Letting go of the past

Our life experiences shape who we are, the way we behave and how we view the world.

All well and good if we’ve had a great time of it.

Content woman laying on a retro lino floorBut what if we’ve had some bad experiences in the past? Does that mean we’re destined to walk around feeling bitter, afraid and ashamed?

Fortunately, the answer is a resounding ‘no’. But you might need to put in a little work to shake off the shackles of the past and look to the future.

Ever heard the phrase ‘bad things happen to good people’? Anyone who’s experienced abuse knows this is the case – abuse doesn’t care if you are a good person. It doesn’t tiptoe around feelings. It strikes you in the face, leaving bruised eyes and bloodied lips.

Over time, battered skin will physically heal. But your mind and feelings also need time to restore and process what happened, and this can take longer. Most people want to understand the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ did this happen. Why me?

While it’s natural to carry your pain round with you for a while, it’s important to recognise that by letting go, you are opening yourself up to new possibilities.

Try not to let your past overshadow your today and tomorrow. Look at it like this. Some people will not take a breath today and some will exhale their last. But, today my eyes opened and my lungs are currently breathing as my heart pumps.

I carried a certain piece of my past for a very long time. It was heavy backpack, weighing me down.

By doing so, I made excuses for my behavior. I played a victim.

And by continually harking back, I victimised myself over and over again. I allowed my abuser to hold me down. I allowed him the ability to keep beating me.

Finally, a time came where I couldn’t carry the weight. I couldn’t plan anymore pity parties. The abuse had ended over a decade ago, and yet I was still allowing it to steal my present and my future.

New beginnings

Yesterday, I walked outside and the wind gently shook hundred-year-old oak trees surrounding me. Rain trickled with a rhythmic noise and it washed away the salt and grime coated on my car.

Today, the sun came through my kitchen door. It covered my semi-dirty linoleum floor. I sprawled out across my kitchen floor and I basked in the warmth.

What will tomorrow bring? Who knows. It isn’t here yet. As long as my eyes open and I breathe the approaching sweet spring air, it will be okay. It probably won’t be perfect.

But whatever the weather or the tasks I face, the day will be my present. Each moment, every minute, and the time called ‘now’ is a chance to do something wonderful.

Today is called the present for a reason. It is a gift. Unwrap your today, and know that your future is undefined. Infinite possibilities are waiting.

Right now, in this very moment, take a long, deep breath and accept the gift of today. Enjoy your present.

Rachel E Bledsoe

About Rachel E Bledsoe

I’m an American Appalachian Mama who works at a local newspaper during the day. At night, I stay up late and write my blog, The Misfits of a Mountain Mama. I enjoy long walks on the beach, puppies, and Marie Antoinette biographies. You can follow me on my Facebook page or join me on Twitter @MisfitMtMama.