NEXCUE Imagination Leadership

Put Your Past in the Grave

Put Your Past in the Grave

If you struggle with letting go of your past pain, I have four cues to help you grow from it and live in peace.

A friend once told me that one of his clients hated his father so much that each time he drove near the cemetery where he was buried, he would stop his car, walk to the tombstone, unzip his pants, and urinate on it. This man practiced what I call epic pettiness. Even though I would never do anything to that degree, the truth is, at one point in my life, I felt the same way about my father who has been absent my entire life. The pain from that experience used to dominate me, but I learned how to bury my past in the grave.

“Those who live in the pain of their past steal the peace from their own house.”

Steven Garner, NEXCUE, Cues for Living a Great Life

I learned how to let go and grow from my painful past, and now I want to help you by sharing these four power mindset cues:

Break the habit of replaying the pain

The reason I was stuck in the past is that I kept replaying the memory that caused the pain. I kept ruminating on it the same way I would rewind a song in my playlist that I wanted to hear because I enjoyed how it made me feel. The contorted thing about ruminating on your pain is that you are intentionally torturing yourself into submission to be miserable. I used to do this, and it kept the hurt feelings alive. In my mind, it felt like it happened over and over. Break the habit by playing every good thing that happened to you that day. You must literally count your blessings every day. At the end of each day, I gather my family and ask them to share something for which they are thankful. If you don’t have a family yet, you can implement this practice with a circle of friends or you can write down what you’re thankful for as a reminder to yourself.

Block the negative thoughts like a bouncer

You must treat the negative thoughts like uninvited guests who show up to a wedding reception. I recognized that the main cause of my pain was me entertaining the negative thoughts like they were invited guests. My mind was on autopilot, and I would think bad thoughts even when I was having a good day. The way I blocked the uninvited guests was by immediately thinking positive thoughts. By focusing on the good things and people in my life, this also helped me to learn how to develop an attitude of gratitude. You can’t think about two different thoughts at the same time. You must choose one over the other.

Be quick to forgive

I really tried a lot of things to get over my father’s dereliction. While some things did temporarily alleviate the pain, none of them gave me lasting peace like practicing the biblical principle of forgiveness. When I forgave him unconditionally, I no longer carried the pain. If someone hurts me, I just let go and let God help me to heal. It really is that straightforward and uncomplicated.

Behave like the person you love

If you want the world to be a better place, let it begin with you. I started practicing what I admire about people I love. I challenged my own hypocrisy and stopped expecting people to be doing something I was not doing. I looked at the man in the mirror. This is a never-ending battle I fight every day. As a leader, I learned very fast that you must model the doctrine you expect other people to follow. Most of the lessons in life are caught not taught. Pain is a teacher, and the biggest lesson I learned is to not act like the person who hurt me.

Take your cues from me and live a great life! NEXCUE.

To learn more about my empowerment cues, visit my website: nexcues.com