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Stuck on the Harmful People from Your Past

Letting other people from your past have power over you, limits your potential in the present.
When you think about the past, you may focus on your relationships and ways you’ve been hurt within them. You can believe someone else is to blame for everything that’s wrong in your life—that you can’t make any positive changes, and it’s all their fault.
Your thinking may often place you in a victim role, and this can even feel comforting, since it allows you to defer responsibility for things that you wish were different.
Giving someone else this kind of power over your life can leave you feeling angry, resentful, and depressed—not to mention stuck and helpless. It may also cause to continually attract unhealthy relationships, since we often repeat the same life experiences until we learn the lessons we need to learn.

 A few ways to let go of your victim story:
  1.  Practice forgiveness.
    Forgiveness doesn’t require you to condone what someone else did. And it’s not about letting that person “off the hook.” It’s about releasing yourself from the pain of your anger and resentment.

    It’s about accepting what happened instead of wishing you could go back and change it—which you can’t—and realizing that you don’t have to hurt in the present just because you’ve hurt in the past.

    This may be harder to do if the person or people who wronged you show no signs of remorse. It may help to realize that the person who caused you pain was likely responding to their own pain in a misguided way. If they’ve refused to face what they’ve done, they’re likely still hurting now—but you can choose a different way.
  2. Identify strengths you’ve developed because of your past relationships.If you focus on everything you think you’ve lost because of your past relationships, you will inevitably feel angry and stuck. Shift your focus instead to what you’ve gained.

    If you were abused, have you become more compassionate and better able to help other people who are hurting? If you were neglected, did you become independent and better able to take care of yourself?

    This isn’t pretending that what happened was a good thing. It’s choosing to recognize how you’ve grown because of where you’ve been, and appreciating that as a silver lining to a less than ideal experience.
  3. Focus on the good you can do because of what you’ve experienced.Jean-Paul Sartre wrote, “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.”

    Someone else may have hurt you, but you now get to choose: do you pick up where they left off and continually hurt yourself, or do you empower yourself to do something good, not in spite of where you’ve been, but because of it?

    Can you use the wisdom you’ve gained to help others who are going through what you’ve been through before? Can you use your insights about people and relationships to form healthier ones going forward?
This thing someone did to you, whatever it was, it can make you bitter, or it can make you better. You get to choose what the past means and where it leads as a result.