But we can also be plagued by memories of previous hurts, and these can cause us to layer on more protections than we may actually need. While these can definitely help insulate us from these lingering traumas, they can also keep out things in our present lives that would bring joy and light to us.
Sometimes, we don't see what is actually in front of us. We might meet someone who, in some way, reminds us of someone else. And instead of allowing this new person to become known to us, we see them through the lens of how we saw the person they remind us of. If we have bad memories of the other person, we can never give the new one a chance. We instead treat them like they actually were the person we have dealt with before.
We do need to be wary, and if a situation or type of person was harmful to us in the past, we may need to be more wary when we are confronted with something similar. But we should approach this with our eyes wide open. Be ready with your protections, but practice lightening them just a little. Test the waters and see if the new situation actually warrants the extra protection or if we are just acting on the ghosts of the past.
Moving forward may mean we need to build trust and security from the ground up. We may need to have our protections higher for a while, and gradually lower them. We may need to work through those past traumas so that we can let them go. We may need to forgive ourselves or the people we feel should have been protecting us when we weren't able to protect ourselves.
It can be really easy to hold onto these deep grudges. To judge other people for their failings. And while there is nothing wrong with acknowledging how someone contributed to your pain, if you want to move forward in your relationship with them, you have to find a way to come to terms with the past.
This might mean that you realize that you can't actually forgive the person. Some things you might not be able to get over. There is nothing wrong with this! Some acts just cut too deeply, and you may recognize that you will never be able to fully trust this person any more. You may need to figure out how you can let them go from your life, or at least take a step back from them.
Other times, you may find that you can forgive the person who was involved in your past pain. In order to build a healthy relationship in the present, it is deeply important to actually release the old blame and any negative emotions that are clinging to it. If you are constantly bringing up past mistakes, you can not move forward, you will always be stuck with that event holding you back.
Remember, forgiving someone else isn't something you are doing for them, although it does benefit them. You forgive someone because it is right for you to do so....because it is necessary for YOUR growth and health.
And either way, whether you ultimately decide to forgive the past or release the person from your present, you never need forget what happened. You learn from what has happened to you, so that in the future, you are better prepared. You can use this information to keep yourself better protected by being more proactive with your protections. When you know what you need to protect from, you can keep your protections focused on the actual dangers and not on just keeping everything out because you feel like you can't trust anything.
Our history is what creates us, it molds us into who we are in the present. But we want to be like the flower that grows out of the dirt and compost of all the things in our past, taking in what nourishes us and letting the rest settle underneath our feet. We don't want to be crushed under the pile of trash, always struggling to reach the light.
Look at the areas in your life where you are holding onto resentments and continuing to let old pains dictate your present and future. Consider how you want to deal with these old energies so that you can move forward without them continuing to shackle you. Forgive what you can and release what you can not. The past is in the past, let it stay there!