When I was free from my abuser, at almost 18 years of age, all I wanted to do was move on. I wished to forget about everything that has happened to me and keep going like nothing. I made a conscious effort to swipe everything under the rug as I learned I was supposed to, and that was it. I was determined to don't look back. Ever again.
I know these words sound very unhealthy now, but I didn't know then what I know now.
For the most part, I was still operating like an abused person. I simply replaced the physical presence of the abuser with a voice inside my head that would keep playing the part. I had to get almost to my 30's to realize that that wasn't the way to go.
One day while walking my dog, I had the realization that none of the people who abused me were around. It was just me and that annoying voice in my head, keeping me from moving on. My body was present, but my soul, the real me, was stuck in the past. I missed the signs. There were plenty, but today I am sharing three signs that you are still living in the past, and what to do about them.
Sign # 1: Talking about the past scares you, or the past is all you speak of.
Either you are on one end of the spectrum or the other, it most probably means that you are still living in the past. When you are so scared of the past that you can barely speak and you start shaking just from the thought of it, it means that it holds control over you.
Now, when you are famous for talking about the same thing, event, or situation over and over, it's the same, there is an invitation for you to let go.
Solution: Address the past and bring yourself to the present moment
Either you talk about it or not, if you are still living in the past, your mind will take you there even if you don't want to. The solution is first and foremost to address your past experiences and let them go. The way you do that will be totally up to you, but I will always favor getting professional help to support you in your journey.
Besides that, it is crucial to have a mindfulness practice to bring yourself to the present moment every time you feel tempted to look back.
The truth is, any answer you are looking for is here in the present moment. That is where life happens.
Some mindful practices could be: meditation, making a conscious effort to be present when you notice you are not, taking some time to breathe, spending a few minutes connecting to your breath, performing daily tasks mindfully, and practicing gratitude, but there are more. It is a question of embracing the practices you love the most and turning them into a lifestyle, your new lifestyle.
Sign #2 You keep blaming others for your current situation.
When I realized that I was ending up in the same situation over and over again, I had to have an honest conversation with myself. Yes, people did harm me in the past, but they were long gone. They were far away and no longer held power over me. I had to ask: Who is harming me now? The answer was loud and clear: Me. Are you blaming others for your current situation? Read the solution below.
Solution: Take your power back.
I dare you to take responsibility for your actions and take your power back.
Listen, this is not about punishing or feeling sorry for yourself. I know it hurts when we realize that we are somewhat responsible for what happens to us, but that is where the power resides. You can now make different choices, take other actions, break patterns! You can take your power back and start writing your own script.
How to do it? Be honest with yourself and think or journal about how you have been contributing to your current situation with thoughts and actions and create an action plan to start acting differently. Make sure to start slow, respect your time and be kind to yourself.
Sign #3 You feel stuck in one or several areas of your life
Living in the past stops you from seeing the wonders of the present and the possibilities of the future, so it is no surprise that you may find yourself stuck sometimes. Only when you break that pattern will you open up to see how to "unstuck" yourself and act on it.
Here is the solution: Stop buying into the idea that you are stuck and start moving.
There is no such thing as being stuck. Life is movement, and even if you don't keep up, time goes by, and life goes on. Things may not happen as fast as you can or the way you wish they were, but everything is in motion. If you focus on what you can do in the present moment and take action towards the future, you won't feel stuck anymore. You will feel alive.
You can only be alive in the present moment.
Love and light,
Survivors Coach 💖