To lots of people, the past is something very daunting. It seems to stay forever in our minds and with just some remaining ashes, the fire can burn again anytime. Some people suffered from such painful experiences in the past that they can never forget. Some people are also obsessed by the past of someone else, especially their partners. These memories do great harm to our well-being, affect our present life in a negative way and threatens our relationships. Obviously it’s no good thinking about the past, but all too often we find ourselves trapped in the maze of past memories without a way out.
I used to be overwhelmed by nostalgia. During high school time I remembered the pleasure of going to primary school and being a little kid. Going to university, I wished I could come back to high school and have fun with my old classmates. These memories are definitely something we should treasure, it is not wrong to remember them. I even felt somehow addicted to filling my mind with the past. However, there is a consequence that I somehow didn’t realize : these beautiful, long gone memories made me think less of the present, and the present appeared to be something that is less desirable than the past. As a result, I didn’t feel happy with the present life at all when I thought about what had happened years before. However, happy memories are harmless if we don’t think too much about them or compare them with the present.
Sad and painful memories, in contrast, always do great harm. There is no exception. I still remember crying every night when I first came to Adelaide because I kept thinking about the sad things that happened previously. Fortunately, that period didn’t last long, thanks to my new life, new relationships and new experiences, which pulled me away from the past. Well, the not so good thing was, I had to overcome the past of,not me, but someone else. Simply speaking, if I wanted to move on in that relationship, I had to forget the past of this person. It was not easy at all. However, after such a long time, I have managed to lower the level of obsession from 10 to 2 or 3 now I reckon.
However, like I said, the past is something that is very persistent. Today, I came across, just by chance, some documents and objects that belong to the past. I couldn’t help reading and skimming through it out of curiosity, and again I felt really bad and sad. Voilà! The obsession was triggered one more time. I know it.
This is the reason why I ended up writing this, to stop me from thinking and reacting beyond my control. Being too emotional can lead us to behave irrationally. Writing helps me to calm down and think positively about the problem.
So, the point is, although the past has shaped who we are at the moment, it HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR PRESENT ! If it’s gone, it’s gone. What people felt in the past is totally different from what they feel at present. The fact that our boyfriend/girlfriend used to be so in love with someone else in the past has nothing to do with his/her love for us now. The fact that you used to be head over heels someone doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to love anyone else. People keep changing. Feelings keep changing. Some physical stuffs may last, as an evidence for the past, but they are not relevant for our present or future. We can learn from the past, and move forward, but the past should never ever drag us down or become our obstacles. Never ever!
I feel so relieved after writing these thoughts. It may be hard to totally let go of the past, but it is possible to control our feelings and emotion orientation. It is the matter of choice, resting on whether we choose to live in the past and let the past overwhelm us or we choose to let it go and focus on our present. We are in control of our own thoughts.
And I chose to be nice to myself, do my mind a favour by letting the past go and focusing on the good side of the present.
If you are suffering from the same problem I had, here are some tips to get over it ( I mean, the past and unfavourable memories):
1. Try to do something else, like watching a movie or going shopping.
2. Write down your feelings, this is a very effective way to “throw” those thoughts away, just like you throw rubbish in the bin.
3. Repeat to yourself that everything is gone, the present is more important, there’s no point getting stuck in the past. Tell yourself that if you maintain those thoughts, there will be harmful consequences and you cannot move forward.
4. Confide in someone you trust.
5. Enjoy your present
This time, number 2, 3 and 5 have worked for me. I do feel better now than a few hours ago 🙂
Dear Past, we have to say Goodbye. I won’t be a victim of you anymore.