Originally Posted by catfeeder
One method I use for integrating my 'wounded past' self with my current self is to adopt the role of a counseling adult who speaks with my younger self as I think through your most painful events.

I find it helpful to ask myself whether I want to view my past through a lens of a victimhood or resilience. When I opt for resilience, I'm able to learn lessons from my past in order to build confidence in my own future judgment as I move forward. A victim mentality wouldn't buy me that, it would just keep me locked in stagnation with the belief that I am always at the mercy of other people's lousy judgment instead of my own.

So I use my adult voice to coax my younger self through anger to consider some mitigating steps that I've learned since the event, and I comfort myself with forgiveness for not knowing how to take these steps at the time. This frees me from using anger as a wedge to avoid recognizing that I can take responsible steps to avoid similar outcomes in the future.

This doesn't mean that I blame myself in order to avoid rage at someone else, but rather, I choose to acknowledge my ownership of better life skills today. So when I walk through those moments, my adult mind can 'see' how my anger and fears are driven by the unhealed part of myself that I now own the intelligence to comfort and coax forward.

For instance, I can identify instances where I was powerless to escape certain interactions--with parents or teachers or school peers--while today I can use my own discretion in screening out people with whom I don't wish to interact.

Hashing the past is only useful to the degree that I'm willing to enhance my future rather than squelch it. When I can CONSCIOUSLY identify ways that I can forgive my younger self for what I did not know then, I can circumvent an UNconscious loop to keep fearing past harms, because today I DO own the power to recognize harmful situations and abusive people instead of engaging them.
Thank you. That is a unique way to view it- as though I am communicating to my younger self. Maybe I'll write her a letter... "It's not your fault." Type of thing. And "I'm older now and wiser and can see red flags and have the power to leave a situation."