3 Things You Do with Your Past Painful Memories

We all have painful and regretful memories. There are three likely reasons we keep thinking about them, one of which may surprise you.

Isn’t it surprising how we forget the heart-wrenching and agonising memories?

Think about the embarrassing moments you had in school or your first break up.

When you go through a painful break-up, you feel like your life is over.

The pain is so deep you wish you’d never experienced love.

Not long after the breakup (and “I-want-to-die” pain), you find yourself living a blissful life with a loving partner as if nothing had happened.

Now you can’t conjure up that acute pain you had once felt, even if you try.

You just vaguely remember having that awful feeling once upon a time.

You’re so happy with your current life it overrides the past pain… and then, poof—it’s gone.

That’s how our painful memories from life usually play out.

But if you’re still being affected by your past painful memories, here are likely reasons.

Have Something to Say to you

Your past painful memories are lingering because it wants you to know a couple of things from those experiences.

Nobody knows what those “a couple of things” are except you.

But you can find them in no time.

Here’s how.

Grab a journal and write down those painful memories.

Describe them in details.

  • What happened?
  • How did it happen?
  • How did it affect you?
  • Who played what roles in those memories?
  • In what way is the event still affecting you today?

This exercise isn’t about finding faults in what you did.

Use it as an opportunity to think through what you would do differently if the same thing happens tomorrow.

All our painful life experiences have only one purpose.

They exist so that they can teach us what we can learn from them and how to make better decisions in the future.

Life is a continuous journey through which we learn and grow.

We don’t stop with one experience and say:

That’s it: I’m done with life.

We embrace it, learn from it, and use it as a benchmark for future decisions.

If you’re still harbouring painful memories, it means there’s a lesson waiting for you to learn.

Find out what it is, be free from it, and become a better person for it by making good decisions onwards.

A Safe Place to Hide Behind

You’re hiding behind the painful memories.

If you’re in your 80s or 90s, it’s perfectly okay to reminisce about good and bad times on your porch swing.

You earned it!

For the rest of us, though, thinking about painful and regretful memories all day long may indicate that we’re hiding behind them and refuse to LIVE.

We shackle ourselves to the memories voluntarily, using them as excuses so that we don’t need to change our circumstances.

When you have ample years ahead of you to experience so much more, it’s truly a waste of time to victimise yourself with a few unpleasant experiences and decide to stay there.

Because all your future experiences can bury the previous bad ones if you give yourself a chance to do so.

The Most Powerful Fuel

Your past painful memories can serve you like no other.

We see this all the time.

From ordinary people on the street to superheroes in a movie.

If you were once homeless or on the brink of bankruptcy, you’d do just about anything to avoid being in the same situation.

When you feel like slacking or your willpower is wavering, you’ll remember those awful days when you couldn’t buy food for your family.

Those memories will kick your backside to get out of bed at 5 am.

Your loved one’s sudden departure from this world who has left a big hole in your life makes you cherish the time you have with your family and friends.

Your painful and regretful memories make you compassionate towards others who may go through rough times.

It makes you humble and humane.

You learn to be patient and understanding and appreciate that we’re all in this life journey together.

Final thoughts

There’s no other benefit of our painful and regretful memories except we learn from it or use it as a powerful motivator to better our life.

The memories will eventually perish, anyway. Especially bad memories.

The sooner we focus on creating wonderful memories, the quicker the bad ones disappear from our life.

All the more reason we should do away with painful and regretful memories as quickly as we can and leave them where they belong: the past.

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