We have all been told at some stage of our life to just ‘get over it’. There are still times when it is said to me.
What does it mean to ‘get over it’? Does it mean to forget the past? That is impossible. Perhaps it means to not let it affect our life. But how do we do that when the painful memories seem to emerge from nowhere?
My experience is that there are some things we will never fully ‘get over’. Instead, we learn to work around them. Some of my coping mechanisms are most likely not healthy, but given my history, it is the best I can do.
Sometimes our memories haunt us, and they act as triggers which affect us physically. Sometimes we find ourselves reaching back into those negative experiences to find an answer to a challenging situation in our lives. It is natural to do this. Everyone uses their past to help with the present.
That’s how our mind works. We always reference the present with memories. This is how we grow. We use the past as a step to the future. Once we know something is safe, we use this to move forward to the next step.
Unfortunately, not all of us have a nice past. For us it is not possible to simply get over past traumas as the wisdom we need to deal with the present can only be found in our pain.
For example, when I cook, I often remember my mum cooking. I use this knowledge to create the same dish. This memory does not come alone. It brings with it thoughts and feelings from my past. Before I know it, I am plunged back into the despair of that time.
What I have discovered though, is that over time I create my own memories. Instead of referencing so far back, I naturally use the last time I created the same dish. By creating my own memories in this way, I use these as my reference point. Over time I have created many positive memories which I use to deal with my present.
The next time someone uses this phrase, remember time is the only answer. We need time to create a new life away from those memories. It is a slow process, but at each new step life is much better.
In love, Jenny