We wouldn’t be asking ‘How can I let go of the past’ if our memories were all fantastic and life-affirming. This means that what we really want to know is how to let go of the trauma, pain, and suffering that is still having an adverse impact on our lives to this day.
Memories of past guilt, shame, grief, fear, mistakes, etc. do nothing to support our drive to create happy and meaningful lives for ourselves. They just serve to deplete our energy and keep overall health and happiness at bay. So why do we hold on to, and keep rehashing, past pain instead of just getting over it and moving on to better things?
In some ways, many people find a measure of comfort in holding onto memories. These memories provide a certain ‘comfort’ or safety because it is known and familiar. Or maybe they just don’t know how to move forward and have a happy life.
People who are holding onto pain may just be lacking the courage to take steps into a future that is filled with uncertainty. For them, it’s easier to keep complaining about, and using the past as an excuse for their hardships, and mental and emotional trauma.
We may consider that blaming someone else, or some past circumstances, for our pain and suffering means we do not need to accept responsibility for our current problems. Therefore, if we don’t succeed or get what we want, it’s not our fault. However, as we will discover, it is our choice!
How Can I Let Go Of The Past?
The best way to move on from the past is to begin living a life so full of joy, love, and freedom that the old memories will eventually fade away. The new experiences we have, and the resulting emotions we feel, will rewire the neural connections in our brains so that our natural ‘go-to’ response will naturally become positive and life-affirming.
“In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change, lies our happiness and freedom.” – Buddha
We all know that everything is always in a constant state of change- that nothing can ever remain the same. We are born, we grow through our lives, and eventually, we are returned to the earth from which we came. The very nature of life is that it is always moving, and this implies it is growing, evolving, and continually expanding.
Our lives are part of the natural order of things and are filled with events, people, and circumstances that all have a momentum of their own. Our pain and suffering are caused when we try to control that momentum to suit WHAT WE WANT.
The Buddha realized that suffering was the result of our resistance to the natural way of life. And he suggests that to ease our suffering, we need to learn to ‘go with the flow.’ This doesn’t mean that we let people walk all over us or accept injustices, but instead, that we don’t worry about the things we have no control over. It also means that maybe we could be a bit more tolerant of others who do not share the same beliefs as us.
If we let go of the pain we are feeling because someone did something we didn’t approve of, or our partner lied to us that time, or we didn’t get the promotion that we deserved….. IT IS WE WHO WILL BENEFIT by releasing the emotional burden we have been carrying. It is we who will become happier and freer.
“Tell everyone you know: “My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook.” And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they’re doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel – and then, you’ll love them all. Because the only reason you don’t love them, is because you’re using them as your excuse to not feel good.” – Abraham Hicks
Guess what? We’re not perfect and neither are other people. We all make mistakes, say silly things sometimes, and do things we later regret. Ok. So what? The world doesn’t stop spinning and the sun still comes up every day. Making mistakes, regretting doing something, feeling grief, etc. are all a part of ALL of our lives and life does not end because of it. This is what it is to be a human being. Growing, learning, and adapting to circumstances are all part of our natural expansion.
So when Abraham suggests we let everyone ‘off the hook’ for everything we perceive they have done wrong to us, it’s for our benefit, not theirs. And while we’re at it, we can forgive ourselves for everything that we think we have ever done wrong and for everyone that we have wronged. Why?….. because HOLDING ONTO NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS HARMS US AND THOSE WE LOVE!
We, and everyone around us, benefit when we are happy, healthy, and successful, while no one benefits from our pain and suffering (except the medical and pharmaceutical professions.)
Now, why not make a conscious decision to go and have a happy, fun-filled day!
“We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” – Marianne Williamson
Our energy goes where our attention is focused. This means that if we are dwelling on past regrets mistakes and events, our energy is being held in that vibration. This is seriously not good news for us because The Law of Attraction will attract more into our lives that continues to match that vibration. So our gloomy, despondent thoughts will continue to haunt us by attracting more of the same into our current experience.
We cannot say ‘I don’t want this or that’ and expect to receive the opposite….. We will get ‘this or that!’ Therefore, focus only on what you do want, and then this is what you will eventually receive.
“Your past does not equal your future.” – Tony Robbins
Holding on to the past is a conscious decision just like letting go and moving forward is also a conscious decision. And the good news is that it is we who get to choose.
So, how often have you been able to make successful plans for a better future while you are dwelling on the past? It just doesn’t work, does it! We have lived through the past, been there, done that, and now according to evolution, it’s time to move forward into something new. And if we are wise, we will be looking forward to making our present and future better than what has come before.
Our magnificent souls desire to experience life, to grow and thrive and have lots and lots of fun while on this journey. So let go of that which we have already experienced and seek out something new to challenge us, excite us, and thrill us. Live each day as if it is the last day because we never know when it will be.
We don’t need to analyze the past or even contemplate the lessons given to us, because it keeps us stuck in that old energy. Instead, know that every day is a new day and with it, we can consciously choose to be present at this moment and also plan for a happier, brighter future.
“You’re not defined by your past; you’re prepared by it. You’re stronger, more experienced, and you have greater confidence.” – Joel Osteen
It’s true that everything about our past has shaped us into who we are now. If any of the experiences were different, yes, our lives would have, in some ways, turned out differently. Maybe our current circumstances would have been better or worse than they are now….. Who’s to say?
The point is everything did happen as it happened, and no matter how much we think about it and wish it had been different, we cannot change it. So why not accept the truth of that and then put your attention where it belongs….. in the here and now?
The accumulation of all that has gone before has given us the mental, physical, and emotional tools that we now have at our disposal. Awesome, because it is only from this point, here and now, that we can consciously choose to move forward and create a better future for ourselves and those we love.
“If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie
Choice: Stay stuck where we are, lamenting the past, where life is maybe not so great…..OR…….. OPEN YOUR EYES AND MIND TO MORE POSSIBILITIES THAN YOU ARE CURRENTLY CAPABLE OF IMAGINING!
From where I’m sitting, now, this is a no-brainer… there is no choice. But often we have to overcome our fear of change, the fear of leaving the known and embarking on a new chapter in our lives. It wasn’t until I stepped out of my comfort zone and moved purposefully toward my fears that I realized THERE WAS NEVER ANYTHING TO FEAR EXCEPT THE IDEA OF FEAR ITSELF.
There are countless people in the world right now doing the things that you are afraid of. Are they afraid? Maybe, but that feeling doesn’t last long as we begin to move into a better life by doing the things that we have been avoiding, putting off, or were afraid of.
OUR LIVES WILL GET BETTER but only if we do something to make them better….. They won’t magically change by themselves. There is no savior in shining armor coming to rescue us….. Why would they if we are still stuck in the past? Do you think they want to listen to all that went wrong in our past, why we are suffering now, and why we don’t have the great lives we deserve?
Hell no! They are out there looking for people who are progressive, who are enjoying themselves, and who have a great vision for their future…… So, if you want to meet your prince/princess, move on from all the excuses that make you feel unworthy…. Because the truth is YOU ARE NOT UNWORTHY, YOU MAY JUST THINK YOU ARE!
I’ll say it again: CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS AND YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
This is an appropriate quote to sum up with. “Building the new.” Socrates is talking directly to us, as we are the only ones who determine the course that our lives will take. And all the building begins with a good foundation…… Our new supportive, positive, life-affirming thoughts are the foundation to create new beliefs within our magnificent minds.
Our positive thoughts lead us to have good feelings which vibrate a signal out into the universal mind and then attract matching people, circumstances, and events into our lives.
And this ties in with what Steven Covey meant when he said: “I’m not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” We can at all times DECIDE WHAT THOUGHTS TO THINK! WE ARE POWERFUL CREATORS, AND DON’T EVER FORGET IT!
And for good measure, just so you don’t think I’m a hard taskmaster and all about ‘doing the work,’
“Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.”
– Elbert Hubbard
I wish you well on your journey through life and hope you can make all of your dreams come true 🙂
With love and respect for all souls playing the game of life,