FACING THE PASTWritten by Kay L. Schalgel
How many times in life have you been faced by circumstances beyond your control? To come face to face with very things in your past, that you’ve spent most of your life running away from? Well, not actually running, per say, but definitely eager to put it behind you. How many times have you been admonished, "don't talk about it. It’s past. Let it go.” That's very good advice, if we can do it. Keeping past in past is a very tricky business. It has worst way of popping up when we least expect. When you unexpectedly run into an old friend; an off hand comments of “remember when", or worse, an old boyfriend or lover popping up at worst time. Needless to say, you're not going to get rid of past
The past is a part of us. It is foundation of what our present as been built on. Our personalities have been shaped by it. Are we permanently imprisoned by our past? NO. I can't even say that loud enough. Yes, we have built on past but we can definitely remodel or even tear down house and build again. For those of us who were victims of childhood abuse or neglect, it seems impossible. The past is a constant reminder of shame, guilt, of never knowing what will come next. We never knew what it was like to take ownership of our bodies, own emotions. and sometimes even our own thoughts. That was then. This is now. It's time we learned how we take back our bodies and minds. They belong to us and only us. No one should ever have that control again. I'll say it again you're not going to get rid of past, its going to keep popping up now and then, but you're going to have learn to handle it differently. Instead of it being an enemy, and persisting to keep obsessing on bad memories. With knowledge and practice, slowly but surely good memories will begin to take their place. "What good memories you say?” Was there a neighbor that would talk, listen, feed, or just give you a safe place to hide at times? The kids you played with who may or may not have been abused themselves? There were some good times and memories even if infrequent they are there buried somewhere under bad ones. I myself, remember trips to Kentucky that we frequently took to see my step dad’s parents. It was only time that he sobered up and stopped hurting or beating us. We didn't know why at time, but who cared? It was safe and we loved it. We had vacations in summer with just my mother and neighbor. We loved this neighbor so much and knew she loved us. There were special pets who loved us unconditionally. Yes, there were long periods of violence and humiliation but there were also memories stuck in here and there that didn't hurt and were good memories. For most of us, those good memories were so overshadowed by bad, that we couldn’t appreciate good ones. Some may have only happened once, and for a very short time perhaps, but they were good. That is foundation you have to build on. Now that we are working on good, what do you do with bad? That is what takes some work.
We can’t demolish all bad and throw it all in one big disaster dumpster. We have to sift though it just one more time. Not all of it, of course, but we need to find lessons we learned, courage we had, and strength we earned. Last, but definitely not least, wisdom and compassion, we acquired along this journey. Most, if not all of us, need help with this part of process of recovery. A professional health worker such as psychiatrist, therapist, counselor, or pastor can be a really big help. For those of us with less serious problems to be worked through a good friend, journaling and reading self help books can even do trick. Theremany organization such as al-anon, AA, violence shelters. I could go on and on but you get point. They offer support and help. Even with a competent professional we can all use some outside support. For me a journal was almost a must. It helped me know where I’d been, and how far I’d come. It has become record of my journey—one that I will always cherish.
All In The MindWritten by Alvin Poh
“In life, if you give yourself a concession, you’d take it” -Alvin Poh
As part of my exercise regime when I was younger, I made it a point to have a run around my neighbourhood as often as I could. Although when I say “as often as I could”, it usually meant only once every week, or none at all. But I was still proud of fact that I ran. The route was pretty tough for me, with slopes and small hills, and finishing every run gave me a sense of accomplishment and made me feel healthier and fitter.
Anyone who runs knows that you will always have urge to give up, or to cut short your route. When going gets tough, you go home and relax. It’s human nature. And this is what is going to be main topic of this book - Overcoming human nature.
The fact really is that many of us have potential to perform, and to excel. What do you think of quote you see at top of page? Do you agree with it? This quote was actually invented during one of my runs. I remembered that day was exceptionally hot, but I had missed a few days of exercise, and sedentary lifestyle was getting to me. So I went to put on my running shoes, and started on my usual route. I was like a caged-up dog finally let loose, and practically pranced down stairs to street. My mind was full of high-energy, positive thoughts:
“This is great! I’m finally going out – Time to work those legs!”
“I’m raring to go! Lemme have ‘em!”
When I hit pavement, I let go of my pent-up energy, and really ran. I was fresh as a daisy, and ran with wind in my hair. It felt really good. I was f-r-e-e!
Ten minutes later, I couldn’t have felt worse. The heat was getting unbearable, and humidity was horrible. I was sweating profusely, and my legs felt like lead. The initial freshness had all gone away, and I was feeling like hell.
This was when little specks of negativity started to appear in my head.
“I shouldn’t be out here in this weather. I should be resting at home.”
“I’m risking heat exhaustion here.”
“I run a lot anyway – what’s one run less?”
”That hill in front’s so long…I should probably just turn back.”
With every one that came into my head, my perseverance dwindled. Every negative thought that came into my mind seemed to take root, grow, and multiply. And with every negative thought, my steps grew smaller, and slower. My lungs felt constricted, and I had an overwhelming urge to stop.
Interestingly, I think I felt almost like how those cartoon characters would, with a small devil and angel quarrelling above my head.
This was when realisation suddenly struck me though. The thought hit me square on face, and I could have sworn that there was even a loud “wham!” when it connected.