Ask Annah: How Do I Move Forward When the Past Keeps Repeating Itself? Part I, Relationships

Annah Elizabeth Ask Annah, Loss, Grief, and Healing, Relationships Leave a Comment

Dear Neighbor,

Oh, let me count the ways I understand your question.

How do I move forward when the past keeps repeating itself?

This question is deep and complex and covers so many areas of our lives and across each of our five facets.

When it seems as if life keeps dealing you one blow after another, it can feel like you aren’t moving forward. Heck, sometimes you may feel you don’t want to move forward, because, WHY would you when life sucks and keeps getting suckier.

Maybe you feel you are somehow jinxed and no longer want to leave the house.

Maybe you have a third cancer diagnosis or one illness after another and doubt you’ll ever recover.

Maybe you’ve failed that bar exam four times and question if you’re in the right field, after all.

Maybe you’ve been chided, ridiculed, or judged when you’ve shared your feelings and you are wondering if you should just clam up.

Maybe you have been hurt so many times you don’t want to move forward in trusting others and are swearing off relationships.

Let’s focus this Ask Annah segment on the latter, Neighbor. Let’s look at how you can feel stuck or tortured with regard to those social facet connections and how you can move forward in healing them so you can go on to live your dream life–THE LIFE YOU TOTALLY DESERVE.

There are three connections to consider when healing your social facet: the relationship with yourself, with others, and with the universe that surrounds you.

The Self and Healing

The relationship with yourself is the most important connection you  can have and yet it is often the one we humans give the least attention.

Knowing who you are in the moment and what you want for the future is a big step in moving forward, but it can also be easy to get stuck because the pain is so close to your heart and your head.

Maybe you have trusted too many people and had your heart shattered into a million pieces. You have been telling yourself for years that you have to quit confiding in or depending on others. But you trust and you reach out for help because you believe in people’s goodness! You know people are kind and warm and helpful and you start telling yourself that you are just choosing the wrong kind of people and then you start calling yourself names like “boob,” “sap,” “sucker” or [insert your whatever.]

You have been burnt so many times that your flesh feels raw. How can you possibly move forward in trusting yourself, because you are clearly screwed up. Right?

Wrong.

You are not screwed up or flawed or being punished or [insert your whatever.]

I can honestly say this because I lived this one for decades. I couldn’t trust myself or my intuition and I doubted every decision I made.

Then I learned this abstract concept about life purpose and when I delved deeper I discovered that my major life purpose is…drum roll, please…TRUST.

That’s right, Neighbor. Trust. Trust in Thyself. Trust in Others. Trust in The Universe.

Here’s how I moved forward and you can, too.

Five ways to move forward in trusting yourself.

  • Notice your thoughts, your reactions, and those times when you take things personally.
  • Accept that the vast majority of what other people say and do has nothing to do with you.
  • Evaluate underlying fears, beliefs, and objectives, looking for signs of co-dependency, martyrdom, people-pleasing, and “fixer” syndromes.
  • Establish a plan of action to create new, more positive behavior and thought patterns.
  • Follow-through on your new course. If you fail? Get back up and do it again. And again, until you have programmed new ways of living, thinking, and responding.

Other People and Healing

Five ways to move forward in trusting others.

  • Notice your thoughts, your reactions, and those times when you take things personally.
  • Accept that the vast majority of what other people say and do has nothing to do with you.
  • Evaluate underlying fears, beliefs, and objectives, looking for signs of co-dependency, martyrdom, people-pleasing, and “fixer” syndromes.
  • There are two truths when it comes to understanding and healing relationships: Personal Truth and Scientific Truth. Make a list of the pros and cons in the relationship. If you have accessed your role in the conflict based on the reflections above and you still feel the connection is lop-sided, one-sided, or that it is draining your emotional facet dry, walk away. Trust has to be built and choosing relationships that lift you up will help establish those supportive bonds.
  • Remember that the only person you can change is yourself and that the only person’s happiness you are responsible for is your own.

As you can see by the similarity in these, the way you heal your relationships with others is by first focusing on yourself.

The Universe and Healing

Five ways to move forward in trusting the universe.

  • Understand that happiness is not a place, it is a collection of the many moments that make you smile or bring you some resolution or peace.
  • Pay attention to Life’s simple and fleeting, yet magical or miraculous moments.
  • Honor those joyful moments! Share them in a gratitude journal and/or with others!
  • Know that the universe does have your back and that it will support you by sending you messages and signs to help guide you on your journey to living your dream life. Learn to recognize these messages by paying attention to your intuition–your gut instinct, sixth sense, or whatever you call it.
  • As hard as it might be, try to remember that challenges you face are opportunities to help you reach the next level of your personal and soul growth.

What about you, Neighbor? Do you have tips and strategies that have helped you find resolution in conflict and grief and in moving forward out of pain and into pleasure? Please share them with us in a comment below because as I like to say, “Together we are helping heal worlds of hurt.”

Got questions about grief or healing? I am not only honored to receive your queries, I LOVE answering them! As the saying goes, The only stupid question is the one not asked. Let us know your burning, nagging or curious thoughts! You can leave your question in the comments or email it to us. All questions are considered anonymous.

Until next time, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

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