Everyone has pain from the past. It might be a betrayal from a very close relationship, a failure in school, a cruel comment from a parent, or a failed friendship.
Letting go of the past is challenging, but necessary.
A peaceful and meaningful life is easier if you’re able to leave the past in the past.
Your Past only Exists Within You
Remember everything happens in the present, so the solution to your challenge is in the present.
Everything you can control is happening right now.
Avoid Ruminating over the Past
Your Thoughts create your Feelings.
Every. Single. Time. your thoughts will create a feeling… you can test it right now… trace your last feeling and identify the thought you had just before that feeling came…
What do you think you accomplish by replaying thoughts about negative events in your head? Do you think something positive will happen the 500th time that didn’t happen the previous 499?
Rumination is an activity with negative consequences.
It ruins your mood and leads to more rumination.
Reliving negative events can lead to shame, depression, and anxiety.
Accept the past
You can’t change it.
It’s already happened.
You don’t have a lot of choices here.
Stuff happens. Sometimes life stinks.
Focus your attention on the present.
Forgive Everyone that Wronged You
Forgiving them doesn’t mean you have to let them back into your life in the same space you gave them before.
It does mean that you’re ready to focus on something else in your life.
It does mean that when you see them you can look them in the eyes and feel fine.
When you forgive, you give yourself the emotional freedom to not feel bad about the incident anymore.
You might need to forgive yourself, too.
We all make mistakes, so give yourself a break.
Learn from your mistakes and move on.
Treat Yourself Well
Ensure that you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, and spending time with people you enjoy.
What hobbies would you like to explore?
Make yourself a priority. You’re worth it.
Realise that you did the Best You Could
For that matter, everyone in your past is probably doing the best they can. Our best isn’t always great at each moment in time!
Most of the time everyone is doing the best they can.
Believe that and you’re free from making judgements about the other person that will mentally and emotionally sabotage you.
Make Exciting Plans for the Future
Give yourself something to look forward to.
What do you want to do and accomplish in the next 5 or 10 years?
What do you want to accomplish next month?
Be the Person who looks to the future, not living in the Past.
Do Something Fun
One way to overcome negative memories is to create some new ones.
Do something fun with people you enjoy.
Focus on making new memories to help you let go of the old.
Control What You Can
Much of the reason for reliving the past comes from wanting to control the uncontrollable.
Rather than longing to do the impossible, focus on what you can control. Control what you’re able to control and let go of the rest.
What do you have control over?
All of your thoughts, your feelings, your actions and your results.
Realise the Control you’re Giving to your Past
When we relive past pain, we develop defense mechanisms to protect us from future pain.
The pain from the past creates fear. That fear of the past creates fear of the future.
The key to a peaceful future is releasing yourself from the past.
How much is your past affecting your present and future?
Will you allow this to continue?
Everyone’s past is checkered with failure and uncomfortable memories. You can choose to allow the past to define and limit you, or you can choose to leave it behind.
Learn from your past and then move on. Forgive everyone and yourself. There’s plenty of life left to be lived.
Find Your Happy
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