A mind full of memories that won’t lie quietly.
Many of us know what it is, to experience pain from an inability to move on.
We fall in love and have our hearts broken. We lose, or leave, relatives, friends, jobs, and colleagues. We can be hurt more directly, more deliberately, or have long standing memories which still cause us to ache.
Each of us at some point will have encountered that something that we just can’t leave behind. ‘Baggage’
Below, I have compiled a collection of steps to hopefully help others let go.
It’s typical in our down days to not want to bathe or really care about being clean and put together. That’s fine for a few days, but long term wallowing in our sadness send the message to our being, that we are not worthy or deserving of being cared for. When we are clean and dressed we feel more confident and capable.
Try to practise being thankful for your body, clothing, and access to what you need to feel fresher.
In some instances, our memories seem to refuse us on letting go. They can cycle through painful patterns.
We can control where our minds go. It takes practise and discipline but by paying attention to our memories we can redirect towards gratitude for the positive memories. We can be thankful for our having had an experience. In developing appreciation for what we’ve learned and the developments we make through adversity, we can strip pain of it’s power.
- Thankful for transformation time
Endings offer up an opportunity for transformation. They can motivate us towards new jobs, greater fitness, the end of a role we didn’t really want anyway or that wasn’t good for us.
We can be grateful for change at the same time as fearing the unknown, but it’s more challenging to find gratitude.
- Unanswered questions and undelivered apologies cause grief, frustration and anger. It can be hard to let go of, but the apology cannot change the history. It’s easy to work up meanings and associations with apologies and so often the idea of obtaining an apology infers greater relief than the apology itself ever could.
- Physically distance yourself from the root items/people in your sufferance. Don’t force the company of people who cause you to feel negatively. Don’t keep things visible which remind you of pain or upset. When we are reacting emotionally, we’re being our most human. When we put the stimulus in a box, we give ourselves the power to choose when we are ready to confront the associated feelings.
The same is true for moving away from or taking time out from people who cause us to feel that way too. It is okay to step away from these relationships, to un-follow on social media and to not answer the phone while you’re working through your feelings.
When we can’t move away from them fully, we should attempt to communicate that we need a lesser amount of interaction while we work through X-Y&Z.
- Choose compassion over anger.
Most often the default is to be angry or hurt at being wronged. This isn’t to say that we should not feel that – just that while having a reaction, if we can try to bring to mind the position of the other people involved, we may find reasoning and circumstances which facilitate our understanding of ‘why’ or make us feel less wronged.
Focus and redirect
- Override your egos beliefs about what you ‘need’ to be ‘happy’ because the truth is, you can be happy with very little. We only have to watch toddlers thrive in various environments and still smile. It’s all in your perceptions about what you need to be happy. All any of us need, are our basic needs met and to live free from persecution and intimidation. The rest is in the eye of the beholder.
- Be kind to yourself when you find it hardest to be. That hyper critic in your mind who hates you, challenges you and puts you down does not speak for anyone else. That negative script is you, bullying you, and you do not deserve it.
- Direct your thoughts to healthier alternate thoughts.
Give up hope that the past could have been any different. It has already happened and played out, leaving it’s mark. No amount of mulling it over will ever make true your ideas about what could have been instead. You do however have the ability to think about the future and how you can reach better outcomes moving forward.
Leave blame alone
You don’t have to condone bad behaviour but you only win if you put the baggage down and move forwards with your head space.
Don’t blame the past for what you haven’t done. At least don’t do this as a continuing practise. Yes the past affects us, but it shouldn’t be allowed to define us. When we relate too strongly with our trauma, we entangle it into our sense of self and it becomes a cornerstone for our identity. You are not your trauma.
The only way to truly win, is to turn your back on trauma. Embrace the knowledge that whatever it is has happened, it cannot be undone, but you hold the upper-hand because you have learned and can move forwards.
It is often the belief in ability to change that separates those whom heal from those who don’t