Past experiences can have a great impact on the way we live our lives in the present. Learning how to overcome your challenges is the first step to making sure that they don’t interfere with your life. Whether you come from a dysfunctional home, an abusive relationship, or a toxic situation, this article can help make sense of your ordeal. No matter what your past experiences, this article can hopefully provide some insight. Stay strong!
1. Learn From It
I will cut to the chase: I struggle with depression. I’ve always struggled with depression, despite numerous attempts to find relief from either medication or by other means. I have described and defined by experience with depression as “going uphill with a ball and chain strapped to your leg” because that is exactly how I feel. Depression isn’t like how society makes it out to be, there are so many people around you who likely suffer from it. Depression isn’t something that you can even assign a concrete definition to, symptoms are different for everyone. Depression, for me, is a generalized feeling. It impacts the way I think, the way I view myself, the way I think about things, and so on. People with depression always think they aren’t good enough. With this in mind, learn from how your experiences have shaped you. For me, I am such a strong person who is compassionate, because of my struggle with depression. I spend a large amount of my life trying to ensure that others never have to feel the way I have had to feel. Knowingly or not, your past will shape you one way or another.
2. Make A Choice Not To Let It Impact You
One of the hardest choices to make is not to let it impact you. There are many situations that are going to frustrate us, and negative people only contribute to our unhappiness. I work in customer service and a lot of my co-workers don’t understand why I get so annoyed by rude customers. Well, yes, I shouldn’t take it personally, but by letting it roll off my back I feel that I am only encouraging this type of behavior. It needs to be addressed! Customers don’t have the right to go inside someone’s place of work and mistreat them. I don’t care WHAT the circumstances are, treat people with respect! I don’t care how much money you have, treat people with respect! That means you, all of the entitled tourists who come to my work, (or anyone’s work) and mistreat them.
The point of this portion of the article is to address unforeseen events that happen that are unfair to us. Since I work in customer service, I have had my fair share of awful people. I have been mistreated. As someone who is kind, this is a hard pill to swallow. I had these two older ladies sit at my desk across from me at work, without even waiting for me to finish something I had been doing before they walked in, and bark out orders at me as if I owe them the world. I don’t care that you are ‘new to the area’, no one is welcoming that type of bitter attitude. I also don’t care how ‘unhappy’ you are, because projecting that on to me certainly won’t help. One of the meaner ladies turned to my co-worker and insulted me.
I hope those grumpy old ladies are reading this right now because you were so unbearable I had to leave my desk! In tears! Just because your entitled doesn’t mean I owe you anything, and you should be ashamed of how you treated me that day. I wish you both good luck because an attitude that bad won’t get you far. I strongly suggest moving back to where you came from, where you’ll be just as bitter and unhappy.
That type of behavior isn’t normal. I am not the one who should feel bad, they should. That incident had impacted my entire weekend, but the biggest lesson here is not to let it. Yes, that woman was disrespectful, condescending, entitled, and cruel, but letting it affect my mood won’t help. Make a CHOICE to live your life to the fullest!
3. Consider How You Treat Others
Our past experiences should stay in the past. One piece of advice I have is to look at how you treat other people. You can change this domino effect of toxic people by initiating some kindness in the world. For instance, I was at the post office the other day, dropping off a box. When the transaction was finished, I had kindly said, “have a good day” to the man working, and his demeanor immediately changed, glad to have a friendly and respectful customer.
These types of things are easy to implement. As far as that awful woman that came into my work, how hard is it to be kind? It is sad that a 22-year-old has more insight on this than older women, but I’m just beating a dead horse now. Treat others the way YOU want to be treated, and notice how far you get. Is it really that hard?
4. Forgive… If You Can
It is said to be, that forgiving someone can help you recover from an ordeal. Personally, if someone’s actions are repeated, they aren’t changing, I have a hard time forgiving the abuse that happened years ago. Past experiences can be extremely hard to overcome, but they don’t have to be.
Focus on the people who love, cherish, and admire you. Those are going to be the fitting pieces to the puzzle, and to hell with the people who have mistreated you.
Our past experiences can feel like they have a hold over us, but over time, it will get better. I promise you!
Past experiences can hold a lot over our heads, but they don’t have to. I hope the experiences I have faced can help someone reading out there, and remember that the situation is temporary. You will come out stronger! What experience have you had to overcome? Comment below! Thank you so much, everyone, for reading!
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Senior at UMass Dartmouth with a minor in communications, writing has always been a part of me. I believe writing is a powerful form of self-expression, and I couldn't have found an internship more aligned with my goals to pursue a career in this field.