People with Borderline Personality Disorder often get very caught up in past events. They ruminate over all the people who abandoned them or didn’t love them the way they wanted to and needed to be loved. They are constantly in “what if” mode. They will replay old scenarios of defeat or even their victories but not be able to truly savour the feelings engendered by their victory. Similarly, they also tend to live in the future, playing out fantasies of how might turn out for them in the future. Both of these behaviours are maladaptive and counterproductive for someone who wants to live a healthy, happy life.
It is therefore, very important that people with BPD learn to live in the present. One of way of achieving the goal of living in the present if through the practice of mindfulness meditation. For someone who truly wants to begin their journey of a BPD recovery, starting with mindfulness meditation is an excellent jumping off point.
Why Living in the Past Is So Bad for You
Living in your past only sets you up for the constant replay of past traumas whether physical or emotional. It restricts you from being able to fully enjoy your day to day life and the people with whom you share it.
When you focus solely on the past, you limit yourself a great deal and run the risk of imprisoning yourself in your past misery. Breaking the chains of your past is what a BPD recovery is all about. This means that it is necessary to learn how to keep your past from tainting your future journey. Therapy helps with this. I also believe that things like this are, to some degree, a choice. You can choose whether or not you wish to remain a prisoner of your past and/or be held hostage by your future.
Your Past Shaped You but You Don’t Have to Become Its Prisoner
Of course, your past has dramatically shaped who you are, there is no getting around that, but people have free will to choose to a large degree what will become their destiny. It is time to take back your destiny and choose a better life for yourself. Though your past may have been filled with pain, loneliness and abuse, you can change the way your future unfolds. You do not have to relive the past over and over again in different situations. Learning to recognize your triggers and how to respond to them differently is key for someone who wants a real BPD recovery.
Some people will be unable to do this because their poor self-esteem tells them that they do not deserve to have a happier, more fulfilled life. If you need help with your self-esteem, I can help you with that. Building self-esteem is like exercise. It takes time before you begin to see results but as they say, “Slow and steady wins the race”. Doing something every day to nurture your self-esteem if you don’t have a good sense of self-esteem will feel like climbing Mount Everest at first. But if you take just one step every day, it will gradually become easier to do. Trust me on this. Start building your self-esteem today by deciding to stop putting it off — again. You deserve this. Give yourself the gift of self-love.