How Not Letting Go of Your Past can Hurt Your Future

By Brian Maloney

Experiences, whether good or bad, are sometimes all we
have, and most of them reside in the past. So you may ask,
why should I let go of my past when much of it is filled
with beautiful memories and serenity?

Well, that is certainly not what I mean. What I do mean is
when a past is littered with seemingly overwhelming pain, it
impedes one’s ability to move forward and adjust to this
ever-changing world. A good analogy would be of a
backpack filled with distressful memories that one tries to
swim with, but it always seems to weigh you down,
allowing you to merely breathe, is quite fitting.

This backpack, even though not physically attached to
one’s body, seems like some type of appendage that ridding
oneself of is unbelievably difficult or painful. So, as humans
do, we many times avoid, at all costs, the detachment of
this pain because it has indelibly been written into a past as
if in stone.

Therefore, using it as an old wooden crutch to not live our
lives to its fullest potential, is how many people see their
past. These excuses fill our lives with procrastination and
that procrastination is an excellent way of delaying a
healthier future, devoid of these negative memories.

If, for example, a series of painful experiences throughout
your childhood, like verbal or sexual abuse, always seem to
haunt your ability to progress in your interpersonal
relationships. In turn, you subconsciously sabotage these
relationships by not giving enough of yourself, or verbally
giving too much of yourself.

Fundamentally, the mindset of intertwining the past with the
present hurts everything you come in contact with, because
the backpack is still around your aching shoulder.

Getting rid of the backpack may be the hardest thing you
can do, but consider the cost of maintaining its existence?
A mind polluted with pain is not only counterproductive,
but can sometimes be dangerous, given the wrong person
and situation.

Well then, how do I know if my past is hurting my future?

A hurtful past surfaces subconsciously, if not properly let
go. Moreover, consciously you are the only person who
can detect and determine what pain you carry with you, so
that becomes your antidote.

When appropriately analyzing your current mental
condition, you need to set all pride aside and begin to delve
into your past. False pride can mask what a more
lucid-thinking individual could obviously see as painful.
Therefore, a lucid and logical mindset is of the utmost
importance.

Identification of particular events that are painful and then
indexing them in their level of importance, is also important
in knowing to what degree certain memories are hindering
your progression.

In the indexing phase, one should identify and compare or
look for the memories that cast the longest shadow.

When this is completed, the arduous task of letting go must
proceed. Ask yourself truthfully, is this memory worth
keeping this close, or would letting it go to its grave make
my life easier? This cost benefit analysis should be done
with all the toxic memories, in order to understand their
role in suppressing your life.

Although letting go of a broken past is extremely helpful in
ones future, it cannot be overstated that this process is just
that, a process and cannot be done overnight. Working on
these memories and coming to terms with them by not
accepting them anymore, can take years. As each one
diminishes from your memory, you will not only be able to
feel the backpack become lighter, but you will be able to
start moving more freely into your future.

--by Brian Maloney-ValuePrep.com
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