How to “pass” the past. In 12 steps.
Step 3: Tell.
Now, run and tell that!
YOU might be thinking, “… But YOU said in Step 2 that I could tear up the facts and that this was no confession!” Yes, I said that. And in regards to the facts, that is exactly what I meant. YOU have earned the right and respect to tell YOUR STORY and YOUR FACTS at YOUR PACE, in YOUR TIME. This “tell” is about what happens after that. As we have established, the facts are the facts, and there is no changing that they are true, at least about our past. YOU will eventually be able to tell them with confidence and in boldness, but until then, YOU don’t have to pressure YOURSELF to reveal or release them in a way that makes YOU substantially more uncomfortable. Just always remember though, there is nothing that we can do about what actually “happened”, it factually happened. And telling in that sense could serve us well in not just solving our own issues, but helping or preventing such in the lives of our family, of our friends, of our world!
This is time to give YOUR side. YOUR “other” side. The side of YOU that the facts don’t explain. It is time to tell YOUR story. YOUR story that defines YOU or redefines YOU. YOUR story that vindicates and verifies the validity of YOUR own truth. This isn’t about confessing or complaining, this is about being convinced and being confirmed in the fact that YOU are who YOU are and that YOU are willing and ready to move forward. This “tell” is not about accepting or assigning responsibility, this step is about accountability. This step is about making the announcement, to YOUR past, to YOUR future, and everywhere in between that YOU are worthy of being someone who experiences and enjoys the NOW that is readily and rightfully available to YOU. This is where YOU tell YOURSELF that YOU ARE, that YOU CAN, and that YOU WILL, be whatever or whoever or wherever YOU choose to, from here on out!
Tell YOUR past to stay put. Tell YOUR present to stay positive. Tell YOUR future to stay the course. The “tell” step is about affirmation and acclimation to YOUR own self. One of the main concerns and issues with the past is that facts of the past cause so much shame and guilt to press on our minds and bodies and that element is most often hidden or accommodated through secrecy and silence. YOU may not be in a place, or position, or comfort, enough to speak on the bad that happened to or because of YOU, but YOU can speak up about the good that YOU do want and that YOU do deserve and that YOU WILL ACCEPT and ASPIRE toward YOUR future, from now. YOU get to speak life into YOUR new “facts”. YOU get to “Say Something”. YOU have to SAY SOMETHING!
Depending on the severity or level of YOUR own personal baggage and how it has or was holding YOU back, YOU need to “unpack” some things. Clearing YOUR mind is a novel and aspiring suggestion, acknowledgement is a vital component, but nature and “life” always have their way of reminding or reverting us back to places or people or problems of the past. And just as easily as YOU emptied YOUR thoughts can they be renewed or refilled to the brim of default or denial. And so YOU have to “lose” some of those bags in order to make room for what is next. I suggest writing letters. Write letters to YOURSELF about the past, about YOUR hurts. Then write letters to the people that YOU can reach or remember that hurt YOU. Write letters of forgiveness and apology. Write letters of acknowledgement. These letters can be sent out at a later date or appropriately used as journals. At the early stages of YOU “passing” the past, YOU have to deal with YOU and so it is not imminently necessary to subject YOURSELF to encounters that are not healthy or mediated properly, protecting YOU from further distancing YOURSELF from the awesome, fantastic, wholesome, trustworthy, and authentic person that YOU are. Along the way of going forward YOU are going to encounter the people that were specific to YOUR problems, or YOUR pains, or YOUR past, and those moments and instances will be undoubtedly difficult and uncomfortable if YOU are caught off-guard or by surprise and not prepared for facing them. But if YOU have already addressed the issue for YOURSELF, even if it is by letters that YOU wrote to YOURSELF, it will serve YOU quite effective in the moment of that occurrence. So for right now YOU can keep that part of it, the letters, if need be, to YOURSELF.
“Telling”, in this step is also about trust. Because this step is about accountability YOU must make a concerted and conscious effort to fulfill the space in YOUR life that was made empty by silence or secrecy, both habits and traditions that are all too common in the devastating aftermaths that our life disasters leave behind. So YOU do need to find someone, be it professional or personal, that YOU can establish trust in and be comfortable and confident enough with to “tell” YOUR whole story to. Counselors and therapists are perfect for this assignment. True friendships are even better because they have an access to YOU that the professional sector may never achieve. But the truth is that YOU have to let it out, keeping it to YOURSELF will eventually do more damage than YOU can afford to recover from.
As children we are told or taught that “tattling” is a bad idea. Tattling, a reference to “telling on someone”, was usually our way of expressing when we felt wronged. The adults or more responsible individuals around would dissuade us from that because it was, to their insistence, us being selfish or “naggy” or immature. And so they shamed us into developing habits of keeping our feelings and issues, things that personally affected us, large and small, to ourselves. As a child one of the worse things YOU could be was to be known as a “tattletale” or “telltale”. And the idea of it being a bad thing seems to instinctively and inherently take root in the dialogue that we learn in our earliest of years. Being a tattletale was the worst YOU could do, according to YOUR family, according to YOUR friends, and even strangers knew the rule. And so it developed into keeping secrets and remaining silent. It was reinforced by ideas and notions like “what goes on in this house stays in this house”. Eventually this manner of thought turns into us not being able to express ourselves aside of if we hurt or perceive harm. And not telling on someone else blurs the borderlines of being able to speak about our own truths and facts. And it is misconstrued as being strong to not have to “tell everything” but it weakens us and it creates the atmospheres and environments that breed the perpetuation of disastrous cycles and stigmas. It turns into our modern day “no snitching” culture. YOU know where that has gotten us.
All from not “telling”.
So tell! Speak out. Speak up. And when the time comes, speak on the facts that are YOURS to speak on. Because the truth is that YOU are not the only one that YOU are speaking for. And there is someone dealing with issues the same or very similar to YOURS, they need YOU to say something! They need to pass their own past. YOU could help them do that.
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers