Are you mentally marinated in the past? Do you find it hard to move past what happened? Are you buried in past hurts and nagging regrets? Is this mental habit hindering you from fully engaging in the present? Or sometimes, you cannot stop rehearsing some scenarios and conversations in the past. You end up beating yourself up for the missteps or “what-ifs.”
For someone who has suffered from traumatic events, making peace with the past may be even more difficult. You may even feel that your life is out of your control. This habit of obsessing with the past can grow into a negative outlook on life altogether.
Taking the First Step Towards Peace
For whatever reason you find yourself stuck with the past, there are things you can do to get better. Moving towards peace is an important life skill. Dwelling on the past may cause mental health problems and lead to relapse.
It is common to get stuck in the past because past events impact us psychologically. You probably will experience this multiple times in your life span. It is one of those growing pains. Unfortunately, some people can perpetually get stuck in the past and miss out on what good life has to offer in the present. The sooner you learn how to process this mental state effectively, the more likely you can move onto a better future.
Why Is It Hard to Let Go?
It will take time to heal from past events if you have not yet figured out why things happened the way they did. That is just human nature. Give yourself time to process your emotions. Avoiding emotions or pretending that things did not occur in specific ways can worsen your mental state and prolong healing time. It is not doing yourself any good to just “forgive and forget.”
Unresolved negative emotions from the past can expand their presence in your decision-making and actions today. Your feelings matter, and when they emerge in powerful ways, you should reckon with them. Learning how to do this is a crucial part of self-compassion.
Sometimes guilt from past mistakes can have great power over you. It is hard to dispel the feeling of disgust over your own actions. That guilt can even accumulate to an existential level. You may feel that you do not deserve to live. It may feel as if the past has declared its death sentence on you.
This guilt can be soul-crushing, and you can be stuck with it for a long time. If you have been in this kind of situation for long enough, try to consider that you have already served your “sentence.”
The guilt has been eating you for long enough. For the sake of your loved ones who are still around, you can give yourself a second chance. You need to find an altruistic motive to climb out of the dark pit. When you can do that, try to take another step — practice forgiving yourself for what you have done in the past. Acknowledge that you are still worthy of love, as manifested in the free grace of sunshine, rain, and fresh air. You deserve to be well and happy. Forgiving yourself is the first step to moving on.
Accepting What Has Happened
True healing will lead you to acceptance of the past. When you learn to accept what has happened, you realize that denial or avoidance does not work. Coming to terms with reality is the right thing to do.
Your behaviors have specific patterns. We sometimes get attracted to the same type of people. Or we tend to fall for the same tricks and lies. Or your relationships become rocky often for the same reasons. These are the sharp edges you need to work on.
Given that you have experienced how difficult it was to crawl out of the pits of addiction, you need to be fully prepared by learning these lessons. The best way to mature in these aspects is to work with a trustworthy and experienced mental health professional who offers a way to move through your behaviors.
Moving On to a Better Future
Accepting the past and moving on can help you achieve self-knowledge. Achieving this kind of self-knowledge requires great humility, and knowing yourself is winning half of the battle. You should be confident to face the future.
When in doubt, remember:
- When past wounds resurface, say it confidently to yourself, “I have fully dealt with that, and it has no power over me.”
- Remind yourself that you have arrived at closure with the past, even though the memories might resurface.
- Regularly spend time with yourself, identify a positive self-image, and practice self-care.
- Share your progress with a trusted friend or counselor.
Do you find yourself emotionally and mentally stuck in the past? Are you missing what life has to offer now? Do you want to recover from this mental stage and care for your loved ones? At Laguna Shores Recovery, we know what it is like to feel stuck in the past. We can help you move on to a better future. Our team of professionals can walk alongside you in the process of regaining self-compassion and recovering from past trauma. At our medical and residential facility, we offer a wide range of both conventional and alternative treatments. We create a safe, fun, and comfortable home-like atmosphere that enables our clients to achieve and maintain long-term recovery and a positive life change. Our treatments and therapies are motivated to help you overcome challenges that might stem from your past. Call us at (866) 906-3203, and our experienced staff can help you prepare for a new chapter of your life.