The past has a hold on all of us. The memories, traumas and problems of the past don’t just disappear, and we tend to carry a lot of that with us.
But the past has a tighter grip on some folks than on others.
If you’ve been moving forward on breaking free from past trauma and disempowering cycles, you know that it is possible to change and transform.
Do you recognise the following signs that you’re moving forward and leaving past blockages behind?
If so, make no mistake:
The energy is shifting.
Forgiveness doesn’t come easy, but it’s ultimately a part of maturing.
While you still remember the wrong done to you and take precautions to avoid it being repeated, you find that you’re letting go of the bitterness in your heart.
You’ve turned over a new leaf and you’re full of a new kind of vitality.
If anything you feel pity for those who hurt you in the past and see how their awful behavior is their burden to bear, not yours.
You’re ready to move on.
This relates to the next point as well…
2) Seeing past pain in a new way
Past pain can leave scars that don’t heal:
Loss, abuse, addiction, abandonment, exclusion, heartbreak.
There’s no magic formula that just makes it stop hurting or stop mattering.
But it is true that as you start to break free from the past you start to see past pain in a new way.
Like a weightlifting honing his will against the implacable weight of iron, you see how the pain forced you to carve out a path that made you into who you are.
You wouldn’t necessarily choose it if you could go back, but you now see how it strengthened you, too.
3) Facing past fears and transforming them
There are many fears that can paralyze you and come from past pain. These especially include fears of being rejected, abandoned, betrayed, hurt, failing, confusion and being stuck in a confusing unknown situation.
When you’re breaking free from the past you’re able to face these fears head on.
They no longer take up so much of your waking hours, and you feel capable of confronting their roots.
This increased confidence lets you go into situations that formerly would have left you petrified, and results in you trying out new opportunities and challenges that you formerly wouldn’t even have been open to.
4) You’re living more and more in the present
The degree to which you’re living in the present is always a good barometer of how empowered you are as a person.
That’s because it’s the one metric by which we can answer the question:
Where is your attention and energy focused?
If you’re stuck in past regrets then your energy is diverted from the present. This can be necessary sometimes if your past regrets will serve as fuel to make a decision in the present.
But most of the time that suffering is just water under the bridge that doesn’t end up going anywhere at all: it just detracts from your present power and competence.
5) You’re no longer indulging in addictive behaviors
Addictive behaviors run the gamut from gambling and overeating to anger and overwork.
Perhaps you struggled with drink, drugs or overuse of pornography.
Maybe you were just addicted to the inner narrative telling you that you were a loser who would never be anything more.
You’re not anymore.
In fact, those past addictions have lost their grip on you and you indulge in them far less, if not never.
They bore you, frankly. You no longer get the same high that you once did from them and you’re ready to move on.
6) Materialism has lost its grip as a motivating force in your life
Minimalism has become one of your new guiding lights and you don’t expect material possessions to make you happy.
In fact the idea of winning or being a success by outer standards isn’t what drives you.
You don’t need the hottest partner or the best car or even the most influential job that everyone admires.
These titles and possessions and judgments mean less and less to you.
What matters to you is your inner state and the relationships in your life. What matters to you is how your actions align with your goals, not how other people see them or approve of them (or not).
Stuff (including other people’s opinions) is increasingly becoming just that for you:
7) You find yourself feeling joy and laughter without needing an external reason
When you’re breaking free of the past you will feel yourself full of a new kind of life force.
This is actually just the real you that’s often been suppressed and denied.
Social conditioning, self-limiting beliefs and energy blockages have convinced you that feeling “blah” is the norm for you. But it’s not.
And now you’re finally coming into your own.
Your time isn’t coming. It’s already here.
8) Your past achievements are no longer something you cling to or boast about
It’s not only past pain or trauma that doesn’t have such a hold over you:
It’s also your past glories and achievements.
You’re proud and will tell people about it who ask, to be sure.
But you don’t feel the need to rest on your laurels or cling to your past titles or accomplishments.
You’re ready to just be a man or woman walking down the street and feeling good about yourself without the added accoutrement of any privileges or reputation or official recognition you may have.
The past could get you benefits or recognition, but you’re ready to face the present on its own terms.
9) Worrying and anxiety have much less of a hold on you than they once did
You worry less than you used to.
Even when stressful situations come up, you find that you’re focused on solutions and not on catastrophizing.
You also think of the past in a way that’s much more nuanced.
Your hard childhood is no longer just “hell on earth,” it also had good times…
Your breakup with the person you loved is no longer proof that you’ll “always be alone,” but is a bittersweet experience that you’ve come to appreciate even though it didn’t end how you’d hoped.
You’re no longer stuck in the sadness and trauma of the past in the way you once were, and you’re ready to believe in yourself in a way you may have never felt ready to before.
10) Old ways of framing problems no longer hold sway over you
Old reactive ways of looking at your problems no longer influence you as much.
You see that much of what you blamed yourself for wasn’t your fault, and that many of the solutions to your problems were inside you all along.
The key is in your hand, and in thinking proactively instead of reactively.
Life isn’t happening to you, you are happening to life.
And you’re ready to make your presence felt in every way going forward, including in touching the lives of others and establishing meaningful and deep relationships.
11) You’re feeling more secure in yourself moving forward
Feeling secure and grounded is one of the greatest blessings of life.
This firm foundation may be new to you, especially if you’ve been victimized or mistreated a lot in the past.
But you’re now finding your footing.
You’re focusing on what’s in your control, and you’re moving into an empowered mindset and action plan.
12) You’re making new plans for the road ahead
It’s not only that you feel like you’re on solid ground now, it’s also that you’re making practical plans for the future.
You have actionable goals you’re working on, and your personal and professional objectives are achievable and realistic.
You have short-term and long-term goals and you finally feel like a power that’s always been inside you has been unlocked.
You’re ready to rock.