“You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming yourself for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.” Oprah Winfrey. Making peace with your past is the only way to move on.
But there is no doubt that making peace with your past is one of the most difficult things to do. Even months after your breakup, the scars of the memories still remain. You feel empty and alone. No matter whose fault it was, you still blame yourself for what happened.
You have people around you to console you, but you feel like no one actually understands what you’re going through. You begin to hate yourself because of your past. If you want to move on, it is necessary to make peace with your past. It is important to make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your present.
What Does It Mean To Make Peace With Your Past?
If you cannot get over what happened to you in the past you cannot create fruitful relationships in the future. It is easier said than done though. We sometimes consciously or unconsciously carry the anger and hurt inside us for years before we finally let go. We keep carrying that emotional baggage with us. People tell us, “Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.” But they don’t tell us how really it is possible to avoid living in the past.
But you could have your moment of epiphany or you finally know an answer to a question that was always haunting you. Then it’s like a sudden ray of sun that shines on you and you can let go and make peace with your past mistakes.
For instance Rene was in a relationship with a married man when she was 16 and she lost her virginity to him. When he moved on he left her with a vacuum that for 10 years after that she couldn’t feel comfortable with a guy when it came to physical intimacy. But 10 years later she came to know that just after his relationship with her he had a son with his wife, whom he claimed he hated.
“That was the day I realised that he was just using me and I was holding on to it thinking it was real love. That day I could make peace with my past and could enjoy intimacy with my boyfriend for the first time,” said Rene.
Making Peace With Your Past – 13 Wise Tips
Your past will keep haunting you until you finally embrace it. In order to make peace with your past mistakes, the first step is acceptance. Accepting your past will make it less possible for it to hold control over you. You need to take control over your past so that it stops controlling and haunting you.
Your past experiences can change the way you look at life. For instance divorce changes a man and a breakup with someone you loved deeply can leave you hurting for years. You could be thinking that you would end up repeating your past mistakes in your new relationship. But our advice would be to stop dwelling on the past. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
If you want to make peace with someone who hurt you, make peace with yourself first. Here are 13 ways to make peace with your past.
1. Forgive yourself
The first step to making peace with your past is to forgive yourself. When someone hurts us, we still blame ourselves even though deep down we know that it’s not our fault. This is because we blame ourselves for making the wrong choices. It is important to forgive yourself and understand that it’s not your fault.
People make mistakes and you made one. Instead of blaming yourself, try to understand that you didn’t do anything wrong consciously. You didn’t know that this person was going to hurt you, so how can it be your fault?
2. Take it as a lesson
Every mistake that you commit acts as a lesson so that you don’t commit the same mistake again. Instead of replaying your past and crying over it, use it as a lesson.
Notice all the red flags that came up during the course. Use these red flags as a learning experience so that you don’t let anyone else hurt you the same way again. Stop dwelling on your past and move on.
Lessons that you learn from your past relationships help you to learn and grow stronger as a person
3. Forgive him/her
The longer you hold grudges against the person who hurt you, the longer you’ll let your past have control over you. Holding grudges means that you are still affected by your past. It might take time to get over your past but you’ll have to take a step forward first.
By forgiving the person who hurt you, you’ll be able to allow yourself to take the first step towards moving on and forgive yourself too.
4. Stop feeling guilty
You don’t have any reason to feel guilty for what happened to you. You need to see yourself as the victim here and come out stronger.
You’re the one who is hurt and devastated. Don’t feel guilty about something that isn’t your fault. Instead, analyse the situation and see the matter for what it is. If your partner cheated on you, don’t think it happened because you were unattractive.
Remember partners of the most handsome men or beautiful women, they also cheat. Let them feel guilty, why should you feel so?
5. To make peace with your past, take your own time
Every person reacts differently to situations. Some may move on in a week’s time while others may take years to move on. If you feel like you need time to make peace with your past, take all the time you need.
You may feel like staying away from other people too. Use as much as ‘me time’ you want. Rushing the healing process will only bring short-term comfort and will bring back the feelings again.
6. Accept things for the way they are
Many times we tend to replay the past and keep thinking of the ways we could have done things differently. We feel remorse and keep beating ourselves for it. Stop dwelling on the past mistakes.
You need to accept the fact that what is done is done. You can’t change anything about it. There’s no way you can go back to the past and change anything and nor can anything you do change the fact that you’ve been hurt and betrayed. You need to accept what is done and look ahead instead.
7. Focus on what you have
Not everyone has good friends who are always there by your side when things go south. Feel lucky that you have your loved ones by your side during this phase of yours. Be the happy woman you always wanted to be or be the man who can deal with a breakup and start life afresh.
Focus on the people who love you instead of the person who hurt you and left you to cry. Focusing on what you have will make you realize that there’s much more to your life than you thought.
8. Be true to yourself
In order to make peace with your past, you need to be honest with yourself in terms of your feelings. Remaining in denial and avoiding the situation will only make it worse in the long run.
Talk to yourself and tell yourself how you feel and how much it has affected you. Being honest with yourself will help you feel lighter and you’ll be able to move on from your past faster.
9. Don’t hold back
You need to understand that this isn’t the end of the world. You need to believe that the good is yet to come. Many times, when we’re hurt, we are afraid to let the same thing happen to us again. As a result, we tend to hold back and not let ourselves get attached to anyone else.
Don’t hold back and let your past affect your present. Believe that good things will happen to you and move forward. Stop self-sabotaging your relationship and make peace with your past.
10. Vent it out
Another powerful way of making peace with your past is to vent out your anger and frustration. You may vent out your anger in front of a person or may choose to do it in front of the mirror.
Venting out your emotions will make you feel human again. You may feel as if, by doing so, you will break down a wall and become vulnerable. You may feel vulnerable for now, but you’ll at least be able to take it out of your system and feel light.
11. Let it go
If you want to make peace with your mistakes and move on, you’ll have to let it go. Holding on to your past will only keep you trapped in it. You hold the key to freeing yourself from your past.
Holding on to your past will only make you feel empty. Tell yourself that it’s time to move on and let go of all those memories. It’s going to be difficult but it will be your first step towards freeing yourself from your past.
12. Talk to someone
Many people prefer not to discuss about their past with anyone else because they fear that the other person will start judging them or think them as weak. Everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay.
Sometimes sharing your past with someone else will help you deal with them better. This other person may be your friend, a sibling or maybe a therapist.
Try talking to someone you confide in. It will help you heal faster. If your girlfriend is still not over her ex you can talk about it and help her to move on.
13. Love yourself
When someone you love hurts you, you lose all willingness to do anything. You feel like you’ve lost everything and even feel like harming yourself. The best thing that one can do is to love themselves.
Self-love is the most important thing to do. Don’t look for other people to make you happy when you can do it yourself. Treat yourself with your favourite food and pamper yourself with the things you love. Don’t hold back when it comes to you.
Making peace with your past isn’t easy. The most difficult part of it is taking the first step. You need to have faith and believe in yourself that you can move on. Use your past as lessons for your present and your future. Don’t let it control you. You are the only person who can control your life, so take control over it. Start loving yourself and don’t let your happiness depend on others. Look for peace within and your past will fade away.