How to Let Go of the Past and Trust Again
Breaking news!… All breakups, regardless of the circumstances, are painful to some degree depending on if it’s mutual or one-sided. In this article, I want to show you how to let go of the past and trust again.
If you’ve been in a terrible relationship and letting go of the past just seems too hard to do…Then read on…
See, I was one of those guys who thought getting married was something I “had” to do before I moved on from this life. When I met, my soon to be ex-wife in 2007, I was in the beginning stages of online marketing and self-development.
I was also still heavy into music production. I’d realize I went to middle school with her and had a crush on her way back then. This may have clouded my judgment because she was fresh out of a relationship but “he” was still in the picture. I didn’t make a big deal about it because my daughter’s mom still had feelings for me and would come around every now and then to cause a seen.
To make a long story short, we ended up moving to Florida and got married… Was it the best decision I ever made in my life? Well, I’ll explain…
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See, throughout the marriage, it was a lot of drunken nights, drunken fights, infidelity (on both parts), regret, me doing jail time and a pleather of other things…
In the end, it turns out she was still in love with her ex-boyfriend throughout the entire marriage…lol… I kinda had the feeling she was but I was in denial… When we finally separated, it was one of those “you need to get out now” type of situations where I found myself homeless…
The kicker was within few days of being gone, I tried to go home and mend things only to see “him” there…lol… What a punch to the “nuts” right? Well, It turned out they had been planning this for years…
I was upset for about five minutes after I found out… Then it hit me… I have to accept it as it is and move on… Don’t worry… It gets better, I promise…
“The first thing you must understand is… Whether it’s good or bad, it’s the best thing for you at that time.” ~ Julius Minor
When we separated, I was homeless and had not a dollar in my pocket. I met a few nice homeless folks who offered me a tent to sleep in at night. It wouldn’t have been as bad if it wasn’t for the fact that it was pitch black in the woods and they had pet raccoons…lol…
I had a hole in my tent which made matters worst because around 2 am every morning, the raccoons would crawl through the hole looking for food. The raccoons would actually crawl over me in the process which was pretty hilarious when I think back on it.
The nice man and his wife who provided the tent had serious health issues and found themselves in the hospital… I would never see them again…
After about a week or so of pitch black woods and pet raccoons, I had to make a choice… Even though I’d accept what happened yet still in sort of a denial, I knew it was time to let go of the past and move on… I took a deep breath and exhaled… Whew!!!
At that moment, a deep chill came over me and for the first time in almost seven years… “I was happy”… I was broke, hungry and homeless in the woods… But I was happy! Why was I happy? Because I get to rebuild myself “literally” from the ground up and become the person I was designed to be…
See, you can’t control how others feel or force someone to love you… But most importantly, you can’t beat yourself up about it.
What I realized at that moment was:
1: Everything that my wife and I went through didn’t exist any longer. So I cannot focus on an illusion which is the past.
2: That chapter has closed…
3: This is my opportunity to get my life back and become that successful entrepreneur I knew I was destined to be.
4: And last but not least… Drumroll!! I was truly happy at the “lowest point in my life” knowing that the only way to go was UP!!!
What I didn’t know then (which I know now) is… That was the single greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life…
Ask yourself these two questions:
1: What good does it do you to feel bad about something you cannot change? How does that benefit you in any way?
2: If someone hurt you in the past and you’re “still” hurt… Are they still hurting you now?
Letting Go of the Past
People are conditioned to judge others based on their past. It’s something our ego uses as a defense mechanism to protect us from harm. I’m pretty sure you have a friend or family member who constantly brings up the bad things you did in the past.
Just by them bring up the incident can change you entire mood for the day simply from the “thought” of it. Remember this… Reliving what happened, again and again, isn’t helping you or the person involved. You’re just going to keep feeling bad over something that no longer exists.
The Relationship is Over
I know it can be hard but you have to face reality… How is “denying” what is real, helping you? Also, if your ex is ready to move on then you’re not only doing yourself a disservice but them as well… You have to put on you grown up pants and realize they’re no longer in your life.
It can be hard but it’s reality and you must understand it’s a part of life. The best thing I recommend is spending some time alone so you can come to grips and accept that it’s time to start a new chapter in life. The last thing you want to do is contact your ex… Trying to make things right or apologizing will only make things worst.
How to Forgive Yourself
1: It starts with acceptance
Since we are survivors, our brains are wired to be critical of ourselves because if we’re not “perfect”, then we will be cast away from everyone else. Society teaches us that if it’s not good then it’s bad.
So we try to avoid or even hide embarrassment, mistakes, and failures for the approval of society. Understand that we’re all flawed and we all make mistakes.
You have to acknowledge and take ownership of everything you do. You have to accept things the way they are and don’t beat yourself up about it.
2: Learn from your mistakes
Let’s face it, we do the best we can at any given moment. Even it’s not the right thing to do. Ask yourself this…
Would you have done what you’ve done if you knew it would hurt someone or if you would regret it in the future? Probably not…
What is the lesson you can take with you moving forward? How can you use that lesson to better yourself as a person?
Either you win or you learn… No matter what, failures and mistakes are how we grow as humans. You’re never the same person as you was yesterday… Unless you failed to learn anything yesterday.
3: Understanding your values and beliefs
We’re conditioned with the belief that we should feel guilty about something we did in the past. We shame ourselves if it goes against our values or morals. But this can be a good thing as it can help us pinpoint who we are as a person.
This can also help us understand why we “still” feel hurt over things we cannot change. As we develop from children to adults, our environment instills in us the way to carry ourselves.
Unconsciously, we create mental illusions of who we are and how we’re supposed to behave instead of being true to ourselves (which is another topic I’ll cover some other time).
Think about what your beliefs are about yourself. Is what’s making you feel bad a religious or spiritual belief? Or is it social or society related…
4: Learn to trust yourself
Remember that old saying… We are our own worst critics? Most of the time we treat others ten times better than ourselves. If “you” were your best friend, would you hang around that person who talks to you that way?
Think of that voice in your head as your best friend. If “you” were your best friend, would you hang around that person who’s always putting you down every chance they get?
Yes, you can ignore, avoid, or completely cut off someone who treated you that way but it’s hard when it’s that voice in your head. You have to trust yourself, love yourself and appreciate yourself. Ironically our “past” shows us we can make it through anything life throws at us.
5: Be mindful of others
The way you think of yourself doesn’t only affect you, it affects everyone around you. The people that care about you will feel the repercussions of how you treat yourself. If you feel bad about yourself and fall into a deep depression. You can become withdrawn from your family, blame or even lash out at your loved ones based on how you feel about yourself.
6: Consult with someone close to you
Sometimes you may feel alone in your situation and want to suppress everything inside which will make it even worse. So if whatever is was you did wrong, express it with someone you can get support and advice from “without judgment”.
7: Apologize and make it right
If it’s hard to forgive yourself, apologize to the person you hurt. You’re not apologizing with hopes to fix the relationship but to feel better inside. Even if there’s no way to apologize in person, you can always ask for forgiveness through the universe or in prayer.
8: Let it go
Remember that what you are going through, others also have and will go through the same. So don’t beat yourself up about it. Think about when your friends have issues and come to you. You tell them to “keep their head up, it will be ok”… So take your own advice and let it go.
Think about it… It’s actually more painful to hold on to the past than to let it go. If you think about a past relationship from 10 years ago it’s not bad at all… How many relationships have you had since then? Take what you have learned from the experience and better yourself for the next one…
Moving Forward With a Positive Mindset
The best way to move forward is to become “present” and focus on what you can do today that will make tomorrow even better… This is the perfect opportunity for you to explore your visions and set goals to achieve your purpose in life.
Be grateful for your past experiences because those lessons made you who you are right now. It’s a part of your story… As I already stated earlier, loving yourself is vital. Always think positive thoughts toward yourself from now on. Show compassion to yourself.
You have to be a best friend to yourself by thinking kind things about yourself. Moving forward you have to understand your wants and needs. What do you really need… Food, water, shelter, clothing, and air? What do you want… A nice car, beautiful partner…etc?
If you have anything that reminds you of them, get rid of it! The only thing these things will do is bring up painful feelings that you’re are trying to move on from.
If you have them as friends on social media, delete them immediately. I know first hand the feeling of an ex parading their new lover all over Facebook and bragging about how happy they are “Now”… Delete their number from your phone as soon as possible. This way you won’t be tempted to call or text “especially” if you’ve been drinking…lol…
Eventually, you’ll want to get out, exercise, be social and meet new people. Exercise is not only great for stress and depression, but you’ll become more confident as well.
How to Trust Again
Some people believe that trust has to be earned… I’m the opposite… I’ll give you the trust up front and let you screw it up…lol…
Basically, I’ll trust you until you give me a reason not to. I say this because in my opinion, for me to make a woman earn my trust is based on an “old” relationship. Which is something I don’t do…
Being authentic, transparent and also give them the benefit of the doubt…
But how do you really know if you can trust someone?
Well first and foremost, actions speak louder than words. I know that’s very cliche, we always hear that actions speak louder than words.
But really think about it… Someone will say something, but then they’ll do the opposite. And what we really need to realize is that people’s actions are a representation of their intention, of their priorities.
So, if someone says “Oh, I wanna get together, I can’t wait to see you,” but they don’t actually make time in their schedule to do it, that means that you’re not their priority. And so it’s really important for you to just simply take into account what they do over what they say.
I know that sounds a little strong and harsh but it’s important. It’s also important for you to adjust your expectations. People often have a good intention behind what they’re doing, but they aren’t able to really prioritize and live according to what it is that they truly believe and truly want.
But if you’re willing to adjust “your” expectations than you know what it is that you can expect from someone.
So if you have a friend who you know loves you, but they’re just a flake and they can never show up on time, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you, it just means that your expectation of them might have to shift and that you don’t wanna get there on time because they’re never gonna show up on time.
So in sum, how can you know if you can trust someone?
1. Is really pay attention to their actions.
2. adjust your expectations. When you really know what you can expect from them, then you can adjust what it is that you’re ready to receive, and determine that that way.
One of the biggest challenges we face after divorce is learning to trust again.
So it’s very common for people not to trust again and what we do is we bring our past experiences to the next person… So the first thing to remember is the person in front of you is not your ex, it’s a clean slate. it’s always clean slate until you know more about that person.
Don’t make assumptions that they are going to be just like your ex-partner was. So if your ex was a cheater, it doesn’t mean everyone is a cheater or that you’re going to focus on cheating signs.
A lot of people misinterpret that a person is cheating just because he looked at a woman in the restaurant… Oh my God!!! He must be cheating… We need to get the facts and not make assumptions. So gather what you really see not what you make up.
I’ve certainly learned that if you look whatever you look for, you’re going to find it. So if it’s cheating, you’re going to find it so look for the good stuff and you’ll find that as well… It’s also a really good way to shift towards a positive mindset. The main thing you want is to balance your head and heart in dating.
We tend to either date with all only our head or only our heart… When you go with only your heart, you go in wide open and anybody can step all over your heart. This is not what you want… But if you go in just with your head and your heart is guarded, no one can get in…
Go in with your standards, know who you are, and know what you want. Also, know what you will settle for and what you won’t settle for… Keep in mind that we all have habits. We need to be forgiving of things that are forgivable and speak up about what’s important to us…
If somebody does something that hurts you, then speak up about it. Don’t assume that they should know that it was a bad thing to do because we can’t read each other’s minds…
The point is… We can build trust again but we need to acknowledge that we are bringing our own baggage to the table. Get strong on the inside and trust yourself… Strengthen your mindset… Get strong enough so that you can speak your mind and set clear boundaries so that you can trust again.
There are amazing people out there… Don’t give your heart away to every person who wants it… Be selective but also be open, and expect the best, not the worst, that’s one thing I had to learn…
So how to let go of the past and trust again? Follow your intuition…