Healing From Your Past
Healing from your past. Such a touchy subject. I want to first start off by saying, that we ALL have a past and we ALL have been hurt. However, in order to shamelessly love yourself and create a life you love, you have to move past the hurt and on to bigger and better things. This is why healing is so important. If you don’t take the time to heal old wounds, they can easily affect other aspects of your life. Let me also make it clear that if you are listening to this and are thinking that you aren’t affected by anything that has happened in your past, you are mistaken.
Psychology proves that we are a product of our environment, taught behaviors and past experiences. Who we are today is a collection of things from our past. We are usually unaware of the effect of our past until it’s too late.
Healing from your past is important for a couple of reasons. The main one is relationships. If you never fully healed from a relationship, you won’t be able to have a happy and healthy relationship with someone else. All you’ll do is carry over the baggage from your last relationship, right into the next one. New relationship, same problems.
The boyfriend I had before Dre cheated on me multiple times. I was so blinded and couldn’t understand how someone who said they loved me, spent all their time with me and dang near lived with me could do something like this. I felt so icky. Literally disgusted because I thought this was someone who truly cared for me and I saw myself being with him long term. He took advantage of my trust and when we broke up, I didn’t want to be in a relationship for a really long time. I was afraid to trust again.
It took me months of working on myself. Gaining closure from the relationship. Not from him. But from myself and God. It took a while to truly believe that nothing was wrong with me, it wasn’t my fault and that all men are not dogs. He just wasn’t the right person for me and I knew that God had something better in store. I knew that I had to heal from the hurt I dealt with him because there was no way I would be in a relationship and feel like I can’t trust the person I’m with. I started to look at all the small things in our relationship that were signs of cheating and mistrust. Once I broke it down, he never really gave me a reason to trust him, I just loved him so much that I tricked myself into dealing with it instead of listening to my gut.
Too often, as women, we want to give the man the benefit of the doubt. We make excuses for them and use the feelings we have for them to justify their actions and instead of leaving, we stay. Hoping and praying that they get it together but they almost never do. And that’s not your problem. If a man isn’t ready, he isn’t ready. It doesn’t matter if it’s you or Beyonce that he’s dating. It has nothing to do with you. So let go of the idea that you are such a good catch that any man would be lucky to have you. If you date a guy who isn’t looking to settle down, you will not make him change his mind. And if he does, simply because he thinks your a good catch and he doesn’t want to miss out, you can almost guarantee the relationship will end with him cheating or ending it because it wasn’t actually something that he wanted in the first place.
It’s sad, but cheating is pretty common nowadays. I’m sure each one of you listening has either been cheated on, has personally cheated or knows someone who has. So society says you can’t trust anyone. But there are people out there who want healthy relationships and experience true love that can last a lifetime. It’s all about meeting the right person at the right time.
Had I not taken the proper time and steps to deal with healing, I could of messed up a great relationship with Dre. If I had not healed, the same trust issues would have crept in and Dre would of been affected by the actions of a man he never even knew. And this happens all of the time. People jump from person to person never dealing with core issues, expecting things to work and then get discouraged when they don’t.
So when you have time, take a moment to self-reflect on your past relationships and how they may have affected your thinking and behavior when it comes to dating. Chances are, you’re doing something in your current relationship that stems from insecurities or habits you had in past relationships. The man your dating now can’t deal with the baggage you picked up from another man. No one wants to deal with that. It’s exhausting and unfair. And if you’re not dating, this is the perfect time to self-reflect and heal before you open that door again with someone else.
Another reason healing from your past is important is for self-growth. If you are stuck in your past, you will never grow into the woman you’re supposed to be. You will go through life without revealing your true potential. If you don’t become your best, you will never attract the best. We always want what we want but aren’t always willing to put in the work.
A friend of mine once said, “the man you want, wants you too and he’s out there”. An amazing man wants an amazing woman. So focus on being amazing! Do the things you need to do to heal from your past to create a brighter future.
Hurt doesn’t always come from ex-boyfriends, it can also come from our parents, past friends or our upbringing as a whole. Before I met Dre, I realized that my upbringing had affected the way I look at relationships and the roles of a man and woman. My dad left me when I was 4 and I was raised by my mom who was single and worked full-time. It was me, my brother and my 4 foster brothers and sister. I was raised by a strong independent woman who was a hard worker. This taught me to be independent but I realized I was TOO independent. I wasn’t able to let a man lead in my relationships and I didn’t know that was an issue until I built my relationship with God. God calls men to be the leader and this was hard for me to understand until I met a man worth following and trusting.
This was a major issue and I realize it created issues in my relationships that I was unaware of until it was too late. I also had daddy issues which is why I never fully trusted any man that I was with. I always thought he would leave me just like my dad. It wasn’t their fault. It was a behavior that I learned when I was a little girl. Men tell you they love you and then they leave you. It took serious work and healing to forgive my father and come to terms with what happened and move on. My goal was and is to break the cycle and make sure that my children never have to experience that.
I encourage you to take time to dive into your past and try to find the things that may affect you in a negative way. You could also look at the things you don’t like about yourself or your ways and try to draw a line to why things are how they are.
For example. I used to be really bad with money. I would make it and spend it with no budget or planning in the process. I never even created a budget until meeting Dre. I was really a spur of the moment, make ends meet type of person and that is really no way to live. I had no structure and due to my random spending, each month came with its own set of problems. I had no peace and the worst part was that I wasn’t investing in my future. My money management habits stemmed from what I saw growing up. My mom never taught me about budgeting, saving, how credit really works and it affected me as an adult. I didn’t look at money as a resource or a way to create financial freedom, I looked at it as a way to get the things I wanted which doesn’t do anything for my growth. One of my favorite sayings is, if you can’t manage a dollar, you can't manage millions. So this was something that I had to be aware of, dig deep, find the root of the problem and course correct.
Another big issue for me was drinking. I would go out clubbing 5 days a week and usually day drink whenever I had the chance. Instead of dealing with the healing that needed to happen, or dealing with my day to day issues like a mature adult, I would drink my cares away. Drinking was my escape from reality. My family drinks a lot and I started at a young age. It was such a part of my life that I didn’t know how much damage it was doing. I didn’t realize how unhappy I was, until it was out of control. I went to jail multiple times from fighting, driving under the influence and assault on police officers. I know I know, you’re thinking what!!!??? You? Little sweet Bre!? Old Bre was a hot mess! I cannot make this stuff up.
It took me hitting rock bottom to make a change in my life for the better. I don’t regret any of it because its the reason why I am where I am now. Now it’s your turn! Where are you right now? How has your childhood, past relationships and past experiences shaped who you are today? Is there anything that you want to change? Anything that you need to heal from in order to be your best self?
Here are my tips for addressing healing:
1. Find the problem
Look at your life and your relationships with friends, family and or your significant other. What are you struggle with? What would you change? Write them down.
Once you write them down, take time to dive deep into each thing. Don’t judge yourself or be too proud to realize your issues because we all have them and the first step to fixing them is to admit that they exist.
2. Find the root of the problems
Take the list of behaviors, beliefs, mindset, habits, anything that you wrote down and work from top to bottom to try and determine the root of each problem. Where do you think the problem stems from? Why do you think its a problem?
Don’t rush the process. You won’t be able to answer all these questions over night. Give yourself time to process, understand and research.
3. Create a plan
Now that you know the root of the problems, let’s determine what you can do to change. For each thing on your list, come up with 2-3 things that you can do to start the healing process. What does it look like? What is needed in order for it to happen? Whose support do you need?
4. Commit to the plan
Once you have your plan, it’s time to put it into action. Again, this is not an overnight process. It takes real-time and effort to change so don’t get discouraged by the process. Tell your loved ones about your plan, they can help hold you accountable through your journey. Don’t set specific deadlines. Healing is not a race, it’s an emotional journey and only you can determine how quickly you move.
5. Find Support
It may be necessary to reach out for professional help. There is nothing wrong with counseling or therapy. It’s actually really healthy and helpful, especially for healing from your past. Finding the right person who can help you unpack your baggage and clearly lay it out and help you understand it may be needed. And understand that the first person you go to may not be the best fit. It’s like my massage membership. I was a member for 4 months until I found someone who gave me the experience I was looking for. Shop around, try people out until you find someone who feels right.
Lastly, don’t give up. So many people start the process of healing but few make it out on the other side. With something so painful, it’s easy to find coping mechanisms like shopping, drinking, sexual relationships, etc. Don’t allow yourself to be a woman who masks herself to the world as if she’s this well put together person but on the inside you’re suffering. You have the power to be exactly who you are and own it but you have to start with healing. You have to know your weaknesses and how your past has affected the woman you are today. You have to be aware of emotional triggers and how to strategically deal with them when they occur.
So again, to all you beautiful and worthy women reading this post, it’s time to dig deep. Discover places in which you may need to heal and explore them. You are in control of your future but unfortunately, that’s deeply tied to our past. So throw on your emotional armor cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride well worth taking.
I hope this post reminds you that we are all human taking it day by day. What we do now will affect our future and only you are in control.
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Thanks so much for reading, and until next time, be shameless.