Saturday, 26 March 2016

How do we move on from our past?

"You can't have a good story without a good struggle." - '101 Secrets for Your Twenties', Paul Angone
This month I've been embracing my past, with the intention of learning to leave it behind me. The month has enabled me to return to my history, my story, my darkest moments and embrace them as something I don't have to be ashamed of. But how I do I go forward after examining my past?

Does time heal?
The distance between the events and my telling them has made it much easier to embrace some of the topics I've discussed this month - suicide and self-harm in particular.

While my scars are still visible to me, it is because I know where to look. They have faded with the passing of years.

The past only hurts because we give memories the power to hurt us. And we take back that power when we articulate it.

Telling the story
It's impossible to forget the past. But we can move on from it.
Once we share our story it changes. Telling the story neutralizes it and allows healing to begin. Your past no longer has control over you.
"Anyone who has been hurt has to undergo a metamorphosis." - 'Resilience: How your Inner Strength Can Set You Free From The Past', Boria Cyrulnik
I've definitely noticed something similar this month. I've found retelling my story empowering. I've had a good mental health month; I have felt happy, calm and at peace with myself. I believe that at least part of this positivity can be credited to articulating my past on the blog.

Ending the story
"It is the conclusion that gives past events meaning and transforms something unexceptional into something marvelous." - 'Resilience: How your Inner Strength Can Set You Free From The Past',  Boria Cyrulnik
The past isn't really the past. It's also my present. And where I've come from will continue to shape my future. But I don't have to let it hurt my future. In many ways, the past few weeks have allowed for emotional closure as I accept and embrace my story.
Next month during my Be Free resolution I will return to the topic as I explore how to fully move on from the past.

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