Negative past experiences, upsetting memories, and agonizing pain: we all have ghosts in our pasts, things we’ve done wrong, and recollections of others who have wronged us. Negative events allow us to grow, learn, and push beyond our limits.

Some, though, remain stuck. Some people choose to live in their past, to relive it over and over again, and to let it dictate their present and future, whether consciously or unconsciously. And, rather than progressing and building a better future for themselves, they remain stuck in the past, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Here are 3 ways to know if you are a prisoner of the past

1. Dealing with the guilt of the past on a daily basis

Things that happened in the past must be judged in light of your understanding at the time, not at a later date. We learn from one instant to the next, becoming wiser with each passing moment.

So, whatever shame you had in the past, you’re wiser today. It’s quite acceptable to forgive oneself.

2. Clinging to a terrible memory

Another sure tell sign of being a prisoner of the past is repeatedly reliving a painful incident. It can be beneficial up to a degree, but persistently reminding yourself of an injury simply disturbs the natural healing process.

3. Not being aware of the pattern

We are drawn to similar circumstances as long as we are holding on to past trauma until we are able to address it. Recognizing where your pain points are and how they may be affecting your current relationships takes some soul searching, but it’s well worth the effort. Because you can break free from your chains once you understand them.

The only true method to ensure a happy and satisfying future for yourself is to let go of the past and focus on the current moment in order to create the future you desire. The past has a place in your life, but it is not a location where you should live.

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Also Read: 4 Reasons Why Letting Go Of The Past Is Important