Have you ever felt so confident that some encounter of the past was finally done with?
Maybe it was a break up, maybe a love one passed away, maybe you lost a friendship, maybe it was something so deep and hurtful that you pushed all memories out of mind — but whatever it was you thought to yourself “I’m glad I finally got over that and life is back to normal.”
Then out of nowhere it all creeps back in — the memories, the emotions, the raw feelings. All of a sudden it was like it happened yesterday. It is all so vivid and overwhelming.
You sit thinking, “What the hell? This was years ago. Why now? What is even happening?”
Listen, if you have been in this situation before, I feel you. And, it really sucks.
So here is why I’m rambling on about all this talk of the past.
This past week was like any other week — actually it was better than any other week. I was with two friends, we were hiking some of the most beautiful trails, we were enjoying each others company, and honestly it was so fulfilling.
As I was driving through the mountains with my friends some of the hardest memories from two years ago snuck into my mind — I was super caught off guard.
Well honestly, I was kind of pissed. Why would all of this resurface? Better yet why now — two whole years later?
The answer came almost immediately — I never actually let myself fully deal with the emotions in their entirety two years ago, when they were fresh on my heart. I took this whole “out of sight, out of mind” approach. I quickly convinced myself, “you are okay, you are strong, you can get over this.”
And I did get over it to a certain extent. I didn’t dwell on it. My life was completely normal. It truly didn’t have an impact that I could directly see until now.
Because what I never did two years ago was let myself accept that I was hurt and scared — that maybe in the exact moment I wasn’t actually okay. And the tough reality is that feelings don’t really go away until confronted.
I thought by pushing the tough emotions and thoughts under the rug that they would simply go away. To me it seemed simple — that’s the quickest way to move on.
So it only makes sense that two years later the “tough” and “scary” thoughts and feelings have come back to remind me that I never let myself heal.
So, maybe that is where you are at too. And guess what? It’s okay.
But I challenge you to face it all this time around. Let every single hurt, every single fear, every single moment of anger or sadness sink in. And if you are anything like me doing exactly that completely broke me. I sat there crying. I felt so weak.
Then I realized, I was anything but weak. Honestly, in that moment I was strong. Strength is facing reality head on — not being afraid of the moments that had power over me for way to long.
It was beautiful. It was freeing. But most importantly, it was necessary.
Friends, I will leave you with this. If I can do it, you can do it as well. Next time the past creeps up I challenge you to face it head on.
Embrace the freedom you deserve.