Don’t Hold Your Present Hostage To Your Past

The only moment in which you can actually make a choice is the present moment.

You can’t change the past, and the future is theoretical. The literal only moment in which choice occurs is the present.

Which means you owe it to yourself to make that as free of a choice as possible.

Your mind will rehearse the past until you tell it not to.

One way we consistently make ourselves less free is basing our present moment choices on the past.

Our brain has a lot of built-in ways to do this:

  • identities
  • wounds & traumas
  • habits
  • inertia & autopilot
  • blame & denial

But your mind isn’t in charge. YOU are. You have a choice.

If the past is dragging you down, let it go.

Learn whatever you need to learn from it, and then set it to rest.

I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m 40 and I’m still working on reprogramming shit in my head from when I was a baby.

I’m saying it’s possible. Which means it’s really up to you how much you let it affect you in the present.

There are lots of parts of life you can’t control. Your mind is one of the few things that you can, with time and practice, exercise a huge degree of control over. That is a form of power that, once developed, nobody can take from you.

The hardest part of self-empowerment is giving up blame.

Our mind has a lot of defense mechanisms, like blame (and it’s harder-to-recognize cousin projection), denial, and rationalization.

These all exist for a reason. They are ways that the mind protects itself from being overwhelmed.

And they make you feel better. Sort of.

But if you can find any space in yourself, work to let them go. Because they are keeping you trapped trying to resist something that is already over.

Whatever you lost is gone. Whatever injustice occurred has already happened. You can’t change it.

You cannot fix the past. Ever. It is over, done, and absolutely unfixable. And any energy you spend trying to fix the past is energy you are robbing from your present.

If you are letting your past negatively affect your present, that is at least in part a self-inflicted injury.

Again, I’m not saying it’s easy to re-pattern your subconscious and change your beliefs and thoughts. But it’s possible. Which means you have a choice.

The past may have been someone else’s fault. If you were a child, it definitely was. But the present is still up to you. Nobody can take the present choices you have away from you except yourself. 

You don’t ever have to keep being whatever you used to be.

You can self-generate new beliefs and new feelings and new habits and a new identity.

That is one of the awesome powers of the human mind. Yes, it gets stuck in the past. Yes, it tries to reproduce old traumas. But it also has the power to generate new thoughts and re-shape itself. You always have that power available to you. Use it. Get clear on the future you want, and then make choices every day that will move you closer to it. That is how you change your life. And nobody can do it for you.

That is what empowerment means. It means using the full power you have available to you right now. You have no power over the past. But you do have power over your present.

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Hi there! I’m Emma and I write about self-liberation. My writing is meant to share my process & inspire your own. If you want more frequent/current writing, visit my Substack Sparkly Dark, where I’m unpacking my neurodivergence.

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Also! I’m also looking to start a community of people looking to build authentic connnections & grow together.

Thanks so much for reading! ~Emma

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One comment

  1. Emma, It is so important to put the past behind me in order to live in the day and create a new life. I want to take my writings of what has happened and bring them to the ocean and let them go.

    I have learned much through the years. I have worked hard to reparent myself and give myself a very soothing , supportive and forgiving super-ego. I have forgiven those that caused great trauma in my life. I am not my traumas and not responsible for the abuse that took place.

    My responsibility lies in taking care of my self. I have learned self forgiveness. I nurture my body with healthy foods today. I use my talents and have awakened so much to life. I have a beautiful dog that I love sharing time with. I will soon be meeting new friends. I will only allow those within my inner circle who are capable of love and support, my association with distant unavailable people was only recreating my past. I do mindfulness everyday and find living in the moment so beautiful. I never noticed all the beauty in life as I do now. I am still trying to reconnect with all my feelings. I am a poet and writer and I find myself at a standstill as I have unconsciously shut off my ability to cry. I care deeply for others, but there is in recent years a disconnect that I am waiting to heal within myself. I am being kind and loving to myself and patient for healing to take place. I also have C -PTSD. I know I am healing more and more everyday. I believe in myself today. I need to start to implement my personal boundaries. It is imperative to have boundaries and use them, it helps your self esteem and others respect you for it.

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