How to Alter Our Past

Many of us have a past that we can say is definitely not fabulous. When we retell the story, we can remember all the things that were wrong and painful during that time. The interesting thing is that the past only exists in our mind. It is only a memory. And we can choose how we want to remember the past and how we tell that story.

For example, maybe we can tell a story of a past that was full of childhood neglect, or unfair treatment at work, or a mean ex-partner. The story is totally true. But when we tell the story, are we a hero or a victim? Do we recognize, and talk about, how we, not only survived, but became stronger?  How it made us compassionate. Or how it made us appreciate kindness. What lesson did we learn from that experience that we can pass on, or use, to make the world a better place?

And even though the circumstance may have been bad, what were some experiences during that time that were good? Was there a sister or a co-worker that was kind? Was there a beach that we loved to go to? Etc.

How we tell the story can make all the difference. If we tell the story as if we are a hero, then we can have positive emotions, even though it was a bad experience. Whereas if we tell the story as if we are the victim, then we will have feelings that are painful, and we will be victimized all over again.

According to psychology today, research shows that story editing is so powerful that …. “we will consciously and unconsciously start to make decisions and act in ways that are consistent with that story”. What this means is that, if we tell our story in a way that makes us someone who can overcome hard things, then we will start to live our present life as some one who can overcome hard things.

The same is unfortunately true if we tell our story as if we are a victim. If we do this, then we will consciously and unconsciously, live our present life as if we are a victim.

If we are happy with the stories we are telling about our past, then there is no need to change anything. But we should consider editing our story if we are currently remembering our past in a way that makes us a victim. 

The past is only a memory, and the future is only something we have in our imagination. The present is made up of the thoughts we have about both the past, and the future. And we get to choose how and what, we remember.

Written by Lynda Timperley Btch, Dip Psyc, Cert Life Coaching

©2020Love Life Now Limited

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Pauline,
      I have one e-book that is currently available called “How to have better feelings”. If you go to my website http://www.lovelifenow.co.nz and look under the “shop” tab, it is available for $5.00 on special at present. It is a 4 week workshop that you do at home. It is great for anyone who is having a lot of negative feelings or for someone who just wants to be happier.
      I do put out a “Coaching Toolbox” once a fortnight, which has articles on mental well being. the latest one contains the article you just read plus an article on motivating ourselves and another on why goals work. If you would like to subscribe, You just need to give me your permission to send it to your email. It is easy to unsubscribe from if you don’t find it useful.
      I hope this is helpful
      Kind regards
      Lynda

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