How to Overcome a Bitter Past

Written by
Michael Wells

How to Overcome a Bitter Past

Written by
Michael Wells

How to Overcome a Bitter Past

Written by
Michael Wells
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QUESTION
"How do I forget a bitter past?"

Don’t forget it, re-frame it.

Whatever happened, those events, like all the events of your life, are important. They teach you, they shape you, they are part of you.

The Pain Frame

The reason you’re feeling pain about the past is because of how you’re viewing it. Most likely, these thoughts are running through your head right now-

  • I was harmed, in some way
  • Bad people caused me harm
  • What happened to me was unjust, or unfair- it should not have happened this way.
  • I didn’t deserve it

All of those things are a perspective, or a “frame” through which you are viewing those past events.

The thing to understand here is that 100% of your emotional pain is caused by your frame, not by that past event. That past event is gone, and it can’t hurt you anymore. What can? Your emotions.

So re-frame it.

The Growth Frame

Here’s a better frame.

  • Something happened that I didn’t want to happen. It created problems for me, and I suffered. But it happened anyway. Life isn’t always “fair,” and I shouldn’t expect it to be. Instead, I’ll make the best of it.
  • Humans are sometimes selfish, unkind, perhaps even evil. But this is what humans are. I understand humans better now, both at their best and their worst. I understand better now that anyone is capable of mistakes,
  • I know better what is most important to me. These are my core values. I need to shame my life, and my relationships, around them.
  • Even though the course of my life, and my relationships changed unexpectedly as a result of the bad event, new doors opened. I met new people, found new situations, discovered better friends, adjusted my priorities. None of those great things would have happened if the past had gone differently.
  • Life is life, and I should make the best of it. Even when its bad, there are moments of joy to be found, and better times ahead.
  • There is a lot in my world I don’t control, but I can learn, have more realistic expectations, and make better decisions.
  • Tomorrow will be better.

You’ll be surprised how your feelings change as your perspective does.

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First published on 
. Last updated on 
April 27, 2021

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