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Making peace with your past is an important part of the healing process. But what does it really mean to make peace with something? It is a complex yet ever so simple concept. So how do you do it?

THE GROWTH MINDSET

A growth mindset is vital when trying to find peace. A growth mindset means that you don't let setbacks and difficulties discourage you, and you believe that they are vital to "growing" as a person. Think of a muscle. How does muscle grow? In order to grow, the muscle fibers in your body have to experience damage so the body can fuse the fibers back together, larger than before. Life experiences are the same way. You have to face trials and hard times to become the best version of yourself. Without rain, there are no flowers. We learn from past experiences. Like how experiencing a toxic relationship helps you to be much more appreciative of a healthy one. Or how COVID-19 helped us all learn we need to live in the moment, because we never know when our lives will get shut down. Maybe it's experiencing loss of a loved one, and you gain so much more compassion for the people you still have with you. Having a growth mindset doesn't mean you never experience discouragement, it just means you move past trials and accept that they make you who you are. A growth mindset is vital to finding peace because you can't be appreciative of past pain if you are still dwelling on what caused it. Dwelling on past pain means no peace. You have to let go of the pain. You have to acknowledge that it cannot be undone, and it will always be apart of who you are. Who you are today is because of what you went through yesterday. Who you will be tomorrow, is because of what you experienced today. So ask yourself, are you dwelling on the past? Is it holding you back from achieving peace and feeling content? Pinpoint what it is that you are still hurting from, and see how far you have come because of it. You deserve to find peace.

FORGIVE, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO FORGET

Forgiving the person that hurt you is a huge part of the healing process. If you haven't forgiven, you haven't moved on. So what does it mean to forgive? A common misconception is that forgiving means you accept someones wrongful behavior. This is not the case. Forgiving means to let go of your anger towards a person. So you are not accepting what they did, or saying that it is okay. You are simply letting go of that resentment you hold against them. In reality, being angry with that person only hurts you. Resentment is mentally tasking. It can be draining especially if that person is apart of your life. So try to let go of your indignation. However, letting go does not mean you have to forget what that person did to you. I am not saying you should hold it against them, but I am saying you should guard your heart. Our feelings matter, prioritize your feelings. If someone has hurt them, be wary of them. Unfortunately, past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior. This is not to say that people can't change, but you don't have to give them another chance to be in your life if you don't want to. If someone is making you unhappy or repeatedly causing pain in your life, let them go, along with the anger you have against them. Life is too short to be angry and to surround yourself with people that make you unhappy. The company you keep and the anger you hold on to affects your mental health. So spend time with the people that love you and make you the best version of yourself.

When you are in the middle of hardships, it can be hard to have a growth mindset. However, once you shift your perspective to the idea that they are necessary for self-growth, getting through them becomes easier and more rewarding.

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