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

Annah Elizabeth Ask Annah, Loss, Grief, and Healing, Mental Health 2 Comments

Dearest Neighbor,

Thank you for your courage to heal your heartaches big and small and for sharing, for in reaching out, you are also giving strength and hope to others.

“How do I move forward when the same bad stuff keeps happening over and over again?”

Millions of us can relate to your question and in countless ways.

I joked for years that I was born with “Bring it on” tattooed on my forehead, but at the end of a seven-year-stint that felt rife with bad breaks, bad luck, and one significant loss after another, I quit laughing.

Life and loss were no longer funny and I was sure that my last major loss–my husband’s second affair–was going to finally break me beyond repair. Fear often felt like razor-sharp daggers were being thrown at me from every angle.

Fear is one of our greatest hurdles in healing conflict and grief.

When you experience repeated losses and the past (seemingly) keeps repeating itself, you may begin to feel cursed, punished, and like you are drowning in the unknown.

Heartache hurts and it is human nature to want to avoid pain.

Not only that, though, repeated loss can make your inherent fight or flight system to become so sensitized that fear can feel as if it is swallowing up all of your five facets.

When fear becomes pervasive, you may question your sanity; emotions like anger and doubt and envy run rampant; you may experience physical symptoms from sore muscles and stomach aches to panic attacks; your social connections with humans and the world around you may become blurry and/or suspect; and you may have a hard time trusting your innermost self or your higher power.

Fear feels overwhelming, right?

What I can honestly tell you is that you can do this, Neighbor.

YOU CAN.

No matter how crazy-or-fear-making your situation feels in the moment.

Believe it.

And if you have a hard time believing it, then trust me. Lean on my experiences and the stories of others you relate to, to give you hope.

I am not saying that your healing is going to be easy, but I can stand before you and say it will be worth every ounce of blood, sweat, tears, and cheers.

How do you let go of fear when the past keeps repeating itself?

Here is a simple, five-step process to help you live more fearlessly in the face of adversity.

  1. Choose to identify your fears. Give them a name. Are you afraid of rejection? People? Embarassent? Failure? Success itself?
  2. Choose one fear from your list and begin exploring what it represents to you and some possible roots. For example, that fear of success? You would be surprised how many of your neighbors have been raised to believe that fame and fortune is a bad thing (think greed, ego, selfishness) and have become humble to a fault.
  3. Choose the facets that are affected by your fear. Does it affect your academic facet–maybe you second guess yourself–and prevent you from trying new things? Does it affect your social facet and cause you to avoid relationships? Maybe your spiritual facet is affected in that you don’t trust yourself to make ‘right/proper/good/healthy/[insert your whatever]” decisions for yourself.
  4. Choose your healing by reading, researching, or talking to others about that type of fear. Be sure to choose the modality that feels right to you! Me, I always go to people and their stories, but what might work best for you is scientific-based studies, poetry, or music. There is no right or wrong…other than what is right or wrong for you.
  5. Choose vitality. Once you have begun to understand how your fear affects you–maybe you even had an AHA! moment–you can create an action plan to help you keep moving forward in this new understanding. Creating your own list of Power Mantras™ is a simple and strategic way to ensure that your thoughts and progress are driven by those words and symbolisms that have meaning to you. YOU, afteral, are all that matters when it comes to understanding what you need to live your best personal, professional, and philanthropic life, even in the face of adversity.

If you allow yourself the space and privilege of figuring out what you want and need to heal your fear, it is that simple because you are breaking into small and manageable pieces.

…..

I am not only honored to receive your queries, Neighbor, 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.

If you have tips or strategies that relate to this topic, please share in a comment below for, as I like to say, “Together we are helping heal worlds of hurt.”

If you find this article or our other resources helpful and want to help spread healing, hope, and happiness, please like, share, and join our neighborhoods through the subscribe box on this page and by following us on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Until next time, take care.

Yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

Comments 2

    1. Post
      Author

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Neighbor. I am sorry for the loss(es) that have caused you suffering. Your comment is so true. The first step in healing is to choose grief, to honor it and to allow yourself the space to grieve. At some point, we will likely decide we want to make shifts in the grief aspects that seem to be holding us back from doing the things we want to do. This column is dedicated to providing a few answers to some of the questions people ask me when they are seeking a deeper understanding or wanting to transition into the beyond bereavement phase.

      Sending you compassion and wishes for peace.

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