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Old 06-16-2011, 07:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Trouble letting go of my past

Does anyone else have trouble letting go of their past? Im having a really difficult time focusing only on the present and the future. It seems that my past is always there to haunt me. Wherever i go, im just reminded of horrible memories, moments of shame and embarrassment that i cant get past. It really sucks because it discourages me from furthering my progress of doing more exposure exercises and increasing my self-esteem. Over the past month, ive made some great progress, but unless i can get over my past, my future wont matter.

Does anyone else have this problem, and does anyone have any advice on how i could let go? Any input is welcome.

EDIT: FORGOT TO MENTION: When i was discussing this with my therapist today, she mentioned that im having letting go of the past cause i cant forgive myself for what happened to me. I blame myself for all mistakes, embarrassments, and lost opportunities that turned me into the person i am today. We came to the conclusion that if i can somehow forgive myself for what had happened, then i may just be able to move on. So i guess another question would be, how can i forgive myself for all my faults and failures that im always reminded of?
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I understand what you mean. I was and still kinda am bothered by my past. However, if it wasn't for my past, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Along the path, I realized that everything has a reason. You go into situations with self-fulfilling prophecies or expectancy and that's what happens. You do it to learn from the situation. It kicks your ***, but you're still here aren't you? Get back up and do it again.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by SolaceChaser View Post
I understand what you mean. I was and still kinda am bothered by my past. However, if it wasn't for my past, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Along the path, I realized that everything has a reason. You go into situations with self-fulfilling prophecies or expectancy and that's what happens. You do it to learn from the situation. It kicks your ***, but you're still here aren't you? Get back up and do it again.
Yeah, but what if your past makes you avoid situations. Like if there was someone in my class at school who i went to elementary school with, i would be too scared to go to class at all and face that person cause of all the bad memories that that person reminded me of.

When i was discussing this with my therapist today, she mentioned that im having letting go of the past cause i cant forgive myself for what happened to me. I blame myself for all mistakes, embarrassments, and lost opportunities that turned me into the person i am today. We came to the conclusion that if i can somehow forgive myself for what had happened, then i may just be able to move on. So i guess another question would be, how can i forgive myself for all my faults and failures that im always reminded of.


Oh and thanks for the reply
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Forgive that person first, then you will be forgiven in return. I know it's hard because you've been conditioned, but if you manage to expose yourself to it and be the bigger person, the future will be that much brighter than the past. At the very least, remind yourself that you're not going to die from such a situation... Absurd, but it puts things into perspective huh?
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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So i guess another question would be, how can i forgive myself for all my faults and failures that im always reminded of?

You need to stop trying to live up to other people's expectations. This is your life. Play the leading role in your own life. Wherever you go, whatever you, remind yourself that this is your life. You can't change the past. You can only live in the present and plan for the future.

Also, to try thought-stopping techniques to silence the ruminations.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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^ Agreed.

Take the lessons you learned from the past, and apply them to the present & future. Doing that also lessens the sting of past follies... and their possible re-occurrence.

Most importantly -- forgive yourself. You did the best you could at the time, with the skills & knowledge that you had. And, as we all know, no one is perfect!
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the advice guys. My therapist said sort of the same things, i was hoping that you guys, who have gone through this and know the feeling would have something extra to share. Maybe an experience or what you did to let go. Cause although it sounds easy, its just really tough. Its easy to just say i forgive myself for my mistakes, and that the past is the past, but convincing myself of those feelings is not, and when a situation comes up that brings back some bad memories, my mind stops working, and all im left with are my very negative and critical thoughts.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I'm 22 and often have dreams of high school and winning the cool kids popularity what should I dO?
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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bump, anyone else have any advice?
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Take it from an 'old one' here...divorced, did some bad things in life, etc...we tend to beat ourselves up for what we did, but I heard some good sayings while I was trying to get over my past...they are as follows..

"There are no mistakes in life, only lessons". Very true...we learn often more from tough lessons than the easy ones!

"Cryin over a bad past is a good waste of tears"...so true.

Everyone has things they regret...and you know what? People that judge you for your lessons/things you did, I have seen that that is often a reflection or a mirror of something they did or were affected by...remember, its their crap and try not to take it on if this is affecting you.

Also, my counselor told me, "how would you feel if your best friend said all the mean things to you and your mistakes you are saying to yourself?" Then why would you do that to yourself?

We are never too old for a fresh start...and those of you in your twenties...trust me on this...you are definitely not too old! You have so much of your life ahead of you! We are never too old; so remember that please, and be nice to yourselves...

Hope this helps...Im better at giving advice than minding my own!
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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for sure man. I cant depend on anybody because of my past. its not the strangers its the ones I grow to love. they either stab me in the back or the ones that dont die.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Two words: Radical Acceptance.
We can't always "Let go" of our painful pasts. What we can do, is learn to accept what has happened to us, and with time, move forward. Pain may always be present when looking back, but it doesn't have to hinder your progress in the here and now as well as the future.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Yea i feel ashammed and have a problem with being open or completely honest with people. I tend to be told i "hold grudges" because i wont forget..
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habsfan31 View Post
Does anyone else have trouble letting go of their past? Im having a really difficult time focusing only on the present and the future. It seems that my past is always there to haunt me. Wherever i go, im just reminded of horrible memories, moments of shame and embarrassment that i cant get past. It really sucks because it discourages me from furthering my progress of doing more exposure exercises and increasing my self-esteem. Over the past month, ive made some great progress, but unless i can get over my past, my future wont matter.

Does anyone else have this problem, and does anyone have any advice on how i could let go? Any input is welcome.

EDIT: FORGOT TO MENTION: When i was discussing this with my therapist today, she mentioned that im having letting go of the past cause i cant forgive myself for what happened to me. I blame myself for all mistakes, embarrassments, and lost opportunities that turned me into the person i am today. We came to the conclusion that if i can somehow forgive myself for what had happened, then i may just be able to move on. So i guess another question would be, how can i forgive myself for all my faults and failures that im always reminded of?
We are all like this in a way. What I do is take a different look at things. If even one of those situations had been different, would you be where you are at noticing that something is wrong.

In other words, we are where we are today because of our pasts.....AND if something along the line in the past had gone in a different direction, would we still be able to acknowledge our issues.....or still be in denial of them?

This is an intense explanation - I hope I am able to describe it.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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It's still something I have some issues with but those memories will always be there. I just have to live my life.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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http://blog.ted.com/2010/06/12/phillip_zimbard/

Doesn't really offer a solution, but interesting.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I used to have a lot of trouble letting go of the past and what social anxiety made me miss out on but now I've learned to embrace the now. The past doesn't exist anymore, only this moment exists and what we can work towards in the present. The past can't be changed and already happened but the current moment can be changed.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I do have trouble letting go of the past, the good and the bad. I always dwell on the stupid things I've said or done, thinking, "Why did I do that?" or "I should have done this." But then there are times when I miss the past, things were so easy before I started high school, and sometimes I wish I could go back.
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