Is Your Past Controlling Your Life?
According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, our brains “cling to habit at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.”
The weight of your past can get very heavy and the longer you hold on to it, the heavier it gets. Everyone at one time or another has been subject to hurt, ridicule, disappointment, rejection, judgment, neglect or abuse. It could be that one day your spouse stops saying how beautiful you are and starts commenting on how you could lose a few pounds around the waist. Or your boss goes from telling you how great you are doing to criticizing every move you make. Over time you may begin to feel negative about yourself and that you aren’t good enough. Your self-worth takes a beating, and you start looking at yourself through other’s perceptions of you-real and imagined.
In extreme cases where a person has been mistreated for several years, he may take on a victim mentality. Misfortune is often blamed on others, and you might stop taking responsibility for your actions and life. The ‘poor me’ syndrome is exhausting for you and annoying for those attempting to help you. This emotional state can become quite heavy, and the thinking negatively habit is hard to break.
Getting over the past is often easier said than done because of the many years of conditioning and negative thinking. Things that happened five, ten, fifteen years ago still hold you back and influence your perception of life. Did you know, that most of the people that were on the other end of those offenses, years ago, don’t remember them anymore? You need to ask yourself, “Why am I keeping these old wounds open?”
You may think that the only way to really get better is to spend years in counseling; going over each and every offense; but it won’t be that difficult if you focus on breaking the negative thinking habit, forgiving yourself and the people who hurt you and learning to communicate your feelings to others without worrying what they will think. As you change your worldview, you will find a new hope, and your circumstances will change. Forgiveness will allow you to take back control of your life and free you to move on. Developing a new habit of positive thinking will create a better life as we are the products of our thinking.
Our wounds from the past are painful; we all have them and will continue to get hurt occasionally, but we don’t have to view life negatively. It’s our past that makes us who we are today. The goal is to stop living in the past, live in the present and see the opportunities that are all around us for a brighter and better future.