never at fault for someone else’s actions, you are only at fault for how you respond to those actions. If you memory lane has bad feelings and emotions on it, then it is time for you to move forward and overcome your past.
What if it was me that hurt someone else or did something I regret
What if I am the bad guy? You may have been “the bad guy or girl,” but that doesn’t mean that you still are. We all make mistakes. You are not “special” in the category of mistakes. We tend to feel like we are the only person that would ever have made such a terrible mistake (so we deserve to be punished by our emotions) – at least.
We deserve it
After all, the punishment should fit the crime. If you betrayed someone’s trust, your life should be miserable from that day forward. Right?
We all know that forgiveness is not about “the person that hurt you.” Forgiveness is about you letting go of the pain so that you don’t have to continue being hurt (over and over and over).
Forgiving someone who hurt you has to happen. It doesn’t have to happen immediately (the sooner the better) but, it has to happen. If you carry the burden hurt or hatred in your heart, it will cripple you for the rest of your life (we know this and so do you). If you do not forgive someone for hurting you, you will be hurt by this person every day until you do.
The person that hurt you doesn’t deserve to have that kind of power over you….so, you take it away by forgiving them.
That isn’t always an easy thing to do. It can take years before you are ready to forgive someone depending on the severity of what they have done. Nobody can make you forgive them or “speed the process along”. You, and only you – can forgive someone when you are ready to do so.
It is OK not to forgive someone right away. Being told that you “must forgive” someone who you vow “never to forgive” is not what you need to hear. You need to know that anger, is OK (it is one of our emotions and sometimes it is certainly warranted).
You also need to know that anger will never leave you until you forgive (genuinely) the person that hurt you. The person that hurt you does not have the power to destroy you unless you give it to them.
Anger – destroys people.
We are now going to talk about something even more difficult to do than forgiving others – forgiving yourself. You are human (this excuse isn’t just for “other people). You make mistakes. You are not “alone” in this category. Anything you have ever done has been done before by someone else.
We know, we know – that doesn’t make it right and you still deserve to suffer.
It is time, right here and right now – to forgive yourself of all your misdeeds. If you have been suffering, living with guilt, shame or a broken heart because you broke someone’s heart or betrayed their trust – you have “served your sentence.”
If you are reading this article – you have served your sentence. Got it
This article is going to change your life if you let it. From this moment forward, your past is your past.
You will not allow your past to affect your future (if you need help forgiving yourself, we explain how to “forgive yourself” in a minute – keep reading)
Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean you have to forget (as a matter of fact, you shouldn’t forget – nor will you). You should remember the lesson you learned and be proud of the fact that you will never make the same mistake again in the future.
You have “touched the fire,” and you “have been burned.” You learned. From this moment forward, you will be proud of yourself for what you have learned. You will acknowledge the person that you have become because of that experience and the person you have become is a good one. Without your “experience” taking place, you wouldn’t be “who you are” today.
Today, you are someone who has “firsthand experience” and today you “know with certainty” – that you have learned and will never repeat that mistake. That will never be you ever again.
One thing you can be sure of is this: “Someone in this world is committing the same offense towards someone else – at this very moment.” Be grateful that you already learned that lesson!
Why is forgiving yourself so important
If you don’t feel like you deserve your dreams to come true – they won’t. We do not get in life what we want or need…we get in life what we deserve. Holding yourself accountable for your misdeeds for “the rest of eternity” will ensure that you do not “deserve your dreams to become reality.”
Once you have forgiven yourself and vowed to have learned from that experience – you are 100% deserving of greatness. Those that do not forgive themselves are not deserving and will never achieve their greatness
You deserve greatness
You were born to achieve greatness. Greatness is in you and it needs to be unleashed. Your past got you to where you are right “here and now” – and this is exactly where you need to be, on the launching pad of greatness. We can’t “take-off” if we are “too heavy.”
Memory Lane: How to Overcome Your Past and Move Forward
Ask yourself what you need to forgive yourself: This could be “asking the person that you have hurt for forgiveness for example. If you are not “given forgiveness” that doesn’t mean that you should.t forgive yourself. Make a list of all the things that you need to do to put your past behind you and then do those things. Do not concern yourself with things you cannot control (other people).
If you are truly sorry, then you deserve to be forgiven. If the other person doesn’t feel this way, they haven’t read this article. Acknowledge that your shortcomings in life happened for a reason: What reason? To make you who you are today. A wiser, more thoughtful, honest person. You have learned from your mistakes. Your mistakes were valuable lessons.
Understand that nobody (nobody) is perfect. You are not alone concerning “making mistakes in life.”
Acknowledge that the past is the past (that’s why it’s called “the past”). Your future has nothing to do with your past. Acknowledge that your future is going to be amazing because of everything you’ve learned (even the things you’ve learned the hard way)
Accept the guilt you have felt and end your “sentence”. You have served your time, as of this very moment. Forgiving yourself is necessary. You are not “bound” by the things you have done or the things that have been done “to you” (unless you choose to be bound)
If your memory lane is holding you back, it’s time to overcome your past and move forward. You deserve to!
Is there something that you need to forgive yourself for? Post it in our comment section below…. and then, let it go.
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Author: Philip Isaac
Philip Isaac is the founder of Electrified Mind. He is determined to reach the highest level of personal development as humanly possible by interacting with other world leaders through the Electrified Mind Podcast and absorbing all the knowledge they have to offer (you should join him). His overwhelming desire to make other people feel how he feels about life, drives him.