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Not many people know this about me and it sure isn’t something I just go around telling people. Because, you know, it’s personal.
I don’t know who my father is.
Wow, that was weird to admit, to the world. However, it is a fact that I do not know who my father is. Never met him. I have no clue what his name is, what color hair he has, how tall he is, or if I have step-siblings. Would I like to know, sure, and maybe someday I’ll actively try to seek that information out. In the meantime, however, I’m going to live my life.
I was molested as a child.
I am on a roll with this confession stuff! Sheesh, you’d think I was on Dr. Phil or something admitting to the world all these extremely personal things from my past. But yes, I was molested as a young girl. And you know what? Neither of these things I’ve admitted to you is my fault. Yet, why did I hold on to these things so tightly for so many years? I’ve used either one of these experiences (or one of several other negative experiences) as excuses that held me back from being the best, most awesome self I can be.
Honestly, by admitting them out loud like this, it solidifies me letting them go. They have no more power over me and they will not decide nor shape my future. I’ve worked hard over the years to learn to let my past go. It is the only way to move on, live in the present and control your own future.
What’s holding you back?
Now it’s your turn. If we are really going to learn how to get over the past we need to learn what you are holding onto from your past that is holding you back? I’m not asking you to publicly announce all the shit from your past that’s fucked you up, but this is something that you need to dig deep and really figure out. One of the first steps in letting go of your hurtful past is admitting it happened. So get out your journal (and if you don’t have one, stop making excuses and get one – this can truly save your life) and let’s get to work.
Write it all down. You don’t have to be perfect with this. Just write everything from your past that you know is holding you back. Did you’re parent’s treat you like crap? Was your dad an alcoholic? Did your mom never go to any of your dance performances? Did you have a boyfriend that beat you or verbally abused you? Are you a survivor of sexual assault? Did your mom abuse your dad? Whatever it is, write that shit down. However, after you write one thing, leave plenty of space underneath for some extra notes (we’ll get to that step later).
Now that you have everything out in the open, let’s dig a little bit deeper. Go back to each item you wrote. Underneath, in that blank space I told you to leave, you’re going to write down how this item has held you back. Get specific. If you’re not sure how it’s held you back think of all the ways it “could have” held you back. For example, being molested as a child made me feel dirty and unworthy. I had self-confidence issues, intimacy issues and never felt like I deserved any good thing I got, so I self-sabotaged a lot of “good things” in my life. I didn’t feel like I deserved love or money or happiness. Deep right?! Trust me, once you get the thinking juices flowing you’ll be able to come up with everything that has held you back.
Your past is not who you are.
Now that you’ve written down your past struggles and how they’ve held you back, it’s time to admit this very crucial thing to yourself. YOU ARE NOT YOUR PAST. Realize that whatever fucked you up in the past, that’s NOT who you are. You need to let the past go. Realize how you are holding on to it emotionally and then make the conscious decision to set it free.
Warning: The below exercise will be extremely effective.
- First, look at that list one last time. Now realize all those things that have held you back are pure and utter bullshit. They are the lies that you came to believe over time and now we’re going to get to the honest and gorgeous truth. The truth will set you free!!
- Second, forgive yourself for all those things you blame yourself for (and if you’re anything like me you probably blame yourself for all of them – even the ones you couldn’t control).
- Third, forgive the person who did that thing to you – your dad, your mom, your ex, whoever it is. Forgiveness is NOT about them, it’s ALL about you. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you let them back in your life, or that they get a free pass. No, it’s about letting go of that anger, hate, loathing, sadness or whatever other feelings you have toward this incident that keeps holding you back in everyday life.
- Fourth, rip out those pages in your journal of all these past hurts and light them on fire. Imagine that as they burn they are released from you. [Please be safe about this as you are dealing with fire].
A new way of thinking.
You have now learned how to let go of the past, officially and for good. Now you need to replace those negative feelings that you had toward your past and replace them with positive feelings that will move you forward in your present and future. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through affirmations. I cover this topic and several others in my post 10 Personal Growth Goals You Need to Attain. Stating affirmations is like telling the universe exactly what it wants to hear (and trust me it already knows how awesome you are) and this will send out positive energy like you wouldn’t believe. You are not your past, you are not your thoughts. Only you can make the change in yourself and change your reality.
Another great way to shift your mindset is to strengthen your faith in yourself. A great way to do this is through meditation. Parvati Shallow is one of my all-time favorite SURVIVOR winners and she has a Youtube channel with some amazing instructions on meditation. I suggest this mantra video that will help you overcome obstacles.
If you need some deeper work to find happiness, check out my 5 Day Bliss Challenge. It’s 5 Days to focus on YOU and learn some of the best methods to take back control of your life and find bliss. Sign up below!
Let us know in the comments what you plan to accomplish now that you know how to get over your past.