The other day I was talking to someone who spoke about what a friend of theirs had done in the past and it was clear that they hadn’t been able to move on from what had happened. A number of years had passed since that time, but it was as if it had happened the day before.
Hearing about this reminded me of the challenges I have had with my mother, and how hard it has been for me to gradually move on from what took place during my early years. It was irrelevant as to how many years had passed since that time, as I wasn’t able to simple let go and to live in the now.
During the beginning of my healing journey, my mind was often consumed by what my mother had or hadn’t done. This then stopped me from being able to detach from what was taking place within me.
I was often filled with anger, rage, and even hate; part of me wanted revenge. And, due to how strong this part of me was, it would take over my whole being and stop me from being able to be a conscious human being.
But, although I had all this going on within me, I rarely expressed what was taking place. I was carrying a lot of trauma, which meant that I rarely felt safe enough to express my feelings.
Along with this, I was often told as a child not to get angry and that it was wrong. If I did express my anger, I may have been told off or hit, and this was the last thing that I wanted to experience.
There were also moments when I would feel guilty and ashamed for embracing how I felt. Nevertheless, when I did get in touch with how I felt, I would feel strong and alive, making it hard for me to see how destructive this was.
It gradually became clear that this was doing me more harm than good, and this was primarily because it was perpetuating what I had been through as a child. The only way that I would be able to grow and to live in the moment was to let go.
A Tough Process
I would often be told that I “just needed to let go” and that writing a letter and then burning it would help, amongst other things. It was then as though this was a simple process, if only I was willing to go through with it.
As time passed it became increasingly clear that this was not a mental process or something that would just happen; it was something that would taken place through facing how I felt and processing my pain. Therefore, it was primarily about me getting in touch with the pain in my body and had very little to do with my mind.
At The Core
I came to see that the pain in my body was keeping the past alive and stopping me from being able to live in the moment. This pain had also caused me to close my heart and this made it hard for me to experience compassion.
I ended up working with a number of different therapists and healers, and I had a lot of crying to do. The crying allowed me to let go of a lot of the pain that I experienced as a child.
It can be easy to get caught up in what happened in the past and for our mind to hold on no matter how destructive it is. Yet, through being aware of the damage that is being done, it will be clear how important it is to let go.
Ultimately, holding on only prolongs our own suffering; it doesn’t affect the person who was involved. So, if you are holding onto what happened in the past and you want to move on, reach out for the right support.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.