For INFJs, our past is
often a difficult thing to let go of. I should know. I’m writing to you today
from sunny Europe. I’m currently in Serbia visiting my family, the very place
of my past I wanted to escape so badly.
INFJs don’t run from our past per say. The main issue is that most of us had difficult times and don’t want to go through it again.
Because INFJs see meaning in everything, especially what happened a year or ten years ago, letting go of it feels like we are losing a part of ourselves.
Why my past haunts me as an INFJ
As I mentioned, I found myself traveling to Europe this winter. When someone asks me why I decided to travel such a great distance, I would usually say to see my family. As much as that’s true, there’s one more hidden reason I don’t share often.
Being an INFJ like you, I too am not immune to all the bad things that happened to me in my past. I already wrote about my bullying years, fears of abandonment, and failed relationships.
What I didn’t share with
you is that all these events left me with present nightmares.
I made a mistake thinking that by moving continents I would be able to let go of the old me and embrace the new improved Marko. Nope. Like you, I too have a problem letting go. bad, only the good what happened in that relationship, friendship, or career.
What’s left behind is not easily forgotten for INFJs. It’s like a ghost that haunts us whenever we want to let it go. It’s like the evil Casper twin (made this up but you get the idea). In my case, the past is represented through endless nightmares. You’re probably wondering, why did I go back to where it all started?
We can’t let go of our past, but INFJs can move forward
There is no magical let-go-of-your-past
technique that heals you in a week. This is a process that takes months, even
years. There’s no need for you let go of your past right this second, but it’s
not healthy for you to live in it forever. You’re not going back there, so why
not see what’s in front of you instead.
I returned to Europe so that I could face my past self head on. It doesn’t matter where we go if we constantly run from something or someone. No continent or country will bring that inner peace if you don’t embrace it from within.
I naively thought that I would forget everything bad that happened by simply shifting continents. Of course, that didn’t work. So instead I made a decision to face my past, once and for all. Which is something I suggest you do too my INFJ friend.
You are not the same person you once were. No matter what wrong has been done to you, that time is long gone. Make a conscious decision not just to move forward, but to look your past in the eye and say:
“I’m not who you think I am any longer.”
Stop running and let it go
Stop running from your previous self. I’m not going to say that everything happens for a reason, or it had to be like that. But I will say that you are not what happened to you.
You are how you choose to
respond to circumstances past and present. Regardless of how much that previous
version of yourself was different, you still did all you could in that moment.
Let it go. You’ve had enough sleepless nights, teary eyes, and skipped meals. It’s time for you to look forward to what’s coming, and to enjoy where you are now.
There are two things we
can’t change, our past and other people. So why ponder further about it?
Instead, accept what happened. I’m not saying you should love it, just acknowledge it. No one is asking you to forget what happened, but when you understand that your past is not who you are, your INFJ mind will give you that necessary peace.
For the sake of that brave, little INFJ who ached for support when you needed it the most, and for that future unique gem who is begging you to keep moving forward, forgive yourself. Make an apology to your present self, accept that you did all you could, your very best.
Your past might not have been pretty, but it’s gone now. I admit it, I got emotional writing this part, because I’m sharing it from the same place where I was hurt the most.
But healing doesn’t start on
the other side of the world. That spark needs to be lit when you put your hand
on your gentle INFJ heart and let go of your past.
Self-care is not just long baths, candles, travel, meditation, or mantras. It’s that moment when you give yourself the permission to live your life the best you can.
But most of all, it’s when you realize that everything that ever happened to you is leading you to where you want to be. I think that’s worthy of not looking back, don’t you?
Do you have difficulties letting go of your past? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
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