You never really know how much your past has affected you or even if it has affected you at all. But it does and it has, it is the way you talk, your mindset, the change in you, your actions, your goals. Your past shapes your entire present life, both positively and negatively. I suppose you would only truly understand just how much, if you are going through some kind of self growth and awareness. The ego will always ignore its past.
I used to have this one person in my life who wasn’t interested in hearing anything I had to say about my past. He told me that the past was over, that it was irrelevant and pointless to talk about. That it is not true. Firstly the past is very important and it’s healthy to talk about it and reflect on it. At the end of the day, it is what has made you into the person you are today, so in order for someone to really love and understand you, they also need to love and understand your past. If you ever come across those people who do tell you to forget the past and completely avoid talking about it, it is only because they are trying to avoid their own. They are either too hurt or too ashamed.
I kept a diary from 2006 to 2014. I loved writing in it, mostly because I could express my emotions freely. It was like my secret treasure, I valued it so much and was so pleased that I had something to look back on in the future. I looked back at it about a year ago and found myself crying. I cried because I couldn’t believe how naive and foolish I was. It was all so negative. I felt so ashamed of my past and the stupid situations I’d put myself in, which only led to emotional pain. I couldn’t believe that I was still putting myself in the same situations as I did when I was 13 years old. I was angry at myself for not learning, for allowing myself to be treated the same way for years and yeeeeears. For not loving myself and for not putting myself first. This was definitely a very important self realisation moment for me.
My friend came round just as I was about to shred my diary to pieces, I just didn’t want to be reminded of who I was and all the pain I put myself through. I say I put myself through it because I could have had the power to stop it all. I don’t blame those people who hurt me, although they were wrong, it was me who let them do what they had done. At the time, realising this absolutely broke me. But my friend stopped me from shredding it, she told me that it was proof of who I was and that it has made me who I am. She told me it was beautiful and to not be ashamed of it. She was absolutely right. I kept it. From that moment there was a shift of darkness inside me. I felt a huge change. I promised I would change and start being good to myself by only involving myself with people who were also good to me.
Now, my past is a reminder of how much I’ve changed for the better. Now, I look back and feel so proud that I kept my promise. Now, I am learning what it is like to truly love and respect myself. No matter how hard something might be, DO IT. Do it for yourself. Do it because if you don’t, you will be stuck, you will never change and then 5 years from now, you will find that you are in the same situations, with the same old mindset.
There are things that have happened in my past that are still affecting me, those of which I really did have no control over. Things that my soul and time are trying its hardest to heal. Things that will take much longer than a moment of realisation for me to change, no matter how bad I want it to. But the most important part of it all is being aware. Only when you are aware of it can you try to overcome it. It is all part of our journey.
Use the past as a lesson, write your wrongs, forgive yourself and others. Look at it with love and give yourself some credit. Talk about it whenever you feel like it because the more you do, the more you start realising why things happened the way they did. If you can’t think of parts of your past without getting irritated or upset, or even feeling as if you hated who you were back then, use that as an indication that you need to heal that part of you. Not by putting the blame on others or God or the world, but by understanding it and then accepting it. Truly accepting it. Your past is a part of you, you are stuck with it forever, it will never change, it will never leave you, so learn to live with it. Learn to acknowledge and accept it. Find peace in your past. Be so accepting of it that when you think back, you don’t feel sadness or anger, just strength and wisdom. Look back and smile because it has made you who you are in this exact moment. Know that one day this moment will also be your past, so make these moments last, be aware of how you treat yourself and others, live your life so that you don’t look back and regret anything. Take risks and be the best person you can be.