I am writing this as we speak from my local library. I thought this would be a good place to gather some inspiration. Are you faced with conflicting feelings about where you want to be in life? I know exactly what this means since I am going through this right now. I feel that my life is in two places meaning a part of me is in the present and the other in the past. I have had this feeling for a while now where I feel most alive in one but not so much in the other. I have lived in Australia for almost 9 years and feel that my life is not here at the moment but maybe in the future. It’s amazing how we feel better in certain places and less so in others. This is not necessarily a bad thing so do not feel ashamed if this is you. We can relate this to our growth and how we benefit from different surroundings. Being in this scenario is like a two door situation; which door do you open or close? This can be quite frustrating.
What does this signify?
At some point in our life, there are scenarios we are faced with which make us decide whether we want them to remain in the present or in the past. The reason for having one foot in the past is having not resolved certain issues where you do not feel ready to close the door on the past. Our memories can cause us to resonate more with some places. When one of my past jobs didn’t work out, I could not see past this so I would cling on to the experience which made it more difficult for me to move forward.
What holds us back from closing the door on the past?
We feel afraid that if we close the door on the past something awful may happen. Yet in reality this actually means that better things will be waiting for us. We cling onto the past, because we feel comfortable and are more settled with it. To be honest, we may as well stay in this ship and sink if we do not let go of the past. You could refer to the past as a set of weighing scales where one side is higher than the other.
Why do we hold onto memories?
What is it about a particular memory that makes you feel so attached to it? Are you still seeking answers? I know this as I still keep asking myself questions about why certain jobs didn’t work out or why this person didn’t like me? We all want our lives to go perfectly but this is not possible. There are reasons as to why circumstances have not worked out for us. One of the most important points to take away from this is to accept and move on. The moment you take the emotion away from a memory, the easier it becomes to process. Before I went to Europe, I was desperately trying to find answers as to why my family didn’t accept me? I started filtering through painful memories which I could not process. One of the main reasons behind feeling like this was because I could not accept myself.
Reiterating the experiences and why this is not wise.
If you continue to do this, then it will make it harder for you to move into the present as one foot will always remain in the past. I am currently in a situation where I am finalising things in my life in order to move overseas. The moment I started taking control of this, I began to find my foot moving slowly out of the past and into the present. We think that if we rehash experiences, it will give us new perspectives but this does the opposite. I have been there and done this and it does not work. I have tried to explain to myself why my past relationships didn’t work, expecting to hear a different tune. We can only accept it and let go.
Getting rid of anything which connects you to past experiences
This will just hold you back. We hold on to past sentiments in the hope that when we are feeling down, it will bring us peace and solace. The long-term effects of this will not be good for you. I remember being given a bracelet by one of my ex-partners. I had kept this for a while after we ended our relationship in the hope that he may call me to rekindle the relationship. Was this necessarily a good thing? Not really. This will continuously make us think of the relationship even when it has passed.
Focus on what you have in the present
Put all of your energy into your new activities, including your personal and working relationships. Focus on building and helping those who are in need too. Know that you are not alone in this situation. I feel that, for myself, in order to move forward, I must focus on building new potential opportunities. One of my biggest priorities is to build my consulting business. This can be classed as being in the present because this is happening in the here and now. Don’t shy away from any potential opportunities, because you don’t really know what could happen.
Finding what you want
Not knowing what you want out of life could lead to you being stuck between the past and present. Or you may know what you want, but still find yourself at a crossroads. I know that for me, I felt like this constantly. I would always reach the crossroads and would not know which direction to take. This is a painful and mind blocking experience. Do note, though, that you will eventually come out of the other end so do not give up hope. There have been countless amounts of times where I have wanted to give up because I have felt so conflicted in where I see myself going. When working in Human Resource Management did not work out for me, I felt conflicted between trying again or working in IT, which I know are complete opposites. We desperately try to find the reasons as to why these scenarios do not work out. I racked my mind for a good while in the hope that I would discover something, but I did not get the answer I wanted. In the end, I had to let go.
All of the above are helpful tips towards understanding why we feel stuck between the past and present. Note that this is a valuable life experience and not a disaster. For many of us, we freak out at the thought of being caught up in such a situation. Why are we placed in this situation? I suppose it is to teach us something about ourselves and how we can deal with the situation better in the future. Shall you ever find yourself in a present/past scenario, remember there is always a way forward. Look towards the light!
By Caroline Peart
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