How to Overcome Your Past to Build Your Future

We all have personal obstacles that we need to overcome in our lives and past conditioning that can trigger us in the now and negatively. 

My whole life, I have struggled with the fear of abandonment, and it has affected all the relationships in my life, and still affects me today. It is something that I continually work on, and I have made a lot of progress. 

This fear came from the things I was taught as a child, and I have carried it with me throughout my life. My parents divorced when I was young, and my mother sent my brother and me away to live with my father in another state. Divorced from my father, she was no longer able to keep up the lifestyle she had and raised two kids. There just wasn’t enough money, so she thought the best thing for all of us was for my brother and me to stay with my father. Being separated from her and not knowing when I would see her again was traumatic for me. Being torn between two parents installed a fear of abandonment in me. 

My father, on the other hand, instilled in me an insecurity I am still battling today. My father’s ego was directly tied to his money, and I remember him always carrying around a large wad of cash. To him, his status was how he felt self-worth. Growing up, I learned that to be worthy, I needed money, and according to my father, I would never be anything without him. 

Feeling insecure about my own self-worth, my personal finances, and fearing abandonment has plagued me for most of my life and has affected those that I share a life with. 

It is something I’ve known I have needed to work on for a long time, and over the past few years, I have put the work in to understand where this pain comes from and how triggers can take me out of the moment and put me back into this insecurity. 

Let me give you an example of how this affects my life and the people in it. 

My fiance is one person that recently set off my fear of abandonment. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, and I know she doesn’t do it intentionally. It is not on purpose, and I know that it is my problem, not hers. 

Four years ago, when I had less control over my fear of abandonment, the two of us had an argument, and I was triggered. Because of my ego and my fear of abandonment, I wanted so hard to prove that I was right, and I didn’t want to back down. For a short time, we separated. It was chaos and really boiled down to me vs. my ego. 

Now, four years later, we had ended up in a similar situation with the same trigger. I felt the same emotions arise that were there four years ago. The difference now is that I know how to deal with my fear, and I am in better control of my ego. I understand that she didn’t try to trigger me, and it wasn’t intentional. I understand that the real battle is with myself, not her. 

Because I now have this understanding, I can take a step back and understand where my triggers are coming from. I now know how to deal with it so that it doesn’t get out of control. Instead of chaos, the two of us can sit down together and discuss our issues and fears together. 

The fear is still there, and I am not sure if I will ever be able to rid myself of it completely. However, I will continue to put the work in so that I can continue to grow in this area. 

Why Do We Hold Onto These Feelings? How Can I Let Them Go?

Whether you recognize your negative triggers and past conditioning or not, chances are you don’t’ want to hold onto them. So why do we? Why is it so hard for us to change? 

This is because we are addicted to your thoughts, and in order to change who you are, you must first change your thoughts. You are a victim of the pain, and you become addicted to this pain. We become addicted to it because it is familiar and something we know. 

Our ego also gets in the way. We want to be right. 

But here’s the thing…

We don’t have to be right. Let your guard down and stop trying to prove that you’re right. We get stuck in the idea that if we aren’t right, then we must be wrong.

Let it go. 

If you want to get past the past conditioning, you need first to understand your triggers and where that past conditioning comes from. I put the work in, and I’ve gained the awareness of what triggers my past conditioning and how my parents instilled these fears and insecurities within me. I know that I have taken them into adulthood, and it has impacted every relationship I have ever had. 

When a trigger happens, try to remain in the present. These emotions try to strip us of the ‘now’ and take us out of the moment, but if you can learn to stay present, you can learn to push past your conditioning and change your response. 

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