Don't Let the Past Decide Your Future

Today I want to talk about the awesome and preemptive power of your beliefs to keep you stuck or propel you forward in life. Your beliefs are literally the outer limits of what you are able to experience, both good and bad, so it's definitely worth taking a look. It's not just your imagination either; this is actual neuroscience. You can read more about it in my book, The List Method.


A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

If bad experiences from past relationships have colored your thinking to the point where you believe it’s simply unrealistic to expect that great, epic love exists for you, then you are effectively cut off from that experience. You will not be able to make it happen. Not because it doesn’t exist but because your mind provides the parameters of what you can take in. If you truly believe that relationships are nothing but hard work and compromises, why would you rush to try and find another one? If you think that all love eventually sours and becomes commonplace and that all people will turn on you, your own mind will simply not allow you to perceive another kind of outcome. All life is a self-fulfilling prophecy of your personal beliefs. Want an inside look at your hidden beliefs?  Take a look at what's happening in your life - it's all you.


A World of Our Own Making

All those painful past experiences that have affected your beliefs about people and relationships now hold you firmly captive in a world of your own making. Luckily, this does not mean that you are doomed to repeat the past forever. You become free the moment you realize that nobody ever really hurt you. This may seem like a bold statement. Clearly, others have abused you and done you wrong, but the damage you took did not come from them. The damage came from your reaction to it. Our personalities tend to make us react in certain ways. Me, for example, I’m a very passionate personality, quick to anger. When I feel hurt, I flare up like a rocket. I express my feelings and let them go, so I’m also able to cool down again very quickly. It wasn’t always like that. If you know anything about my background, you’ll know that there were people who did unspeakably mean things to me. I was angry, but I was unconsciously so afraid of what would happen if my rage ever got out that I suppressed my feelings. On occasions where I did get angry in response to some niggling incident, my reaction was usually way over the top. I was shamed for it, and I felt bad, determining each time to keep my feelings more firmly bottled up in the future. But anger and rage cause hormonal changes in the body. Depending on how long you hold on to these feelings, they can cause severe physical damage. I know my previous tendency to react with anger and then hold on to the rage was the reason I had the liver trouble that almost killed me, so many years ago. Louise Hay, in her book, You Can Heal Your Life, which sold a whopping fifty million copies, takes the view that all medical conditions have an underlying energetic pattern that, if recognized, can be alleviated. She healed herself from cancer, realizing that the underlying energetic pattern of cancer is unexpressed resentment. Cancer is often called the Nice People’s Disease because the sufferers have a tendency to be particularly nice, loving, and kind on the surface while hiding the emotions they consider unacceptable beneath where they fester. You can take physical or mental damage from the way you process abuse. Your brain will do its utmost to prevent this type of pain and damage in the future, sometimes in the form of encapsulating and repressing memories completely. Even so, the brain will create a record of the incident in the form of new neural connections over which thought energy will flow from then on. The belief structure that is thereby created will ensure that you’ll never be that naïve again and that you’ll remain leery of people and relationships.


Water Off a Duck's Back

The important part is to recognize that the damage in you is caused, not so much by the actual incident but by your reaction to it. It is you who decides that you have been injured. Your anger, resentment, pain, or depression are the manifestations of your evaluation of the degree of your victimhood. Imagine for a moment, things had gone differently. Imagine, you had realized right away that the person who was trying to hurt you was an idiot who had no idea what they were doing. You saw right through them and dismissed their attempt to hurt you. In that case, there would be no injury. You would not take the bait, would not hook into the drama, and there would be no consequences for you, either physical or mental. There would be no need for your mind to go into damage control. There would be no lasting record of the event in the form of a belief. It would be water off a duck’s back simply because your reaction was different.


Having Feelings Doesn't Mean You Are Damaged

By this, I do not mean to say that you should pretend that everything is peachy. You have a right to your feelings when somebody rocks your world. Pretending you’re not angry or resentful or sad does not make these feelings go away but makes them fester and grow. But having feelings does not mean you are damaged. It does not mean you have to choose victimhood forever. Express your feelings, and then let them go. Here is where forgiveness comes in. Forgiveness does not mean you are letting a bad person off the hook; it means you are done paying the price for their sins. Forgiveness means realizing that everyone, bar none, always does the very best they can. This is true for even the most heinous serial killer. In their minds, everyone has their reasons and their explanations. It is not your job to decide the validity of their rationale. It is not your job to decide their guilt or innocence. It is your job to save yourself from damage. Realize they have done their best, however inadequate, cruel, or ignorant it might have been, and then let them go. Walk away. Don’t carry them with you. Don’t shoulder the damage for the rest of your life. You deserve better.

Then, you must also realize that this person who did you wrong was clearly not the love of your life. Do not give them the power to diminish your future happiness. The love of your life is still out there - I promise you they are! The only reason you have not yet met them is that you have not done the work of self-discovery. Go here for your free download with all the questions to ask yourself. Only when you’re aware of what you want and need, what your personal standards and values are, and what your ideal life should look like can you make a List of the one person who is your perfect match in all those areas. This process does not happen by accident, but I guarantee that once you have your List, you will meet the person who will not hurt you. You will meet your best friend, your partner, your lover, your everything. Please don’t let past hurts keep you from living your very best life.


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