Moving On: The Greatest Gift You Can Give to Yourself
There as many people who thrive despite their challenging pasts, indeed, maybe even because of their pasts, as there are people who feel victimized by them. The ability to survive insurmountable obstacles is a living testament to the resilience of the human spirit. While it can certainly be challenging to “keep the faith” when your world feels like it’s crumbling before your very eyes, or to take care of yourself when no one else does, life does not have to be one constant struggle after another. There are other, more graceful ways to move through life than simply bouncing from one dramatic experience to another.
Your personal life story, including memories of all the injustices you have experienced over the course of your life, contributes to the shaping of your personal identity in the here and now. You have the ability to dwell on the pains of the past or to remember your history with an empathetic heart. Making your peace with people who have betrayed your trust is not an easy task because no one wants to condone abusive behavior. But one does not make the choice to re-evaluate painful experiences of the past with an empathetic heart out of a need to remain in denial or even out of a sense of generosity. One makes the choice to embrace empathy because releasing a lifetime of anger and resentment is a transformational act that emancipates the spirit.
You have the power and freedom to change your point of view so that horrendous memories have less power over your present emotions and actions. If your father was abusive, you can choose to remember how it felt to be victimized by him, you can focus on how pathetic his behavior was, or you can allow yourself to gain access to a broader vision that includes not only your experience, but his, as well. When you can allow yourself to recognize how unconscious and probably wounded he must have been to have inflicted such pain on his own child, the memory of his abuse will have less of an emotional hold on you.
To hold on to judgment and resent perpetuates and prolongs your own suffering. Although you will never be able to create a different past, your past does not necessarily have to determine the quality of your present life experience. You are at liberty to rewrite the script of your life from a new point of view.