Drs. Gay and Katie Hendricks
If you have something painful from your past that is preventing you from living fully in the moment and experiencing all the joy life has to offer, you are not alone. Many people struggle with this issue, and the rote response from society is, “Get over it! Move on!” What if we told you that in order to heal fully, you actually need to do the opposite?
How to Get Over the Past? You Don’t.
Whether you’re hanging onto an old argument, a betrayal of trust, a painful divorce, the death of a loved one or anything else that feels emotionally crippling and hinders your ability to connect, it’s time to lay down old expectations that somehow you are simply supposed to get over the pain you are holding. It may sound radical, but it’s a simple truth: You don’t need to get over it, but you can choose to let go of it.
If you really take this in, it will come as a relief: We don’t ever get over the past. The emotional ramifications of past events have already taken place and the source of the emotion exists in the past where it cannot be changed. It is outside of our control. We can’t go back and fix it, no matter how much we wish things could be different. What we do have control over though is how we let the past affect us here in the present.
Love and Acceptance
What would happen if you turned to face all that hurt and said to yourself, “Yes, that happened. It’s in the past.” Then, turn your statements to the present, acknowledging what you choose your life to be here today: “That old pain is in the past. This (elaborate for yourself) is how things are today.” When working on the piece of accepting the past, try welcoming the past as it informs the person you have become. Consider including the past as part of your history while focusing on the present as a unique and separate time to welcome love and acceptance into your life. Until you give your past its rightful place in your life, you won’t be able to fully enjoy life in the present.
Feeling pain or guilt over past actions? Love yourself anyway. Feeling regret over wasting time on a past situation? Love yourself anyway. By loving and forgiving yourself, you give yourself permission to create the life you want now.
Creating Positive Goals
With your past claiming its rightful place in your life, the next step is to choose what you would like to create in your life today. Pay attention to your hopes and dreams and turn them into doable action steps that you can feel encouraged by and see actual results from. Create your ideal relationship and way of being in day-to-day life by channeling new, helpful energy from what used to hold you down. We all have the power to create our present and future. Just take it one step and one positive choice at a time.
Relationship experts Drs. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D., have been married 34 years, worked together for 30 years, and authored over 30 books, including their bestselling, Conscious Loving. They have made it their life’s work to help people create healthy, thriving love relationships, and in their groundbreaking new book, Conscious Loving Ever After, they set their sights on supporting those in midlife and beyond in committing and recommitting to relationship wellness. Learn more at www.HeartsInTrueHarmony.com.