"Peace begins with you." - Manhee Lee. A good tree bears good fruit. A bad tree bears bad fruit. We can either be happy with the good fruit we see in the various aspects of our lives or be saddened by the rotten fruit we are yielding in the other parts of our lives. The ideal reality we wish to see is us being like a healthy tree planted by the streams of water, which yields its fruit every month, in which the leaves never wither and whatever it does prosper. However, in many cases, attaining that reality is often difficult. How then do we make our lives become like a good tree which bears good fruit in season? How does our past influence us to attain this goal?
Focus on the tree, not the fruit!
To become like a good tree that bears good fruit in our present and future times, one needs to come to an understanding that the outcome of your life today has been primarily shaped by you. The decisions you made. The ideologies you chose to live by. The events that happened in your past shaped who you became today. How you learned to adapt and respond to situations in your environment produces the fruit you yield.
In the present, all we see is usually the fruit of what your past generated your present reality to be. We look at our relationship's history, health, goals, socioeconomic status, and we are often not happy with what we see. The immediate response is usually blaming external factors or people instead of focusing on nourishing the tree's roots with self-care. Yes, the past may have exposed you to harsh adverse conditions that led you to be like an unhealthy tree producing unhealthy fruit. However, to live with bitterness and resentment over that reality will only lead to the tree remaining in that harmful situation and eventually dying.
When we focus on accepting that what happened to this tree happened and yes it wasn't right, l will move on to attending to the tree's needs now. Then, we start to see positive change. Every well-nourished tree automatically bears good fruit. Hence, let our primary focus be attending to the root of the problem rather than treating the symptoms. Be at peace with the past and do what you can now to create the reality you desire.
Dealing with past trauma
Almost everyone went through different kinds of trauma, including physical, emotional, verbal, domestic, or childhood abuse and trauma. Most of the needs we expect our primary caregivers to provide for us are sadly often unmet in most people's lives. This leaves a generation like we see today and in past decades of people struggling with all sorts of invisible yet visible problems.
These include struggles with an identity crisis, self-worth, low self-esteem, constantly not feeling good enough, perfectionism, and so much more internal turmoil that throws our outer experiences into a roller coaster of chaotic experiences. Ultimately, we can see that even though we are alive in the present, we are also very much attached to the past in a negative way that is no longer serving us. As a result, one will be entangled in all sorts of destructive coping mechanisms that often do not work; in most cases, they lead one to re-living their painful past.
Face the past, carry the lesson with you forever but not the past!
To evolve into becoming the best versions of ourselves, we all need to face challenges. The attitude in which we embrace is what will determine whether our past will make or break us. To be at peace with the past, one has to decide to attain that peace consciously. The following insights help aid one to be at peace with their past.
Awareness is the art of being mindful and enlightened about a particular thing. In this case, taking time to understand our past will help one to understand their present reality and take the lessons necessary. In addition, it frees one from being entangled in toxic behavioral patterns due to one's adverse past experiences.
An example of this can be someone who finds themselves in repeated toxic relationships with partners who end up trampling on them and not serving their needs. This pattern could be due to perhaps growing up not learning how to love yourself. As a result, that person's past influences the individual to have dysfunctional relationships because they lack self-worth and esteem. Hence, it affects every other relationship that person has until they decide to learn to be aware of their past. Once one has the correct diagnosis of the past, they can apply the relevant remedies in the present and be at peace with their past, no longer hostage to re-living the same painful experiences in the present
Forgiveness, letting go, and moving on:
Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different. Instead, accepting that it has happened to you. This does not mean accepting that it was okay for it to happen. It simply entails accepting that life will not always go the way we want it to and choosing to acknowledge that fact.
Letting go of the hurt allows one to no longer be a prisoner of the past. It will enable one to move on. Letting go is empowering and helps you be at peace and reserve more energy for investing in your present. Letting go is essential to be at peace with your past. This way, one undoubtedly takes back the power they would have given away to the past events or people still causing them to suffer.
Don't cheat on your future with your past. It's over. Instead, choose peace. You can do it!