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Getting Unstuck Through Acknowledging The Past

Apr 14, 2008
Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the refrigerator, staring at all the food, and saying to yourself, "There is nothing to eat in this house?" Have you opened your closet, looked at the neatly hanging array of clothing and said, "I have nothing to wear?"

An outside observer would have to wonder what you are talking about, staring at all that abundance and hearing you proclaim that there is nothing there for you. That is what we call Being Stuck. You have everything that you need to provide you with a full and happy life, but it just doesn't satisfy you.

Sometimes, we get to a place where we just don't know what we want out of life. Perhaps the career that you poured your energy into is no longer satisfying. Perhaps the relationships that were once exciting and stimulating have become stale. Maybe you know that it is time to make changes in your life, but you have no clue where to begin.

From all outward appearances, you have it all. You know that you have food in the fridge, clothes in the closet, career options and relationship choices. Yet, inside, something is missing. Being stuck keeps you from making the decisions that will bring you peace and satisfaction.

The first step in getting unstuck is to examine the why. Very often something from our past is holding us back. Maybe you broke up with your boyfriend/girlfriend or got divorced and have all those negative feelings; maybe you're afraid to change jobs because you once made a hasty job decision; maybe you remember feeling afraid when you tried to do something.

Now is the time to Acknowledge the Past. Acknowledging the Past simply means to recognize and understand the impact that the past has on who we are today, right now. All the events leading up to this day -- both good and bad -- have created the person who looks back at you in the mirror. Acknowledging the events and circumstances that brought us here is a key step toward living a fulfilling and happy life.

Why is this important? People have a tendency to engage in revisionist history when it comes to the past. Have you heard people talk in glowing terms about someone who died and you scratched your head and wondered, "Who are they talking about?" It is important to take a good, realistic look at the relationship we are acknowledging, warts and all, and bring that relationship into proper perspective. It is OK to acknowledge that someone you loved was a slob or forgetful or perpetually late.

In the case of a divorce, you hear of someone you knew to be kind and generous referred to as "a monster" by their ex. It is fine to remember a special, meaningful event that makes you smile, to remember what it was that made you fall in love to begin with, to have kids with, build a life with. It is also important to make peace with whatever precipitated the breakup and use that to benefit your going forward. Remember that there are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn how to live a better life. If you made a bad job decision, OK you made a bad decision, we all have at some time in our lives.

It is important to keep in mind that Acknowledging the Past is not meant to have you erase the past or to ignore it. Conversely, it is not about dwelling on what has happened. This is to assist you in putting your past into its proper perspective.

Acknowledging the past does not mean forgetting. It means coming to terms with what has happened and moving forward. Does lingering bitterness from a divorce keep you from fully enjoying the life you have now? Does unabated sadness from being widowed keep you from believing that you can ever have a peaceful and happy life without your deceased spouse? Does fear of not having enough money keep your closet packed with clothes you hate?

HOW? One way to Acknowledge the Past is to put all of your feelings on pieces of paper. Go ahead! Write down the fear or anger or sadness you are feeling. Acknowledge that these are real feelings that you were entitled to have but that it is now time to let go. Then tear up or burn those pieces of paper. We happen to like burning because then you can scatter those ashes or flush them down the toilet and watch all your negative emotions flush down the drain. You are letting go!

Can't let go? You're not alone, it is hard. Your New World Coaching specializes in helping people find out what makes them happy and helps them take the steps toward achieving that happiness.
About the Author
Fran Elster and Mary Caprio are Certified Empowerment Coaches and the founders of Your New World Coaching. They are dedicated to helping people move forward in their lives. Visit our website at http://www.yournewworldcoaching.com Acknowledge The Past, Live In The Present, Embrace The Future.
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