Breaking the chains of Your past

As important as the past is for learning lessons and remembering successes, it’s equally important that you don’t let the past keep you chained there.

Like the stereotypical high school jock who perpetually lives in the past because those were the best days of his life. Or the woman who can’t build healthy relationships because never recovered from her college boyfriend’s infidelity.

The negative parts of our past have a way of clinging on, wrapping its tendrils around you and despite your attempts at remaining in the present, the chains of the past remain wrapped tight. You carry the weight of those chains into every experience, and whether it’s negative or positive, it has a powerful impact on your present life. There can be great power in releasing your past and breaking those chains.

Don’t confuse your memories of the past with your hopes for the future.
–Alan Watts

    ​ Moving On

One of the greatest challenges people face is breaking free from the chains of their past. It could be a past mistake, a stinging heartbreak, or trauma from a difficult experience; all of your life experiences impact your emotional and mental well-being.

Dwelling on the past, however, will only keep you anchored to a period of time that you should have left behind. That time no longer exists, yet it’s rooting you there and preventing you from living in the here and now.

The first step to breaking those chains is acknowledging your past and accepting it. It’s an essential part of the process, you have to confront the unresolved emotions and pain that you’ve buried deep, which will require self-reflection and a whole lot of courage. By facing your past head-on, you remove the power it holds over your present moment and the future.

Forgiveness is another step necessary to break those chains. Whether it’s forgiving yourself or someone else, a lot of people hold onto grudges over things that happened. It’s important to remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you forget what happened.

If someone hurt you or wronged you, forgiving them isn’t forgetting the harm they caused you. It doesn’t mean making up and being friends either. It’s a conscious decision to let go of the painful emotions that have lingered since the experience. Forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you.

We are not limited by the past; we are limited by our interpretation of the past.
— Neville Goddard

    ​ The Power 

Perhaps one of the most vital aspects of breaking free from the past’s chains is self-compassion.

Self-compassion simply means that you treat yourself with the same understanding and kindness you extend to your closest friends. You treat them with care, and you offer them a gentle response, but you are your own worst enemy – your harshest critic. You hold yourself to an impossible standard and when you slip up, you give yourself merry hell. Self-compassion provides a nurturing environment to foster healing and growth.

Mindfulness is another powerful tool for breaking the chains of your past.

Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment, observing your thoughts without judgment, and acknowledging your feelings without opinion. Mindfulness practices like deep breathing, meditation, and body scanning help you develop the ability to let go of the past, dismiss intrusive thoughts, and focus on the beauty of the moment.

An essential part of personal development as a whole, and particularly breaking chains, is setting boundaries. Boundaries protect you from negative behaviors, and repeating patterns, and help you use your time and energy more wisely. Boundaries help you create space for change and growth.

The moment you revise your concept of the past, you change the future.
— Neville Goddard

    ​ Final Thoughts 

While the process of breaking the chains of your past can be difficult, it is possible. Above, you have a step-by-step process to do just that. It will take some time, but if you’re committed to the process, you will need a combination of self-awareness and forgiveness, self-compassion, and mindfulness, as well as boundary-setting.

Work on establishing a forward-focused mindset because this journey will require resilience and dedication. In return, you will benefit on a profound level. Your life will be free from the burdens of the past and filled with an endless number of possibilities. As you let go of the past, you open yourself to growth, healing, and the recognition of your potential.

The only problem in life is that you are always thinking about the future or the past. The present moment is the only place where life ever happens.
— Alan Watts

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