I’ve Learned You Can’t Change the Past
Throughout our lives we tend to repeat cycles. These cycles consist of patterns we have formed early in life and continue to do so as we live. Unless we become aware of what it is that we are doing and why, these cycles will continue. You must look deep within to find the root of the problem and where it stems from and then seek solutions that are much more fitting to the person who you’ve grown into. If we don’t allow ourselves to grow with life, our growth becomes stunted and therefore we keep repeating cycles and may never know why.
Sometimes, we even go as far as trying to change the past in present situations. For example, if as a child you felt like you did not recieve the love from a parent that you should have, you will continue to choose people to love who do not love you back in order to try to change the past by making them love you. You think if only this person who isn’t capable of loving me the way I want to be loved, would just love me, then you will feel validated and all the wrongs of the past can be corrected. I’ve learned this does not work at all. It will only end in heartbreak, just as it did as a child.
I’ve learned you cannot change people. You cannot change the past by trying to use the present to do so. It can become a viscous, endless, cycle and you will miss out on the right opportunities for love and acceptance by trying to find it through people who just aren’t able to give it to you. It may start out as an unconscious act but after numerous failed attempts, you start to notice something isn’t right. How many times can you go through the same motions with the same type of people before you start to question if it is maybe something you are doing wrong instead of the other people. Of course they hurt you but it was your decision that allowed it to happen.
I’ve learned you must go to the root of the problem. I began to ask myself where did it all begin? Why do I try to change people? Why do I pick people who I mean nothing to? Why do they mean so much to me? How can I do something different? I began to delve deep into why I was doing what I was doing. I picked people who were always emotionally unavailable and distant. They would gain my love and then use it against me. I was always the other woman. The girl who could be taken advantage of and placed on the back burner. I began to want more. I realized how detrimental it was to my mental health. After, a relationship in which I was abused constantly, I woke up. After that, it seemed little by little I was getting better. Each new relationship was just a little less severe than the last. I still wasn’t getting it right. I still haven’t today. The difference between then and now is that I am aware and have made the necessary changes and have witnessed tremendous growth in my reaction to my decisions. I no longer fear rejection and no longer care about people who do not care about me. I simply do not put up with it.
I’ve learned that there was a solution and I was going to work hard to achieve it any way possible. I’ve learned I was repeating a cycle that was carried with me from childhood. I knew I had to change. I was no longer the victim but instead I took responsibility for my choices and began to see I deserved to be treated right. It was almost like a game I would play but I didn’t realize I was losing every time. I always felt I did some good or touched those people in a way that they had never had before. But even if I did make some kind of impact on their lives, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter, because they still would never care or become what they were not. I began to see that I had never surrounded myself with good people because I was trying to change the past.
I’ve learned that really nothing we do is really at the heart of other people’s actions. Other people’s actions have nothing to do with our choices but more so our emotions and the weight of them we have carried with us and our reactions to them at the time. I’ve learned we are judged by our emotions also. Because a lot of our choices are driven by our emotions at the time because we bring emotional baggage into the present so we are also misrepresenting ourselves by not sorting through the past and getting it confused with the present.
Anyway, when I realized what I was doing it set the stage for change. I knew what I wanted and that wasn’t it. It was masochistic behavior and after I began to love and care for myself I saw that I didn’t want to do that anymore. In life, I had healed a lot of the destructive relationships that started this cycle in the first place. When I began to see that the people I thought hurt me as a child were human and I was capable of making the same mistakes, I realized it was nothing personal. The hurt they caused had nothing to do with me but everything to do with themselves, and what they were going through at the time. The most important thing I’ve learned is not to take things personal or distort them internally as something that was my fault. You cannot blame yourself for other people’s actions. They almost never have to do with you. It’s so easy to fall into that trap especially if you love them and are empathetic towards them.
Now, I no longer try to change the past. If I recognize I’m going through a similar situation I back out before it becomes something worse. I do not keep going if I get that impending doom feeling like I am repeating the cycle. I do get a feeling each time and become a little disappointed but I have learned to be patient with myself. At least I am recognizing it and finding a solution as soon as possible instead of continuing to repeat the cycle. This is relevant with all relationships with anyone close to me. You may be surprised to find that those closest to you, such as family members, will catch on to the fact that you aren’t putting up with the same nonsense and notice you react different to them and if they really love you they will support you and those are the exceptions, because they will change for you enough because it’s almost like you send out a ripple effect and if they really want you in their lives then they too, will start to react different and that is the only thing you can change, which happens in the present. And that is if you are lucky enough to be really loved by those closest to you. Not everyone will be capable of this so it can be futile. But After I realized not to take things personal, I then learned that I had a choice in how I reacted to it. Most of the time, I would have enough respect for myself to not put myself in that situation with that person ever again. And sometimes I would ignore it and hop on board as if it’s one last attempt to change the past as if I’m participating in a research project. In the end the conclusion is always the same and leads to feelings of regret and foolishness. Now I recognize the pattern and no longer indulge when I know that I shouldn’t. Although, you have to get to know people, but it’s important after you find out that they are in the category of what you have been repeating then it is time to end it. You must do something different the next time. It is okay to falter. It is okay to make mistakes. Treat yourself with the same empathy you give those people and tell yourself no matter what happens, it will be okay. Use the trust you have built for yourself by not continuing the cycle and use that for future decisions. This isn’t a process that happens all at once, rather it happens a little bit at a time. With each new or existing relationship you have like this, you will start to notice more and more progress with each one. Soon enough those relationships won’t even exist in your life anymore because you will not be making the same decisions and you will be a different person so then you will attract the right people for you into your life. You will no longer feel the need to validate yourself by trying to correct the past through present situations. You will see how silly it all is and unless you fear change you will prevail. It is important to realize you are worth it and not to fear leaving your comfort zone.
Overall, I’ve learned that sometimes we try to correct the past by using our present relationships and circumstances. If we are not aware of the pattern and do not pin point it’s origin then we will continue to try to correct the past through present situations. I’ve learned that if we realize not to take things personal because most likely the person is expressing their own issues and it has nothing to do with you then we can change the way we react to these types of situations. I’ve learned that this is a long process and progress is made little by little. I’ve learned if your will is strong enough then the solutions will be there. I’ve learned that if you fail slightly not to give up because it will happen. At least you are trying to do better next time. I’ve learned that if we do not heal what happened in the past and make peace with it then it will continue in the present. It’s important to express any disappointments you feel these people in the past have cause you and then forgive them. It was nothing you did. The only thing you can control now is how you react to similar situations in the present. By going to the source and where the problem originated we are able to feel and heal and move on in the present. Sometimes we must go back in order to heal. But once that is complete we are free to enjoy the present because we see that our self destructive patterns stem from something that isn’t even real anymore. It was only what we perceived to be real at the time and carried with us into adulthood without even realizing it. what i mean is it wasn’t real because it was all lies and not real love. Things will happen and people will come along to wake us up to our cycle because after a while we will start to question why this keeps happening? We realize we do have a choice. And if you want it bad enough you can stop the cycle. It all comes from knowing yourself first and then acting on what you find. I’ve learned I no longer search for validation to right the wrongs of the past as I have come to peace with it. I’ve learned situations will arise to test me to see where my progress is. I know I am getting somewhere when I do not react the same way and see things how they really are instead of how I used to see them. I’ve learned those people do not change but I can. We are capable of so much, and the results are not always immediate, but when you realize you are getting somewhere, you will want to keep going. You will eventually do something different the next time. In conclusion, I’ve learned I cannot change the past by repeating cycles.
(Copyright Kerrious 2014 with all rights reserved).