Letting Go Of Your Past
How to Deal With Your Mistakes and Move On
© Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
Letting go of your past includes dealing with death, divorce, or loss. Here’s suggestions for facing your failures, saying good-bye, and moving on.
Letting go of your past – whether it’s quitting an addictive relationship or grieving a death – can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Even if it was a painful relationship and you had to let go of your past for your own sanity, you still may struggle with saying good-bye.
It’s not easy, but there are practical ways to let go of your past and move on. Before you delve into letting go and saying good-bye to your past, however, you may need to face your memories and experiences. If you’re dealing with your mistakes, you’ll certainly have to accept responsibility for your actions.
Seven Steps to Letting Go of Your Past:
1 – Write, talk, draw, paint, or otherwise tap into your thoughts and memories. Letting go of your past means honoring your memories.
2 – Let go of the emotions and feelings of painful memories by letting them wash over you – you’ll feel horrible during, but relieved and peaceful afterwards. Let go of your past by reliving it.
3 – Go back and talk to the people involved, if possible. Letting go of your past can mean going back.
4 – Share your real feelings; confess if it’s appropriate. Letting go of your past means expressing your emotions. If you have to deal with your mistakes, then own up to your shame or guilt.
5 – Apologize and ask forgiveness if you need to. Letting go of your past means being vulnerable.
6 – Get help with uncontrollable urges to overeat, get stoned or drunk, or otherwise hurt yourself. Letting go of your past means burying your pride.
7 – Letting go of loved ones – whether it’s a divorced spouse, dead child, estranged brother, or euthanized pet – is difficult to do. Letting go of your past requires effort and energy, but your own strength and courage will kick in. You’ll not only survive, you’ll be wiser, more peaceful, and more centered than before if you learn to let go of your past.
What is letting go of your past?
Letting go of your past means accepting that there’s nothing you can do to change the past. You did the best you could. When you’re facing your failures, know that you were as good, loving, and effective as you could have been. If you were to go back, you couldn’t do anything differently because that’s who you were and that’s what you knew then. It’s done. Let go of your past.
Letting go of your past means forgiving yourself for your mistakes. Ruminating on what you could’ve or should’ve done is ineffective and unhealthy. If you’re dealing with your mistakes or facing your failures, try to forgive yourself.
Letting go of your past means being aware of your thoughts. When you find yourself dwelling or obsessing over the past or the person you lost, gently draw your thoughts back to the present. Let go of your obsession, whether it’s an addictive relationship or lost child.
Letting go of your past means trusting the nature of time. You will heal and move on. Your wound will slowly close up and soon only a faint scar will remain – if you let go of your past.
Letting go of your past means making new connections with people. You don’t necessarily have to make a whole new set of friends; you can initiate a new type of friendship with a colleague or invite a neighbor over for coffee. If you talk about facing your failures, you’ll be better able to actually face your failures.
Letting go of your past means seeking balance in your conversations. It’s important to vent and share your pain and sadness, and it’s equally important to show your interest in other people’s lives. Letting go of your past means letting go of yourself.
Letting go of your past means exploring a new world. Take a new course at the community college or start a new hobby. To let go of the past, start looking in new directions!
Letting go of your past means volunteering your time. There are hundreds of interesting opportunities that will help you say good-bye to the past. Visit a volunteer website or centre in your city. Move out of your comfort zone: if you’re a mom and wife, try building a Habitat for Humanity home or spending time with seniors.
When you’re letting go of an ex-partner, you should seriously consider whether it’s wise to spend time together — or if you should let go altogether. Maybe you’re still in love, or were abused, and have confused thoughts and feelings. Taking a break may be the wisest course of action — and so might be totally letting go.