Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Are regrets, bad memories, or losses keeping you from enjoying each new day? Is the past keeping you from moving into the future with hope and anticipation?
I recently heard a man say that it was not until he made peace with his past that he truly began to live. It changed his life so drastically that everyone noticed there was something different about him. It was not until 20 years after losing his father that he began to grieve the loss for the first time. He finally allowed himself to face his past with all the anger and pain. There was so much that he missed out on. There were lost opportunities and things that would never be, so many regrets, poor choices, and bad experiences that would affect the rest of his life.
This man went through a process of acceptance and forgiveness. He felt the pain. He felt the anger. He mourned what was and could have been. And then, he released it. He made peace with his past, and he was ready to move on with his life. Suddenly, new opportunities before him became exciting. He began to fully appreciate what he had, the people in his life, and what he had become. He began to hope for a better and brighter future. He was ready to give more of himself to others. And he began to enjoy his life more and more.
For the first time since he could remember, he felt free—free of burdens from the past, free of unresolved pain, free of bitterness and self-pity. He was free indeed! He was free to enjoy his life, his family, and all that he had like never before. The past would no longer steal his joy and hope. It could not hold him back, and it was not going to keep him down any longer.
Is your past keeping you from fully enjoying your life? Sometimes we do not stop and think about it. Just like the man described above, we might have regrets, unresolved pain, sorrow, anger, or unforgiveness. These things keep us bound to the past. The past does not have to negatively influence our future. We can release it as we face it, deal with the emotions, come to accept what was and now is, and forgive our past.
Making peace with our past will lead us to experience healing, wholeness, and freedom to live our life with true joy. Every day is a new day to appreciate and enjoy. We do not have to allow our past to keep us from being truly happy today. Choose to be free and take the necessary steps to be free now. (We might want to have a professional counselor help us go through this process.)
Following are questions to reflect on and steps to take in making peace with our past:
1. Face your past. What are your regrets? What caused or still causes you pain? What are your losses? Have you grieved them?
2. Face your feelings. Does your past make you angry, sad, feel bad about yourself, bitter, damaged, cheated?
3. Forgive your past. Do you have any bitterness, hatred, or unforgiveness towards anyone (including yourself)? Why are you holding on to it? What would it take for you to release it and free yourself from its control in your life?
4. Accept your past. When we cannot change something, the healthiest thing we can do is accept it. Can you accept your past? What have you learned from it? How can it change you for the better?
5. Make peace with your past and be free. When your past no longer controls your life—your peace, your hope, attitude, relationships, ability to love others, give and share of yourself, dream, believe, and trust once again, then you are free!
It is my hope that this has helped you in making peace with your past, and in looking forward to better days ahead!
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Copyright © 2007 Krystal Kuehn. All Rights Reserved
Making Peace with Your Past written by Krystal Kuehn,
Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher and musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling Services, a family and couples counseling center and BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning, self-help and personal growth site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights and inspiration.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011
You are greeted with, "Hi, Honey. How was it today? Where are your papers? I want to see how you did all day." "It was OK," you reply. "I really don't want to talk about it. I'm really beat." "Well, no wonder you don't want to talk about it. Look at these papers. You can do a lot better than this. Where was your mind today? You sit down right now and we'll go over these proposals you wrote and get the spelling straightened out. And look at these paragraphs. You'll never get promoted at this rate. I don't understand this. You have so much more potential than this."
How long would it be before you find a more comfortable place to go after work? "Who needs this?" you'll say."I can find someone who can show me a little more appreciation for my hard work!"
Many school–age children face this same situation daily. They are greeted after school with, "What did you learn today?" and "Where is your homework? You get on it right now!"
Children are also requested to bring home their papers so that the mistakes can be corrected. Even though this is done with love and caring, it trains them to focus on their weaknesses.
The problem faced by students is that they can't choose to go somewhere else after school. They can't avoid facing a replay of their daily failures. They must return home and listen to whatever their parents have to say. It is very difficult for a child to say,"Mother! Do you realize you are training me to keep my school progress a secret from you?" Soon they quit bringing home papers. They make excuses and blame it on their teachers. "She never gives me my papers to bring home."
The next step is for the parent to go to school demanding that the teacher develop some sort of foolproof reporting method. Teachers are actually faced with writing daily and weekly reports for parents. This never provides a long-term solution because it addresses the wrong problem. It also robs teachers of valuable teaching and preparation time.
The real problem is that the child has learned that it is unsafe to discuss school with his or her parents. Rather than developing a reporting plan, it is much wiser to work on the real problem–helping children and parents learn to talk to each other in safe and supportive ways. This solution works, and it lasts a lifetime.
You can teach your child to discuss school with you. While you are doing this, you can also lay the foundation blocks that will build a true winner out of your youngster.
STEP ONE: Sit down with your children two to three times per week. Have them point out the best things they did on their papers.
STEP TWO: Make sure your child describes to you the reasons for his or her success. As they put these into words, the reasons for the success will be imprinted on their brain, never to be erased. They will start to believe they are in control of their success.
STEP THREE: Work with your children on their mistakes only when they ask for your help. Let the school work on deficiencies. Teachers have training to help with the deficiencies in effective ways.
STEP FOUR: Be patient. This is a real change in operation. It will take the child a period of time to believe that this is not just a new phase his parents are going through. Look for the real benefits to show up in several months or maybe during the next few years, depending upon the child's past history.
Winners always think about how they are going to succeed. Losers always think about their possible failures.
©1998 Jim Fay
Schoolwork written by Dr. Charles Fay. Dr. Charles Fay is a parent, author, and consultant to schools, parent groups, mental health professionals around the world and President of the Love and Logic Institute in Golden, CO.
Love & Logic Parenting Classes help you with the most important job there is! You can learn practical tools & techniques for effective discipline, better communication, appropriate boundaries, healthy decision-making, & respectful adult-child relationships. Workshops are available at New Day Counseling in Troy. For more information or to register online go to: Love and Logic Parenting Classes or call 248-649-8050.
New Day Family Marriage Counseling provides professional counseling services for the entire family. We help parents, children, teens, families, individuals and couples. We offer couples therapy / marriage counseling, children counseling, teenage counseling, divorce counseling, porn addiction counseling, substance abuse counseling. We also offer groups for anger counseling. Go to NewDayCounseling.org today for more information or call us at 248-649-8050. We are here to help, and we look forward to hearing from you.
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