It can be really difficult to stop yourself from constantly replaying events from the past or dwelling on bad memories. Often when we feel we have been 'wronged' by someone else that can literally 'eat away' at us. This can actually result in even more negative feelings building within you and in effect they are then still hurting you over and over again.
Letting go of the past and finding peace in some way is probably one of the hardest things to do; particularly if you have experienced something really traumatic at the hands of another or in life in general.
Whatever you are holding on to, understand that it definitely takes time and effort to heal from the past. You should never expect to just make a snap decision to move on and then feel fine afterwards. Often when we do this we have actually buried the emotions or created a barrier to letting anyone else close to us for example.
There is not one approach to suit everyone as we are all different. However, if you are looking to take that first step in moving forward more positively to leave your past behind, you could try some of these ideas:
1. Try to find a place of acceptance. Acknowledge the fact that it is something that happened that you now need to 'accept', process and move forward from. Even if you don't condone someone's behaviour for example, acceptance is an important first step in stopping it from eating away at you.
2. Know and understand that often how you have been treated by someone else or even a particular organisation is more about them than you.
3. Once you have managed to find acceptance you may eventually find you are able to work towards a place of forgiveness. This can be a lengthy process but is very healing for you if you can actually get there.
4. Try to take a step back slightly and 'view' the events from a higher perspective. Have you ultimately grown as a person through the difficulties or learnt a really important lesson that will help you in life moving forward?
5. Can you turn something really bad into something heading in a more positive direction? For example, could you volunteer for a relevant support organisation or become an activist in a particular field which can be really rewarding.
6. Look for a way to release and work through your emotions from the past, perhaps working on something creative or writing a letter to someone that you may or may not wish to actually send.
7. Appreciate that sometimes the toughest parts of our journey can literally steer us in a different direction (sometimes this can be to the point of losing everything!) leading eventually to a more fulfilling life or in the path of new people that are more in alignment with us.
8. If you are finding it hard to move on at all yourself, it is likely that you would benefit from some kind of talking therapy either in the right group sessions or with the right person.
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