Everyone comes into relationships with a past. This past can bring with it unresolved issues that can affect the health of current relationships. We all have losses in our lives when it comes to relationships. It may be a first love that we will never forget or a relationship we just got out of. Even your current relationships can have painful moments. I do not think anyone is free from some kind of past hurt in regard to relationships. These past experiences (whether they are from your family of origin, past relationship losses, or events from your current relationship) can cause negative thoughts and beliefs that can affect your current happiness. It will also affect your happiness in the future if not dealt with.
Sometimes we come to a place that reminds us of past hurts and we react to the current situation based on that past hurt. We might even become stuck in a pattern where current events trigger past emotions within us. These reactions and the feelings that accompany them, can stop us from moving forward and creating better relationships. They can keep us stuck in past hurt and not allow for happiness in the present.
Although we do not have the power to always choose life’s events, we do have the power to change how we interpret them. There is a saying you may have heard, “People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” Relationships are in our lives for different reasons; some are meant to be forever, and some only serve a purpose and run their course. Relationships are the main avenue for us to learn life lessons. It is important to find the lesson, love the person for what they provided, and learn for the future. Have you learned from your past?
Letting go of past experiences and forgiving others and ourselves is an important part of moving forward. We are not taught how to accept a relationship or a person for what they have given us and then to move on. What did you learn from past relationships? What did you learn about yourself? What was the silver lining in these experiences? What role did you play? It is important to stop blaming others and take responsibility for your own actions. Even though you may be justified in your feelings of hurt, anger, or betrayal, carrying that with you will drag you down. It makes it hard, if not impossible to move forward. Freedom comes from forgiving our past and ourselves. Let go of past baggage and feel the huge weight lifted. Your relationships will be healthier and happier.
It might be time to take inventory of your life and your relationships. Are there areas where you are stuck? Do you overreact to events in your current relationship because they remind you of past hurts? Is there someone you need to forgive so you can move forward with a healthier, happier relationship?
Don’t let the past negatively affect your current or future relationships. Don’t let negative thoughts and beliefs stay and determine your future. You are in control of what you create in your life from now on! This is not always easy work to do, but the results are worth it. You don’t have to go it alone. Reach out and find a qualified counselor or coach to help you on your journey if you feel stuck and would like some help.
For more information on this topic, I have written a book entitled: Unmasking Secrets to Unstoppable Relationships.
Lori Ann Davis, MA, CRS
Certified Relationship Specialist