How To Make Peace With Your Past

make peaceA RECENT study reveals that traumas in the past have a strong bearing with our health. Dr. Vincent J. Felliti points out in the article of Phillip Goldberg, “Make Peace With Your Past” in Prevention Magazine April 2002, “that adverse childhood experiences are likely to produce anger, anxiety, and depression. To the degree that behavior such as overeating, smoking and substance abuse are found to be effective coping devices tend to be used chronically.”
Psychiatrist Harold H. Bloomfield, author of the book, "Making Peace with Your Past" also warns that chronic stress of unresolved emotional pain wreaks havoc on ones immune and circulatory systems, cardiac function, and other physical functions.
The author of the book, A Time to Be Free: Daily Meditations for Enhancing Self-Esteem

Despite of the cruelties that life brings, still, we are lucky as individuals because our body and brain have the capacity to heal the wound that the past had incurred. Hence, it is within our reach to leave the past and move on for a better tomorrow.
In this regard, Goldberg cites the following ways to make peace with your past:
  1. Break the shackles of shame. Unlike remorse or guilt, shame isn’t about feeling bad for what you’ve done but rather for what you are. Shame is the cancer of the spirit. Give yourself the permission to break them. And always remember that shame is a lie. You are worthy of love and respect.
  2. Release the pain. Research shows that those who write about past traumas heal faster from illness, visit their doctor less often, and have stronger immune system. Set aside some time and write letters to everyone who ever hurt you. No one needs to see these letters but you, so no holding back, censoring yourself, or worrying about spelling and grammar. Just let out all the rage that’s been festering inside, contaminating your system.
  3. Stop the slow acid drip of regret. The constant repetition of “If only”…and “I should have…” can destroy your health as well as your peace of mind. An important aspect of healing is to stop punishing yourself for past mistake. Instead, forgive yourself, learn the right lessons, and resolve to act differently in the future.
  4. Move from grief to gain. The emotional wounds of devastating loss are as real as confusion or broken bone. Mending them requires moving through the three phases; first, shock and denial; followed by anger, fear and sadness; and finally, understanding and acceptance. You can get stuck in stage one, denying your pain or numbing your feelings. Or you can move through that stage, only to bog down in chronic depression, anger or fear. In either case, the healing is incomplete. No matter how long ago the loss occurred, it’s crucial to allow yourself to feel the emotions you may have suppressed. If you’ve lost a loved one, try to writing that person a farewell letter, giving yourself permission to express everything that comes up- not just the sadness and love, but the rage, terror, and other emotions, you may feel wrong for having.
  5. Cultivate gratitude. Even better than acceptance on what had happened and letting go of it, is gratitude. No matter what happened in the pas, remind yourself that you have gifts to be thankful for. Be grateful for your troubles because of what you learned from them. After all, you are just human.