Video Discussion: Prisoner of Your Past

Hi everyone, for this video discussion I thought I’d try something a bit different. Instead of watching and hearing someone explain the topic, I thought that it would be nice to try some reflection and then do the discussion.

The video has just a quote and some background music. You can reloop the video for the music if it makes it easier for you to think. If you want to use other music, go ahead.

Now that you have reflected on the quote, how do you feel? Does this quote hit home for you? Do you know someone who is a prisoner of their past? Were you once a prisoner of your past mistakes?

Prisoners of Our Past Why?

It’s not always easy to break free from our past. Sometimes people don’t know that they’re living their daily lives, though in the present, the mindset is in the past.

Mistakes, wrong choices, setbacks, not forgiving others, or not forgiving onself are some reasons why people are prisoners of their past. People can be smart, kind, and wise, but things change when something bad happens to them whether it’s by someone else, something else, or by their own free will. Now people will go through the storm and come out of it. However that’s not always the end of the story.

During that storm, people sometimes bury or try to bury something bad that happened to them that they don’t want anyone else to know. They are told to toughen up, smile, or act like it never happened and move on. Yet they deal with various emotions like regret, guilt, jealously, unwanted stress, or sadness. In some cases, people will succumb to depression or other bad habits and sometimes not realize it like unhealthy eating or drugs.

Other cases though, people will not want to forgive someone else who did them wrong. This can keep them stuck in that past hurt. Someone who hurt a family member, a friend, or someone close to them can be stuck in that past hurt because they are unable to forgive themselves.

Forgiveness can be Freedom

One way to help break free from being a prisoner of your past is forgiveness. I have talked about forgiveness before and forgiving yourself of past mistakes is the first step toward healing and truly moving forward. You acknowledge your mistakes, you see them as life lessons in which you learn from, and you free yourself from your prison.

Forgiving others is different. We are directly or indirectly taught that we shouldn’t forgive others who did us wrong. We wind up holding a grudge which can affect and change our way of living and thinking in ways that can be unhealthy. Remember forgiving someone doesn’t mean that your justifying or exonerating what they did to you, it means that your not going to be hindered by that hurt any longer. Your not going to let that hurt dictate every decision you make. Your not going to let that other person or people have power over you anymore. You accept and acknowledge what happened, you forgive the other person, and then you truly move on.

Both scenarios show that forgiveness toward yourself and toward others is the first step toward healing, fixing things, making things better in your life, and maybe in other people’s lives as well.

Wrap Up

Being a prisoner of your past happens to even good people. Some know it and some don’t. Your not alone if you felt this way or are currently feeling this way. There are people all over the world who are prisoners of their past. Maybe the waiter who served you last week is a prisoner of his past. Maybe that server at Starbucks, the person right beside you, the person who is always happy, or your closest friend who is like a sibling to you are prisoners of their past.

You can break free from this. It will take some time and effort, but you can take the first step and start making and living a better life you deserve. You are worthy of love, respect, kindness, and peace of mind.

Reflecting on life can be scary, but it can be beneficial and enriching. I hope that when you reflected earlier when watching the video, you realized some things that you need in your life and/or no longer need in your life.

Take care, stay safe and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

What Everyone is Saying About Regrets

We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, your are not your struggles, and you are here now with the power to shape your day and future.

Steve Maraboli


Hey guys, hope you all have been doing well.  With everything that has been going on lately, I know people’s hearts have been very heavy and have been consumed with a lot of emotions.  Going back to my post on moving forward and not back, there was something else I wanted to include, but I thought it would make more sense to make it its own topic.  What I’m referring to is regrets.  I have things that I regretted doing and not doing.  Your not the only person who has regrets in this world.  Everyone has one thing they have regretted doing or not doing in their life. 

What Regrets Do to Us


As humans, we are not perfect.  We all make mistakes at some point in our lives.  We can forget to do something important, we say something we wish we could take back, and we forget to say something important to someone we care about.  We do things that seem right at the time and later regret doing them.  A mistake can turn into a regret depending on how you react to it and if there are other people involved, their reactions can have an impact on it.  Regrets also come about when we are disappointed over something and feel sad.  According to Psychology Today (2017), “Regret is the second-most common emotion people mention in daily life, some studies show. And it’s the most common negative emotion” (Grierson, para 2).  Regrets can eat away at you and bring down your mood.  You can begin to neglect your overall health and become weak and fatigued.  You may begin to think your not worth a dime to anyone and that all the good things you have in your life, your not worthy of them.  You replay what happened over and over hoping for a different outcome and what you did wrong or what went wrong in general.  You look for a hidden meaning which may not be there.  People can get lost in the sadness and guilt that can come with having regrets. 

Common Regrets People Have

There some regrets almost everyone experiences at some point in their life.  One of them is not having the courage to live a life that is true to who they are.  They live their life of what is expected by other people and they don’t find true happiness and peace of mind. 

A second common regret is wishing that they worked smart and not hard.  It’s one thing to work hard, but working smarter (while still working hard) to where your not burning yourself out, not sacrificing your happiness, being able to spend time with others, and maintaining your overall health is what you should aim for. 

A third common regret is being able to stay in touch with good friends.  We can so easily get caught up in our lives and whatever problems we are dealing with that we forget to see how others are doing.  We forget to spend time with our friends which can be helpful in recharging ourselves and breathing a sigh of relief.  We can also forget to ask them for help and forget to help them out. 

A fourth common regret is being able to have the courage to express their feelings.  Sometimes we bite our tongue to maintain the peace between friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and family.  Yet in doing so we may also suppress our feelings.  This can cause us to not reach out more to friends and family, build or rebuild bonds and connections with other people in our lives, and not be able to be vulnerable to them. 

A fifth one is just not letting yourself be more happy with your overall life.  So many times we let good things get away from us because were either scared of something or someone or not feel like we’ll be good at something.  We also can be blind to good things that are right in front of us because we’re so consumed with our problems, wishing for things we don’t have, and wanting the next day or weekend to come so that we can enjoy something while ignoring the other days.  

A sixth one can be how someone approaches their education.  Some regret not doing well in school, some regret not finishing school, and some regret their major in college.  There are those who regret the way they handled student loans.  According to PayScale (2019), “the years of commitment and the repercussions that academic choices can have on earnings potential leave many regretting their educational choices.  Our research shows that the vast majority – nearly two thirds – of those with at least a bachelor’s degree regret something about their education” (Gruver, para 2-3).

Here are some ways that you can avoid making mistakes that can lead to regrets:

  1. Don’t follow someone else’s dreams
  2. Don’t take your loved ones for granted
  3. Live in the moment and the present
  4. Stop pretending to be someone else
  5. Take care of yourself
  6. Don’t fear failure
  7. Experience and listen more
  8. Stand up for yourself
  9. Seize the moment
  10. Think before you act

Here is a list of tips on how you can better cope with regrets you have made:

  1. Acknowledge what you’re feeling
  2. Catch yourself doing negative self-talk 
  3. Find the triggers that make you feel down and avoid them until you feel no pain from them
  4. Focus on what your grateful for because others have less than you
  5. Genuinely apologize and forgive yourself
  6. Focus on and embrace your positive qualities (you have them)

Wrap Up

Life can be too uncertain to have any regrets.  Yet they happen still happen even to the best of us.  Seizing the moment is one thing, but there are scenarios and situations where you should think before you act and what to say, as it could hurt someone’s feelings or hurt them physically.  As I mentioned, there is probably one thing that you regret in your life.  I hope that by reading this that you find a way to cope with it so that it doesn’t rule your life and the decisions you make in the future and that you can better avoid making new ones.  I’ll leave you all with this, one thing I recently learned is to work on solving your inner conflicts first and then whatever is going on in the world, it won’t be as overwhelming to you.  

Reference

Grierson, B. (2017). The Meaning of Regret.  Retrived from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-carpe-diem-project/201710/the-meaning-regret

Gruver, J. (2019). Biggest College Regrets. Retrieved from        https://www.payscale.com/data/biggest-college-regrets

Learning to Forgive Others, but Also Yourself

You ever been upset with someone and you swore that you would never forgive them? Did you do something to someone that upset them and you didn’t forgive yourself even though they forgave you? Well the other person may not have forgiven you, but the point is that you still didn’t forgive yourself. If you said yes to any of these questions, well once again you’re not alone.

What is Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of those things that people struggle with because it means that you are releasing feelings of vengeance and resentment toward a person or a group of people who harmed you or did some kind of wrong to you. You probably have been in a position where you didn’t want to forgive someone because you thought it meant that whatever they did to wrong you, you were letting them off the hook. You thought you had to get back at them for there to be ‘justice’. In my post about saying no to revenge, I mentioned that best kind of revenge is no revenge. Forgiveness was one of the last tips I mentioned that can help you to move forward from that bad thing. Forgiving someone is one thing, but forgiving yourself is a different one.

Forgiving Yourself Can Be Tough

Ever heard the phrase, ‘forgive, but don’t forget’? That doesn’t just apply to other people, it also applies to yourself. If you wronged someone, yes you and the other person don’t forget it, but have you forgiven yourself? Forgiving yourself I personally found to be harder than forgiving the other person. This true for a number of people. Depending on how bad you wronged someone, you can have quite a bit of trouble forgiving yourself. You may cheat yourself out of doing something fun like hanging out with old friends you haven’t seen since high school. You may not want to eat because you feel like you don’t deserve food. You may isolate yourself from other people because you feel like you don’t deserve to be around people. If you’ve hurt someone, you may not want to be around them, so you may distance yourself from them. The reason for this may be because your afraid you’ll hurt them again whether it’s through your actions or words. Even if the other person forgives you for what you did, you may still not forgive yourself.

If you have struggled with forgiving others as well as yourself, here are some ways that can help:

1. Move On and Forgive The Other Person

If you were wronged by someone, forgive them even if they don’t forgive you. Easier said than done I know. What the reality is that your forgiving them so that you can move on with your life and not be hindered, influenced, or controlled by the other person’s words or actions. Remember, you have the final saying in your life, not someone else. They can’t make you feel bad without your consent.

2. Understand Yourself

If you wronged someone, apologize to them yes, but also look into why you wronged to begin with. Your don’t always notice your behavior, but others notice it. Understand what feelings are taking place. Allow yourself to feel what your feeling. If you don’t like those feelings, you can change them. Try putting yourself in their shoes and see how you feel if you were mistreated or wronged by someone. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

3. Forgiveness Helps Your Overall Health

Forgiveness is connected with your mental and physical health. Physically, forgiveness can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Your sleep quality improves and fatigue is reduced. If you hold a grudge, your using up quite a bit of energy which can be fueled by anger, resentment, or jealousy for example. Mentally and emotionally speaking, forgiveness can be relieving and you can free yourself from feelings of depression and hostility and lower your anxiety. You can relieve yourself from feeling bitter toward the other person. There is a certain kind of heaviness that comes with not forgiving someone (the grudge is they heavy feeling). This kind of heaviness can be draining and I can speak from experience.

4. Let the Healing Process Begin

You want to move on from whatever it was that hurt you? Well forgiving someone allows the process of healing to begin. If you want to move forward and leave the past in the past, you need to allow yourself to heal. You are worthy of being healed. Don’t let anyone tell you that your not. One thing to keep in mind, the healing process can’t be rush. The healing process can take long or it can be short. It all depends on how bad you were hurt and how wronged you were. If there was more than one person involved who hurt you, the healing process can take longer. Take each day one at a time. Remember baby steps are good.

Here is a video that describes in depth about how forgiveness is freedom. Sara Montana is a writer and editor who talks about her journey of forgiveness and how it can be tricky. I would suggest that you keep and open mind and watch the whole video.

Final Thoughts and Sum Up

Forgiveness can be tough to do, but it’s the best kind of revenge and it’s one of life’s great lessons. We free ourselves from the victim mentality that comes with being hurt and wronged. You can begin to be at peace and most importantly you are not giving someone else authority over your mind and heart.