We all want to feel like survivors of the bad stuff that’s happened to us. Since we’re here, I guess we are survivors. However, surviving and thriving are pretty different. Even though you might want to put your head in the air, straight arm the past, and never look back, the past has sneaky ways of keeping you from all the goodness life is waiting to deliver. Here are some of the ways it might be showing up in your daily life.

You are repeating patterns.
Even though it feels like you’ve moved on, you somehow end up in the same kinds of relationships or find yourself experiencing the same types of circumstances and situations. That’s a sure sign that you have some unresolved business to deal with. It’s why people find themselves in codependent relationships over and over or in jobs they hate again and again or in the same kinds of conflicts with people time after time. Something in your past set you up for this pattern and the only surefire way to break it is to find out more about where it came from.

You are holding onto hurt.
Maybe it’s in the form of grudges or perhaps people you can’t stand, even ones you hate. It can be simply waiting for an apology or any acknowledgment that what that person did to you was wrong. The problem is that energy like that is poison to your loving heart. Not only does it give all your power away to someone else or what they did, but it pulls in more of the same experiences because energy attracts like energy. The way to release yourself from that is to visit the source of the hurt, see it clearly, forgive, and let go.

You’ve allowed your experiences to define who you are.
This is particularly sticky if it stems from something you’ve done to harm someone else. When you’ve done a selfish, mean, or lazy thing, you might fold that into your identity. Instead of it being just an incident, now YOU are selfish, mean, or lazy. If you’ve got judge-y words about yourself bouncing around that little head of yours, they didn’t materialize out of nothing. They were born from an experience and a glance back can be the thing that liberates you from those negative definitions. Even being told you are strong can be a heavy weight to bear when you don’t feel like being strong.

You’ve picked up limiting beliefs.
If you hear yourself say “I can’t” or “I’ll never,” it’s very likely you’ve got a limiting belief in operation. I can’t quit my job. I’ll never find my soulmate. I can’t tell anyone that. I’ll never lose the weight. Totally normal. Humans have limiting beliefs because our brains are trying to make sense of the world. But they came into existence as a result of our experiences. Once we are able to see the mental process that started in our past and runs our decisions today, we can begin to bust through those limitations.

You are isolating yourself based on a story.
It’s in our nature to revise the past. We do it to protect ourselves. Sometimes we edit something that happened to make it so much worse so that we’ll never put ourselves in that kind of danger again. That isolates us from other people as we avoid anything even remotely similar or it isolates us from ourselves as we reject a piece of who we are as too terrible. Other times we change the story so that the real facts don’t hurt quite so bad and we don’t have to feel that pain when we land on a memory. Most of the time, we are just trying to feel worthy and good enough but lies and falsehoods take an enormous amount of energy to protect and keep us from living an authentic life. Freedom comes from standing nakedly in front of the real story in our past and accepting ourselves entirely.

The past might feel like a scary place but so many people are living a life that is falling short of what they want in their hearts and in relationships that don’t come even close to what they deserve. As scary as that look backward may seem, the real bleakness is what won’t be realized if you don’t take the plunge.

No fooling, a new 21-Day Heart Cleanse starts April 5! You can find more course details and registration information here.

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