Making peace with the past is something many of us have to do at least once in our lives, oftentimes over and over. What does that look like in your life?
For me it’s a difficult thing to do. That’s why I find value in talking with others and learning from their experience. Phrases like: “Coming to terms with”, “acceptance”, “embracing the past” leave me feeling frustrated and lacking.
I found myself in a conversation with a group of women discussing these very words just the other day and I now have a better understanding of the terms and of myself. Proof once again that we were never meant to do life alone, proof to me at least.
Those words: acceptance, coming to terms with, embracing, learning to live with the past all had connotations of condoning or liking the things we have experienced. That’s what I heard these women say. Now I know it doesn’t. I knew already, you know? I just didn’t know deep inside where it really counts.
So making peace with the past looks a little different to me these days. It means grieving the losses and grieving them well so they won’t continue to come up. It means starting to look at things in a different way, which will lead to a new way to live. It means choices and contentment. I may even mean joy.
Making peace with the past is a process, much like most things that will help us through. It is an opportunity to get to know the authentic you that you have been all along the way but perhaps lost sight of. I’m not saying this process isn’t painful. It may be the most painful thing you’ve ever experienced in your life. Worth it, however, if you achieve your goal of making peace with the past.
Making peace with the past is a way of learning to live, fully engaging in the reality of your present life. Where else is there to live but in the present? This puts you in a place to better understand who you are and how to care for yourself, which, in turn, allows you to be a person who can give to your family. You may even find that you are challenged to grow in ways you never imagined and, AND like it.
It seems that making peace with the past really isn’t about the past at all, but about the present. It means living a life free from the things that have haunted you and kept you stuck in a place you never wanted to be.
Making peace with the past is a beautiful thing. How do you make go through this process?