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STUCK IN MY MIND–– Enslaved to the Past

Bad relationships (platonic and romantic), traumatic family experiences, frequent losses (death, motivation, careers, relationships) and negative self thoughts often flood our lives on a daily. Sometimes so much happens to us we do not know where things begin nor end. It becomes easy to become stuck in our minds thinking that nothing will ever change, or life is just designed to be this way. It then negatively impacts how we interact with others, how we view ourselves and how we view our future. If we are not careful we become so engulfed in misery (depression, regret, shame, fear) that we become enslaved to our past, stuck in our mind and unable to make active changes that will positively shift our lives.

In most cases your body is free but your mind is in bondage. Yes, you freely walk around, go to work, interact with others, but on the other hand you are constantly thinking about, dwelling on, reminiscing and/or having negative thoughts about the past. You may even wear a smile on your face but deep inside you are hurting, conflicted or in dismay. These internal and external conflicts occur so much that you cannot move forward in your life and things become stagnant or seemingly a reoccurring nightmare. In turn, staying stuck on the “thing or things” of the past you inadvertently align yourself with the very thing(s) that were sent to destroy you! Consistently focusing on the negative causes you to mitigate all of the good that may be right in front of your face. Your mind is your greatest power and your greatest downfall; you become what you think.

To add to the conflict, we also have competing voices from those around us (ie: your negative thoughts, parents, family members, mother/father of your child, spouse, friends, etc). These voices tell you what you should/should not do, who you should/should not be and what you should/should not get over. Listening to these voices will keep you stuck, if you have not identified, aligned with and stated who you are. It is important to realize that you do not need the approval of people— you may want it, but you do not need it. Some people will never change, never say I'm sorry, never accept accountability or never accept you, and that is okay. Often times people are around because they realize that you do not know who you are and they prey on that. People will watch, manipulate and drain your energy. They only become frustrated with you when you do not do what benefits them. But once you release that need to conform, things change. You’ll then notice that the people who are not for you are not going to like you once you know who you are. When you no longer care what people say, think or feel you become a threat because they no longer have power over you! You have taken back your life and become free of the things that kept you in bondage or stuck. You have then also, deciphered the intentions of the people in your life and placed them accordingly instead instead of reacting in a one size fits all manner, thus relinquishing unwanted life patterns.

Facing your negative thoughts, fears, traumas, dysfunctions, and releasing the power that it holds will shift your life for you and those around you. If you don’t face it you’ll find that it’ll take years (instead of a shorter period of time) to accomplish things, get something, be happy, have healthy relationships or whatever it is that you want to get/obtain/do. You must face the past, address the pain and accept how it has impacted you in order for you to grow. If you do not you will keep repeating patterns, isolating yourself from those people who do care, and short changing yourself from a happy life.

You must face the past, address the pain and accept how it has impacted you in order for you to grow.

Bad news, despair, and trauma deeply permeates every aspect of life––do not live in isolation! Do not let pain and isolation turn you into a monster. Know that sometimes you will have limited visibilty, but you can still move. There is nothing to gain staying in the past and nothing to lose to move forward. Stop letting life happen to you and go and get life.

What happens if you do not get unstuck or free from your bondage? The real question is do you really want to live a life not free of that person, relationship, place, or memory? I am sure that living that way cannot be a fulfilling or happy life due to you constantly living in a dark place, being fearful of moving on, being angry from the hurt, having trust issues, being defensive, constantly attaching your traumas, displaying negative behaviors and hindering new relationships that are important and more beneficial to you.

Becoming free will cost you the comfort of the familiar. So it is safe to say that some people won’t become free in mind or their past, because they only enjoy the illusion of freedom. They will continuously embrace their bondage, because it is familiar and exploring the unknown is scary. But I want you to know that it is okay to live free, release that pain, start again and/or do it again. Trust that you should never go back from what you were delivered from. Stop being enslaved to things that did not work out, things that may have happened to you or your ideas of what things should have been (ie: ill romantic relationships, lack of support from family/friends, promises people made to you, jobs not panning out, misfortunes of life). Never expect gratitude or understanding from people, as that hope is not one that you can manage. Of all the good you do, approximately 10% of those people will say thank you— but that is ok. Do good anyways and live authentically and freely.

With that being said, it is important to realize that just because you free yourself from the bondage does not mean that life will be easy, beautiful and full of rainbows. It is hard work building yourself anew. You must build from the root up and this takes time––but learn to give yourself grace, love and compassion. Healing is not linear and it has many faces. So surround yourself in the presence of people who know who you are in this moment; not who you were or who they think you should be. Understand who you are, and be confident to say “I know who I am, even if you don’t”, as this is pivotal in your life!

You cannot be free until you know who you are. So I ask you these two questions:

1. What is keeping you stuck? 2. Do you know who you are?

Let's do this self work–– you deserve it.

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