How to Stop Dwelling on the Past
If you’re reading this at 2 am or any time of the day, just trying to find answers, then I guess we have the same dilemma.
Either you’ve just finished crying, overthinking, or maybe even just curious, it probably led you to this blog.
How do I know that?
Because I’ve been there - on multiple occasions.
And it does suck.
But there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel, although I can’t 100% guarantee that you’d immediately stop dwelling on the past as if you’re just snapping your finger like Thanos to just erase everything.
Like everything else, you have to go through a process. It can be hurtful, difficult, and even frustrating. As some would say, the pain will teach you how to keep afloat or swim and how it feels to sink. We have to learn how to live with both.
Unfortunately, time doesn’t wait for anyone. While we are hurting from what happened in the past, the sun will continue to rise and set, and everyone will continue to live their own lives.
That got deep. Sorry about that, love, but sooner or later, we both needed some tough love and a reality check.
Now, I’m not saying you’d just push the past away to the deep ends in our memories, but there are a few steps that we both could do together to push past this (pun intended).
First things first, we have to let the pain VISIT.
It’s kind of like when you’re on a short vacation somewhere with a jam-packed schedule, or even when you’re just sitting on a park bench and waiting for the next bus.
You’re visiting places you’re new or familiar with.
You’ll eventually have to leave or go to your next destination. You could always revisit that spot or that place, but you can’t stay there forever.
It’s easier said than done, right?
Especially when you’re an overthinker or someone who finds it hard to let things go.
But the thing is - it’s okay.
It’s okay to bawl your eyes out, scream, sit in one place, or even question life, BUT you also have to take note of the things that are going well in your life right now, make sure you also remember your own growth.
You’ve come so far; you’ve pushed past the things you thought were hard and frustrating.
Pain will always be temporary, it will always pass, kind of like how storms create strong waves that would crash against the shores briefly. Until it eventually slows down and brushes softly against the seashore until it is completely calm.
I don’t know if you understand what I meant, but my point was that we must learn to let the worries, pain, and emotions crash us until they eventually settle down.
Second of all, You are the author of your story
But also very true.
I mean, we can’t just erase the past like how we click on the backspace keys of our keyboards, rip pages of it we don’t want to read, or even erase them with an eraser.
As I said, it’s not easy but like in the cartoon show Meet The Robinsons, we have to keep moving forward.
“But how do I do that?”
It’s easy - really.
Although it might seem meaningless to you, or maybe it’s something easy for you to do. You have to think of what you want to achieve in the next few months or years. If it’s too difficult, then picture what you need to do in the next few hours or days.
I used to have a hard time thinking about my own future because the chains of my past bound me. It kind of makes me sound like a cliche poet, right?
But, it was and oftentimes still is difficult. It reached the point where I couldn’t even imagine what I wanted out of life. I thought that because of the mistakes that I’ve made in the past, I was always going to be like that. You know — afraid.
I used to connect the dots going backward, to the point where it was toxic and self-loathing. Toxic, right?
We eventually just move on with our lives, and we don’t even know we’ve moved forward. That’s how powerful time is, and although there are still days where we find it hard to let the past teach us, we have to remember not to let it overstay in our lives.
Because when it does overstay, we do get drained, restless, or even overwhelmed.
And sometimes, the “what if’s?” are what stops us from making decisions, we keep going down the never-ending rabbit hole that we often lose ourselves, and then we’d start blaming ourselves.
So if you’re reading this and are worrying about the past, I'm here to tell you, as cliché as this sounds, there will be better days. Give yourself credit for everything you’ve been through, and I mean EVERYTHING.
Know that you are going through a process
It’s scary to think that we’re feeling this way right now and find it hard to push past it because it feels as if that’s the end of the line or the outcome, BUT it is a process.
A process to understand ourselves, a process that we have to go through in order to be who we are, a process where we have to feel in order to understand how other people felt, or maybe it’s a process we still don’t understand.
It’s just like that.
I don’t even understand it sometimes either, but it isn’t the end, as I’ve also been told.
It’s not even that convincing when someone says “there will be better days” or when they do say “this is not the end”, because it gets difficult to picture the after.
But as much as I find it hard to believe (on some days), I got out of that suffocating pit numerous times. Even when I had been covered with darkness, doubts, and self-loathing (okay, this is definitely too dark).
I got to where I am; other than writing you confusing yet enjoyable blogs, I can testify that I am right where I wanted to be when I was stuck in that pit a few years, months, and even days ago.
Your past is only a part of you, and sometimes when you keep moving forward with life, it’s honestly just a dot but it does help you understand how you’re handling things or why you’re handling them a certain way. Just because that's what happened in the past, doesn’t mean it is forever imprinted in you and that nothing can change it.
You’ve been learning, and evolving to become the best version of yourself. So keep taking that baby steps and move forward.