A few years ago, when people would start telling me how they had a happy childhood and they adored their parents and everything was great when they were growing up, my eyes used to start to glaze over.
First off, I didn't believe them. My childhood was full of darkness, fear, shame and loneliness. Those were the only images I had to look at and though I knew not everyone had a childhood like mine, I didn't believe that kids could grow up with loving parents. The real pain was that it took me many years to realize that my childhood was harming my chances for a happy life. Those memories were toxic to me and I had to find a way to neutralize their emotional acid in my system. When I finally understood this, it was a powerful change in how I viewed myself and my life. It helped lead me on an adventure to break free from my past.
You might not even be aware of what's going on inside of you and how exactly your past is harming you. But it is. Here are five things you think or do that trap you in your past and how to change them:
- You spend too much time reliving the past and feeling like a victim.
- Yes, your parents were bigger than you then but you're not a child anymore.
- You can say NO now. As an adult, many men and women struggle with saying NO, especially to people who are important in their lives. Saying NO can be one of the most empowering actions you can take to get free of the past.
2. You still see yourself as someone with no power to change anything.
- First off, you have infinite power to change yourself. And that's not a small thing; people who step up and take charge of their own lives change all kinds of things for the better.
- Taking just 3 minutes a day to visualize yourself changing, and being in charge of your life, will start to shift the results you are getting in your life.
3. You focus on the rules your parents enforced, even though many of them don't benefit you, are outdated or simply just bull$hit.
- It's OK that as a child you just adopted your parents beliefs. But now you are an adult. It's time to step back and ask yourself what rules are BS and need to be kicked to the curb.
- When you start creating your own rules to live by, you'll feel a sense of freedom and wholeness that has been missing in life because you've stepped into your power as a creator.
4. You're still trying to make your parents happy in hopes that someday they'll finally love you and say they are sorry things were so bad.
- Stop waiting for others to apologize so you can feel good. Acknowledge that you were hurt, to yourself, your partner or friend. And then acknowledge you have the power to change all of that now. You can forgive.
- Do you pay your own bills? Have your own job? Have a good credit rating? Then you don't need your parent's approval for anything. You are in charge of your own life and you can decide today to start feeling good about yourself inspite of anything that happened.
5. You believe that you really are worthless because your parents told you all the time and they must be right.
- Are you seeing a pattern? I hope so. Some of you had parents who did a horrible job raising you. They were cruel, unkind, unloving or downright mean. That's a fact but it's over.
- Get involved in mindfulness practices that will shift how you think and how your mind attaches to things. Meditation will allow you to increase your ability to feel at peace, to clear the past. Just 5 minutes a day is a great start and increase gradually over time.
- Make a solid decision that you are done with the past and you will be free and open to new things.
- Put rituals in place that help you cultivate forgiveness and gratitude every day.
Your past happened. It is water under a bridge somewhere. Your future has yet to arrive but you are creating it everyday by how you feel and deal with the present. Clearing out negative feelings from your past will set you up to up-level the amount of success that shows up in your life in the form of great relationships.
You don't have to repeat your parents but you do have to deal with the nonsesen and activate strategies that shift your brain and the memories of pain. You're much more powerful than you think so put that power into action for your own good today.
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