There are things from the past that we sometimes seek to protect. Our most treasured memories. Some experiences we wish we could relive.
On the other hand, there are things from the past that we’d rather forget. Memories we’d want to forget. Tragic events we wish never occurred.
We hope that these tips on how to let go of the past can help you get over whatever you are dealing with.
Why Is It So Hard To Let Go Of The Past?
Pain is something all humans share. We’ve all experienced it, whether it’s physical or emotional pain. But, how we handle our pain is what distinguishes us.
Letting go of negative experiences, bad habits, false beliefs, and even an unhealthy relationship is hard. Hence, most individuals wish to remain locked in this terrible whirlpool of negative emotions.
We let rumination, anxiety, and dread dictate our current behaviors. By clinging to the past, we miss the beauty of the present, and we can’t heal from any traumatic event.
Moving forward requires letting go of our past – parts of us. It also involves letting go of expected outcomes.
Leaving the past behind doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. But rather, choosing to remember pleasant times and forgetting the bad ones.
Why Is It Important To Let Go Of The Past?
Our past experiences might seem like a heavy burden. Holding on to the past inhibits us from enjoying the present moment. Furthermore, it prevents us from being our true selves.
Self-Limiting Beliefs Prevent Us From Letting Go
When we think that whatever we are experiencing is our sole option, we will restrict our potential for personal growth. When we restrict our ability, we lose countless opportunities. Narrow thinking prevents us from trying new things and succeeding. We lose our creative mastery and stop manifesting what we desire.
Letting Go Creates Space
It’s like owning a closet of useless items.
Assessing our emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual needs are crucial. Do our old life choices still make sense? Am I nostalgic? Worried we’ll forget if we let go? Clearing aside the past makes room for something new. It won’t always be better, but it differs from our past experiences.
Letting Go Of The Past Allows Change
Some individuals live haphazardly. They appear active but aren’t. They’re thinking, hoping, feeling, and dreaming about a lost life. Basically, wasting time.
We won’t know our own power, bravery, or life-living capacity if we don’t allow ourselves to move on. Refusing to let go shows fear of the unknown and failure. When we hold on, we hinder ourselves from living fully.
The Past Is Done
No amount of thought, energy, or passion will change our past. What occurred can’t be changed, but our response can. Instead of being disappointed, unhappy, or frustrated by the past, we may reframe our thoughts and emotions to reflect lessons learned and insights acquired. We must accept that we’re a work in progress and that our experiences represent our growth. As we evolve, we perceive past events as stepping stones for the future.
How Do I Let Go Of The Past?
Recognize That It’s Time to Move On
Trying to move on from the past is difficult.
Yes, making new choices to overcome past mistakes is challenging, but we have a future to offer. If the past isn’t working for us, it’s time to move on.
The more we can concentrate on the present moment, the better. The more we train ourselves to live in the present, the less power our past trauma has over us, and the more freedom we regain over how we react to the world.
Let The Negative Emotions Flow
If we dread negative emotions, we’re not alone. Grief, wrath, disappointment, and despair are feared by most.
People try to block things out instead of experiencing them, which disrupts letting go. They’re like riptides. Fighting them might leave us stranded. We may need mental health intervention and professional help; regardless, these are needed to help us let go of our emotions.
Take Control Of Our Thoughts
This doesn’t mean avoiding thinking about the past event whenever it comes to mind. It only means limiting the time we spend on negative thoughts about our past.
We must recall the past to go forward, but not everything at once.
So when our thoughts are caught on an event we want to forget, give ourselves 5 minutes. After that, we change our focus. This stops harmful ruminating and lets us express past emotions without letting them get too powerful.
Be Gentle With Ourselves
If self-criticism is our go-to when we just can’t seem to move on from a painful past, it’s time to practice self-compassion.
Self-compassion, not comparing oneself unfavorably to others, and treating oneself as one would a friend are all aspects of this.
Even though we can’t always prevent feeling bad, we can always choose to be kind and compassionate to ourselves when adversity strikes.
Talk About It
Writing about it in a notebook or private blog may be quite therapeutic to help us make sense of our emotions and go on with our lives if we feel stuck over anything from the past. We may also benefit from talking about what happened with a trusted friend, family member, or counselor to get some perspective and release pent-up emotions.
Consider apologizing for previous mistakes if doing so would help us and the other person let go of past pains. Then, give attention to what we can do right now to better ourselves.
To heal from the past hurts, we must make the deliberate choice to assert our control over them. This may need some effort and time. Hence, we must be patient with ourselves while we work on refocusing our perspective and acknowledge our progress, even if it seems slow.