Is your past keeping you from having your best life?
Do you notice yourself repeating trends from your past?
You are not alone. Many people repeat their past because its comfortable and familiar.
However, if you make sense of your past, it can change your future!
As Dr. Siegel mentioned, there are steps to making sense of your past. These steps are not easy and do require time and effort.
Step One: Gain awareness
What is causing your pain?
What are you holding on to?
Why are you unable to let go of your past?
Step Two: Identify your feelings
How do you feel when you think of your past?
How long do your feelings last? Minutes? Hours? Days?
Step Three: Regain control
Your feelings may make you feel and act like a perpetual victim, causing you to make choices based on your past. When you’re a victim, the past is in control of your present; however, when you have made sense of your pain and past, the present is controlled by you. It is important to remember that you may have frequent ups and downs when dealing with your past, but as long as you’re willing to let go of the old defenses you used in the past, you will be able to regain control of your life now and heal your pain.
Step Four: Replace bad habits with good habits
Some common forms of bad habits include negative thinking, always mistrusting others, and/or turning to alcohol or drugs when feelings become too hard to bear. Bad habits can be hard to break, especially when they’re used to help you avoid your past. A good way to break bad habits is to replace them with good habits. This may be done with the help of a support group or a counselor to help you learn the skills necessary to break your bad habits.
Click here for a list of coping skills to reduce your negative thinking.
Step Five: Seek support
As I mentioned earlier, you are not alone! Many people struggle to make sense of their past. Therefore, seeking support from a trusted family member, friend, counselor and/or support group is helpful. Seeking support is a big part of the healing process as it allows you to connect with other people who can relate to what you are going through and or provide comfort as needed, so make the effort to maintain your relationships and seek support.
Step Six: Be patient with yourself
As a reminder, the healing process takes a lot of time and hard work to let go of your past. Your pain did not occur overnight; therefore, your healing will not occur overnight. Be patient with yourself and respect your progress, no matter how small it may seem.
Note: This blog post does not constitute as counseling; the steps provided are general steps for assisting with past trauma. These steps may not work for everyone. If you are unable to make sense of your past on your own, it may be helpful to speak with a counselor
If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact me by phone at 210.495.3131 or message me at www.fittherapyoftexas.com.
Tracy Cooper is a licensed professional counselor and the co-owner of Fit Therapy of Texas, where she helps families, kids, parents, couples, and individuals to reach their goals. She knows that not processing or dealing with your past is unhealthy and difficult to navigate without help; therefore, she believes it is best that you have a strong foundation consisting of coping skills and support. She is happy to help and assist you through your process as she believes change is possible.