Why You Should Deal With Your Past (Part 1)

3 Big Reasons to Go Back and Get Closure

March 25, 2019 |
By

Illustration of Car Driving Towards the Word "Future" with the word "Past" in the rearview mirror

I want my clients to live full and rich lives, and I don’t want the past to hold them back. I challenge them to process through their trauma. Their future depends on it.

3 Big Reasons To Go Back & Get Closure

Reason #1: So You Can Be Fully Yourself

You are the product of all the events in your life, the good and the bad. Hiding from or minimizing how traumatic events have impacted you keeps you living life without truly being yourself. You will live as if only a part of yourself exists. Needing to hide your past creates great anxiety. Live life being proud of who you are, not hiding parts of you in shame.  

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” – Brene Brown

Reason #2: So Fear No Longer Has Its Way

Most anxiety is connected to not processing through and coming to terms with the past. Everyone needs closure. Pain and resentment that isn’t processed turns into fear. It becomes subconscious fear of the bad situation in the past reoccurring. Your attempts to avoid that pain create layer upon layer of sensitivities that keep you stuck. You react and let fear make your decisions, not your intuition. 

Reason #3: To Stop It From Harming You

When you don’t deal with negative experiences from your past, they impact your life negatively today. Addiction is one common way people avoid dealing with things. It’s safer to be consumed by an addiction than experience the pain of healing. Denial, minimization, and secrecy are strong temptations. If you live there, you’ll never see how what happened to you previously impacts you today. You’ll react to situations, rather than intentionally making choices.

“Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.” – C.S. Lewis 

If you have read this far, I’m sure you’re wondering what the solution is. What does someone do to deal with unhealed hurts? A good first step is doing a life timeline.

Activity #1: Start a Life Timeline

This activity will give you insight into your past, why you have certain triggers (e.g. fears, perspectives, setbacks, etc.), and help you understand yourself better.
Step 1: List any traumatic events that have happened in your life that you can remember. Examples: car accident, molestation, rape, divorce, ect.
Step 2: List how you felt at the time and how it impacted you then. If you don’t remember, list how you think felt back then.
Step 3: Describe how you feel about the situation now and how it impacts you today. Examples: “I fear abandonment,” “I’m terrified of social situations where I could get embarrassed.”
Step 4: List any questions you have about what happened. Questions for your family, a counselor, or even the person who harmed you.

You can use this worksheet to complete the steps and draw your timeline.

Check out part 2, where I’ll give you 3 more big reasons you to make peace with your past.

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Anyone Can Struggle with Anxiety (Part 1)
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A Simple and Powerful Stress Coping Tool
Why You Should Deal with Your Past (Part 2)



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