When the past knocks on the door

This April was filled with travel, happiness, and friendships.

May has unfolded in happiness and always being thankful for the new relationships that have blossomed within the past year. I had a moment in May where I was 100% content with my life, even the not-so-great aspects.

It always seems to me once someone closes a chapter and begins to start another, the past, whether in the form of regret, relationships, or conflicts, comes knocking on the door.

You could be perfectly happy and BAM! a person from your past comes strolling through, trying to remind you of the person you once were. This doesn’t have to necessarily be a negative, but you are not the person you once were yesterday. You are always growing and learning; and, to have someone from your past come up, it sometimes reminds you of who you were, what you did, and who you AREN’T anymore.

So how do we deal when the past comes banging on the door, tempting us to open it?

How to deal with the past:

1) Accept it

Whenever you feel like your life is taking a positive up-swing, there will be those to try and bring you back down. It’s a fact. Instead of losing your cool, accept this will happen at some point in your life. Take a breath. Remember who you are right now and appreciate the journey you took to get to this place of positivity.

2) Remember the lessons

So you did a bad thing 5 years, 2 years, a year, a month, or even a day ago. So what? We all make mistakes. We are all growing and learning new lessons. If you aren’t learning lessons, chances are you are living a life void of challenges. Don’t get bogged down by your past. See the silver lining: “Yes, I did x,y, and z but if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have learned a,b, and c.” With this mindset, you can face the past head-on, being grateful for the lessons instead of dwelling on your previous actions. The past will begin to fade.

3) Put the past to rest once and for all

This usually has to be done with people you dated, were friends with, coworkers, bosses, etc. A lot of times these people try to come back with good intentions, but the fact still stands: If the relationship was good, it would’ve stood the test of time. Your life will be met with those who stay for a certain amount of time and then leave your life. They’re either a blessing or a lesson. If they were a lesson, it’s best to keep them as such. If the relationship was toxic and kept you in a negative space, you don’t want to reopen that door. If you do, that person now has the capacity to revert any change you made, bringing you back to the person you once were. Do you want that? If you don’t, have a conversation with that person and explain what you’ve learned, reiterate you are in a positive place, and you wish that person the best. You don’t have to be close friends with everyone, only those who build up and contribute positivity.

4) Don’t answer that door 

Finally, you could be reading this as a very strong person. You may be saying to yourself, “The past is the past. Don’t answer the door in the first place.” And you, my friend, are exactly right! If you are strong enough to mentally and emotionally ignore the past when it knocks, you’ll continue to be in the best place mentally and emotionally. You know who you are. You know your past has contributed in molding you to become the best you right now and there’s no reason to dwell. Keep it moving. Keep it positive. Keep yourself strong and happy.

How do you deal with the past when it knocks on your door? Let’s talk!

*Feature image by Rodney Campbell

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