I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Step 8: Keep The Past There


This is the eighth in a series of things that have helped me, I believe in, or people have asked me to share. Basically, things I do or think or whatever that have helped me be a better person, activist and positive fat lady. Check out  Step 1,  Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6 and Step 7.

Step 8: Keep The Past There

This one is tricky. This one may even be tougher than the “Letting Go” or “Be Brave” ones. This time of year especially. Having to be around family and old friends or people you just don’t see that often, it can bring up some bad stuff. To put the past truly behind you is to let go of a lot of stuff that you may not even realize was there to begin with. Especially if you’ve experienced any sort of abuse or trauma. Things can creep back up on you when you least expect it. I am grateful for every single day I get without a PTSD symptom. I am grateful for every day that I am not in the past. But it’s taken me so long to get to gratitude that it can be difficult to articulate just how I got here. I know I spent many years dwelling, wallowing even, in my own misery. I made myself a nice comfy nest of hate and shame and guilt and sadness and worse. I lost myself in that hidey hole. I lost who I was and what I wanted and I lost my future entirely. There’s an entire year of my life just gone. I wasted it by not acknowledging it. I wasted it by not enjoying it. I wasted it by not living in it.

Sometimes the only way to get past the past is to get angry. Have a fit over it and then just let it go. Walk away! Holding onto emotional baggage from the past isn’t helping you live a better life. Holding onto physical things from the past is the worst! Get rid of it! Let it go, let it all go! (Note: This post was written before the film “Frozen” was released in theaters and then pop culture with the famous song “Let it go”) That boyfriend that didn’t treat you right, no matter how much you loved him…either burn whatever relics of his you still have or give them to charity, because I promise you, it’s holding you back and bringing you down! You cannot be your most authentic and fabulous self with that shit hanging out in the back of your mind or closet. Delete that phone number from your contacts list and learn how to forget! It’s not easy, I never said it would be and I doubt anyone honestly would, but it’s for your own mental health and well being. You are worth way more than your past gave you. You are new and free and awesome and you stopped giving a damn anyway, so now it’s all about what makes you happy! And the past just doesn’t fit with your current agenda!
So much of who I am today is because of my past, good and bad. I used to say that I had no regrets because those horrible aspects of my life in the past made me and took me to where I am now. I’m not so sure that I am completely without regrets now, but what those regrets are have certainly changed. Instead of dwelling on that though, I have begun to work towards making my present better. I regret not staying in touch with friends and so I am getting back in touch with some and trying to start anew. It’s so different now. Trying to restart a friendship in adulthood that you started in childhood is no exact science, but I am hoping that it’s worth it. I am hoping to refresh and regain the love and support from these folks that I once had and perhaps didn’t appreciate back then. That’s okay. I’m letting go of the past and moving forward, onward and hopefully upward!
Even in my marriage I’m finding the past creeping in and messing things up. My past with my husband is different than the present with my husband. I can’t really explain it, it just is. And that’s okay. It’s interesting to navigate and to discuss things once written off, as it were, and to acknowledge and move beyond past mistakes or opinions. I’m a stubborn gal, I won’t deny that. So it’s especially interesting for me to look back even two or three years ago and see how I’ve evolved. It’s wonderful and humbling, but I try to stay grounded in the present.
The hardest part is when family won’t let go of the past. Your parents for instance only know your past. They may know your present, but they’d almost always talk about the past. Those “funny” stories and all. How is it they still relish in your past embarrassment? It’s up to you to let them know you would appreciate them not rehashing your Jr.High horror stories. It’s also up to you to include them in your present and future if you so choose. It may be difficult for them to understand at first, perhaps you can relate to them somehow, but you must let them know how it makes you feel. If they do know and insist on making you feel badly, you do not have to be there to indulge them in their misery making. You just don’t. You don’t have to live under the heavy burden of familial obligations if you don’t want to. It’s entirely up to you.
Whatever your past may be, whatever your future may be, it is up to you to improve your present! You have that power! It is already within you. You carry within you such power and wisdom, you don’t even know it yet! Once you see how putting the past behind you can free and release you? You won’t ever look back again!


posted under Blog, DIY, fat, Free, inspiration
3 Comments to

“Step 8: Keep The Past There”

  1. On November 28th, 2011 at 6:42 pm thirtiesgirl Says:

    Ugh. I’m 42 and I still can’t leave my past behind. It has shaped so much of who I am today – all the negative stuff – that my past is with me every day. Every awkward, anti-social, controlling, screwed up interaction I have with others and myself comes from the things I got from my past. They never go away.

    I got some positive things from my past, too. I can’t say it was all negative. I know I have a good work ethic, which I got from my mom because she did, too. That’s one of the biggest positives from my past. There are a few more minor positive things I got from my past, but for the most part, any positive traits and abilities I have today were carved out by me and me alone. Most of what I inherited from my past are only negatives.

    And, as I wrote above, they won’t go away. They’re ingrained in my personality, part of who I am. Woven into the fiber of my being, so to speak. So no matter how much I try to leave my past behind, it follows me everywhere I go. It’s part of me and how I relate to the world.

  2. On November 29th, 2011 at 11:42 am Not Blue at All Says:

    thirtiesgirl: I used to feel that way, too. The truth is that some things are impossible to let go or leave behind entirely. Even when I go months without a PTSD nightmare, I can get triggered by something else entirely, or suddenly I do have a nightmare and I get very self defeating about it…all of that self work and still having the nightmares and all. I haven’t had one in over a year, I know that much. But my fear of having one or having a panic attack is a heavy burden to hold onto. I did not do what was done to me. I did not deserve the many abuses dealt and I am my own person now and will fight for what I need and what is right. But the past is always there, isn’t it? It’s always just an arm’s length away, always lingering in the back of my mind. I have let go of it’s hold on me and my life now. I cannot forget. But I do not have to let it get in the way of new developments, relationships, opportunities and happiness. And neither do you.
    You can be shaped by your past while growing and moving beyond it in the future. You do not have to be held accountable for what you’ve endured and survived. You do not need to carry that burden with you throughout the rest of your life, hun. Because you’re worth so much more than that. You’re worth the sun and the moon and the stars above. I have a good work ethic from my dad and grandma, too…but I’ve also learned not to let that “ethic” push me too far. I once went to work with pneumonia and it nearly did me in. My dad had his appendix rupture and worked an entire day in horrible pain then drive himself to the ER. I refuse to follow suit. I refuse to suffer for work. It’s never worth it. I do believe that we are influence and shaped by our pasts, yes. But I also believe that you can shake the negatives and hold onto what’s good for you.

  3. On December 1st, 2011 at 12:51 pm NotBlueAtAll » Blog Archive » Step 9: Show Your Gratitude Says:

    […] and positive fat lady. Check out  Step 1,  Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7 and Step 8. Step 9: Show Your Gratitude This one may seem easy, but you’d be surprised by how much we […]

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