I Want My Old Life Back

Image of a sunset in an orange sky with the sea in the foreground

Today’s article was written by Change Coach Missy Maiorano


In 2018, when I was in the throes of battling chronic hives and lip swelling, all I wanted was to have my old life back. I wanted the “happy, carefree Missy who wore cute sundresses and a bright smile.” I wanted the feelings of hopelessness and fear to leave me alone so I could return to lightheartedness and ease.


This concept of “getting my old life back” is universal, predictable, and so compelling. Our minds love to tell stories (through a remarkably distorted lens) of how much better life was and how much happier we were at a different point in time. That same mind offers an endless stockpile of blurry snapshots and faded still-frames, each depicting an illusory past made of joyful, confident, carefree days.


Naturally, we indulge that little mind. We reminisce and relive the splintered pieces of memories that our mind has glued back together on a biased, distorted landscape. We lose ourselves in longing and searching. We hold out hope for a portal that will take us back to the previous version of ourselves. Many of us set-up camp in the rabbit hole of stories—convinced that we will never be the same again.


But, what if we pause for a moment and just get really still? What if we hold that story, “I want my old life back” like a children’s playground ball in our hands? What if we allow the ego-mind to scream and shout from the rooftop, but—for once—we stop being so mesmerized by it.


Let’s hold that story close and take a look.


“I want my old life back.”


What does that really mean? (Notice the ego jumping in with its dramatic demands and preferences, along with its conditioned, programmed ideas of how life should be. Now, let’s return to the still, quiet voice in your heart—to the voice of truth that whispers just beneath the clanging of the ego.)


What does it mean to want your old life back?


For me, it meant that I wanted to be able to truly relax again; to fall asleep in a hammock under a tree—or better yet, to stay asleep in my own bed past 3:00 in the morning. I wanted those old feelings of excitement and giddiness. I wanted anything but the way I was feeling at the time.


Ultimately, for me, “I want my old life back” meant one simple thing: I didn’t want to feel hopeless, afraid, or insecure anymore.


I was terrified that those feelings would overtake me and I would drown in them.


Right on cue, my efficient, survival-based little mind gave me an amazing solution to my terror: focus all my time and energy on figuring out how to stop the suffering. The “I want my old life back” story provided an endless supply of details to keep me quite busy—and quite distracted. I went to countless doctors, researched and took more supplements than I care to recall, eliminated all but nine foods from my diet, and had all of my old silver fillings removed. My quest to end the suffering became a full-time job. All of my seeking and searching allowed me to avoid the one thing that seemed too daunting to face: feeling the emotions of hopelessness, fear, and insecurity.


The “I want my old life back” story was my mind’s best solution at the time. Maybe I wasn’t ready to allow hopelessness, fear, and insecurity to move through me—to come to the light to be fully seen. Who knows? But, I do know that life is trustworthy and kind, no matter how it arises. So, I trust that the time I spent in the rabbit hole of my “I want my old life back” story was perfect. It could not have been any different.


By grace alone, there came a time when it made sense to allow the raw, pure energy of hopelessness, fear, and insecurity to move all the way through me. I knew enough about the safety and perfection of ALL emotions to know I could feel them fully. I could allow them to wash over me, pour through me, and do the incredible work of healing they are meant to do. After all, emotions are energy, and energy does not want to be stagnant. It wants to move.


I saw on a deep and profound level that I am a space of love through which the energy of emotions is healed. I am designed to thrive in the midst of even the strongest and most intense emotions and sensations. They are incredibly trustworthy and safe. I can say hello to them, get to know them, and even hold them with love.


As the energy of emotions and sensations were allowed to move more freely through me, something wonderful happened. True peace, joy, and wellbeing were no longer tethered to something as fleeting and ephemeral as moment-to-moment experience. Instead, I understood them for the stable, timeless essence of life that is always present, always available, and always expansive enough to hold emotions and sensations with grace and love.


As it turns out, I never needed my old life back. The suffering itself was part of the healing; part of the waking up to a greater sense of who I am beyond the made-up stories of my little ego-mind. Throughout all of it, I was held, guided, and lived. Nothing was out of place, ever.


See more about Missy here: https://www.missymaioranocoaching.com/


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