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  • Writer's picturePortia Phillips

5 Ways Your Past is Affecting Your Present

The Awakening...

We all have experienced a worldwide trauma through COVID-19 and all that came with it. As a result of a little more down time, I had the opportunity to participate in deep self reflection. Reflecting on myself, my life, and my past raised questions that required answers. What I found is that my my present is still being hijacked by my past.

"Much of what we call a "personality" is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms acquired by a person in childhood."-Dr. Gabor Mate`

Our past is directly affecting our present in a multitude of ways, and below are things to reflect on to determine how your past may be hijacking your present.

  1. "Personality" Close your eyes and make a note of 5 most impactful events in your formative years from 4yrs to 18. Think about the ways you had to adapt or change due to those events or lack of some important resource. For example some one who was raised financially poor may become materialistic or someone who cared for a parent with an addiction become people pleasers or obsessive caregivers.

  2. "Health" There is a community of doctors who conducted research on the physiological affects of long-term emotional trauma and neglect on the body. Dr. Gabor Mate` has done extensive research on this topic and found you are more likely to have asthma, malignancy, ADHD, auto-immune disorders, high-blood pressure, etc. if you experienced significant trauma, abuse, or neglect in childhood. Assess your health, the root causes, and determine if therapy may improve these areas.

  3. "Partner Choice" Something inside of you springs into action when a viable partner presents themselves. If that thing inside you has been damaged at some point in the past you may tend to gravitate towards partners who mirror or reflect those traumas. For example partners who are needy and require caregiving, or partners who are non-affectionate because you never received it and it feels normal to you. Take a moment to review and assess all the past loves you have had and see what they had in common, and how they affected you.

  4. "Addictions" According to Old Vineyard Behavioral Health, people who have experienced childhood maltreatment have an increased tendency toward drug and alcohol addiction as well as behavioral addictions such as gambling, sex addition, eating disorders and compulsive eating, shopping addiction, "workaholic" work addiction, hoarding of objects, etc. Consider behaviors that will cause harm over the long-term and how you can address them.

  5. "Decision Making" The ability to make decisions or indecisiveness could be directly related to childhood maltreatment. Children and adolescents when exposed to long-term stress, are more likely to develop anxiety and have difficulty making decisions or making decisions that are beneficial to them. "Putting yourself first"" is difficult for someone who has experienced some maltreatment in childhood or adolescence, and therefore doing what's best for you may not come easy. Consider if the decisions you make are what you want or if you make them to keep others happy.

Final Thought:

"I can pretty much tell you from the way a person speaks of and feels about themselves, and the health conditions they have, what type of childhood they had." -Dr. Gabor Mate`

Know thy self, and you may be able to approach life differently and get more out of the time you have here.

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1 Comment

Maurice Phillips
Maurice Phillips
Sep 24, 2021

Recognize and Respond. Great Insight, we have to stop allowing our past hold out future hostage. Break every chain of safety or security, and live totally present. Not living in yesterday!!!!!

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