Are you still down in the dumps after a major life hurdle? Aren’t you sick of being down all the time and tired of rewinding the past already? If you are, how do you get out of the dumps?
They say life throws you lemons every now and then, but do you know how being thrown durians in your way feel like?
If you have caught a durian in your life, and the spikes are hurting you, what do you do?
Put it down, you say. But most of us are still holding on to that durian, reluctant to let it go because it is not hurting bad enough yet.
This experience called life
Life is not easy nor is it fair. We are bound to meet with ups and downs throughout our lives.
Every day, someone is facing a challenge of his or her own. Facing a breakup, losing a loved one, marriage breaking up, losing a job, facing a health problem, failing in a business and so on.
At some point in our life, we will experience losing a loved one, unless you have no one you care about at all. At some phase in our life, we will experience heartbreak and failures.
No one can escape from these experiences called life.
Despite all the unfairness and unhappiness in the world, it is not what happens to us that defines our future life path or our happiness, but rather how we respond to what happened to us that will make us into the person we will be tomorrow.
While some may be big issues and others seem relatively smaller, whatever that fell upon us would definitely seem to be a huge one on our plates. Unless you are very optimistic, or a very laid back person, chances are, these events in life will affect you in one way or another, and if you let them, they will stay in your life for as long as you want them to be around.
In your mind, you might be thinking that it’s absurd. Why would we want to hang on to our pain, unhappiness and failure? Of course, we want to move on, right? But that’s precisely what we are still doing.
If you are still unable to leave your unhappiness and feel better, this article is meant for you. The reason why this article exists is in part due to my own journey in battling my own dumps and how I am crawling out of it, and get out of it eventually. And I hope some of what worked for me will resonate with you and help you along your journey as well.
Why are we still unhappy?
Why are we still holding on to that spiky fruit even though it is causing us pain?
We are holding on to our painful, unhappy or failed past because we are still tying our emotions and ourselves to them.
Whether it is a failed relationship, somewhere inside you are still hoping for a chance or a part of you is still attached to that relationship, be it the time, effort and essence you have contributed to it. Whether it is a failed business or career, you might still be holding on the past achievements and good times you once had. Losing a loved one is the worst of all because we spent a lot of time with them, we crafted great memories with them and now they are gone.
Subconsciously, we are still hanging onto these events because we are still attached to them emotionally, even though in real life, they have passed and are no longer physically present.
The first step to getting out of the dumps is to be aware of what you are experiencing
If you have been down and in the dumps for a period of time now, and want to get out of it, do a check on your current situation.
Check in with yourself on how you are feeling, behaving and thinking on a daily basis.
How long has this event passed and how is it still affecting you?
Are any of these activities that you are doing today helping you become the person you wanted to be? your ideal self?
Consciously allow the unhappiness, the failure, or painful event that you have been through to playback and take note.
What are you still holding on to?
What are the emotions you are tying yourself to the events?
Deep inside, is there something that you are still hoping for even though the event has already passed for a long time?
Is it still possible?
What makes it hard for you to let go
Are you still angry or indignant about what happened? Do you still feel hatred and unfairness?
During this process, you might get emotional and feel lots of emotions. Let these emotions flow and allow yourself to feel.
Come back to Reality
Once you are done when building your awareness, come back to the present. You have spent long enough living in the past.
Realise that every second you spend on looking back, you are losing that very moment to feel the present and build a better future for yourself.
Be courageous enough to face your current reality. The past does not determine your future. Whatever you had and own in the past does not mean that they will stay by your side forever. The same applies to what you didn’t have before.
That’s why it is so important to appreciate and treasure every moment, like now.
If the past has any purpose, it is to serve you the good memories and good lessons learned.
Would holding on to the past make you a better or happier person today? Would letting go and forgiving help you move forward in life? Will learning to see what happened from a different light help you move on better?
What are your next options?
Looking forward, you need to make a decision. Decide if you really want to move forth in life.
Do you still want to stay in the past that are still making you unhappy? Or do you want to move on?
Would you choose to let go of the past because it no longer serves you? Will you choose to forgive instead even though it is extremely tough? Would you try and try again until you are finally out of the dumps?
Once you have decided, verbally declare that “I want to get out of this dump and start living differently, now!”
Then, take the next step to identify what you can do to be that different person.
Perhaps you have forgotten who you were before all that happened. How can you be who you are again, before what happened? Do you remember who you were before these events (durians) got thrown in your path?
Or perhaps you don’t want to be that person anymore, you want to be a better and stronger person. What can you do next? What will be your next step?
If you have failed in your career, business or relationship, you have no time left to waste because you have spent enough time living in the past. You can only move forward towards better living, for yourself and your future.
And once you have decided, choose to follow through it instead of falling back on to the past.
Though there may be days when you might sink back into the past, you must consciously pull yourself back into the present because you have chosen this path that you want. And choose to try again, and again.
Start setting goals that you want
If you have dreams, and if they still strongly resonate with you, put yourself back on track again.
If you have nothing to look forward yet, start with small daily actions. Create a bucket list and start living it. Or even better, challenge yourself on a regular basis.
Focusing on the present will help you greatly in terms of moving on. Each day, before you start your routine, journal what you are grateful for and list 3 – 5 small tasks that you want to complete for that day, and check them off before the end of the day.
The decision to move on is yours. There may be a lot of people in your life who are concerned about you and offer suggestions and advice to you, but no one can make the decision for you.
When you do decide that you want to move on, focus on looking forward and don’t turn back.
But you do have to choose. This is the power you are taking back for yourself again.
So, instead of wallowing in the painful unhappy past, what’s your next step forward? The choice is yours.
In dealing with death, the process is more delicate. The loss of a loved one is very devastating and often times, no one will be able to really understand what you are going through because of the events you have been through and the memories you have experienced together. Give yourself sufficient time and space to grief. Realise that your loved ones would want you to be happy and live your life like before. He / She may be gone but they will still be in your heart, always. If you are restricting yourself from moving on, know that they would want the best for you too and it would break their heart to know that you are suffering because of their departure which is not something you could have done about.
I provide 1-1 coaching for individuals who want to gain clarity in their current situations and find ways to move on. If you are feeling stuck and feel that I can help you, do reach out to me here.