Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Why I'm Embracing my Past

Resolution 3: Embrace Your Past
“Addressing the impact of critical life events is often simpler than we imagine. This frees up emotional space that allows us to move on in life.”- Richard Gilpin, ‘Mindfulness for Black Dogs and Blue Days’
To fully accept who I am, to fully move on, I need to accept what has come before.
Admitting where you have come from and being able to address and speak about the things that were once triggering, but have since lost their power over you, is a step forward.

In ‘How to Stop worrying and Start Living’, Dale Carnegie asks the question, Do you embitter the present by regretting things that are in the past? My answer is yes. I have always clung to moments of shame and regret that trap me in the past; the fear that I will never overcome my mental illness, that I might lose the battle.

It's difficult to explain how it feels to someone who hasn't experienced a mental illness. But because I have never been 'cured', I always feel like my depression is right around the corner waiting for me. And so I am always running from it, afraid to turn around and face it and ask why it's after me. I often prefer to leave it unaddressed.
“Genuine happiness at its core boils down to the willingness to acknowledge the painful aspects of life right alongside all the parts we deem “good” or “happy”.” – Ezra Bayda, ‘Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment’
But when it comes to resolving to 'Embrace Your Past', I was inspired mainly by  Francine Shapiro's 'Getting Past your Past'. In her book, Francine says that it is possible to move beyond painful memories and issues and embrace life fully without the old memories dragging us down. That's what I want. She talks about undergoing personal exploration in an effort to process the memories and free yourself. It's all very deep.

So in order to move forwards, I need to go back; back to the pain, the dark, to where it all began.
“We must allow ourselves to ride out the storm – not fight or oppress it. Even the darkest storm doesn’t last forever.” – Peter Bridgewater, ‘Mindfulness and the Journey of Bereavement’
This month I will be exploring the following concepts when it comes to my past:
  • Memento Mori
  • Cause and Effect
  • Dreams
  • Monsters
  • Controlling your narrative
  • Self-harm
It's a month of self-exploration, and while I'm aware some of it may be tough, I have promised myself to step away if anything ever feels triggering. It's a personal and subjective month.

So here it goes, it's time to embrace my past...

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