Let go of the past

Let go of the past

The past is behind you. It can not be changed. Let go of the past and look to the future for the things you wish to create, and live in the moment to experience the things that are in your present.

Creating a future we desire

Many of us are holding on to things that happened in the past. Things that for one reason or other we are not willing to release. These things hold us back from being able to enjoy the present and often stop us from creating the future we desire. They can affect relationships with others and make us question our ability to manage our lives.

For some people the past holds severe trauma, and may even have a diagnosis of PTSD. For others the trauma is not as severe, however the ability to overcome the past is still creating obstacles in their life.

what's your story of past events that hold you back

For everyone, regardless of the trauma or bad experience, it is a matter of changing thoughts and behaviour patterns which are trapping you in your past, so you can live your now.  For those suffering PTSD this may require a counsellor or therapist to assist. But many of us can use our positive thought patterns to change these negatives and learn to move on.

You can’t change the past, but you can let it go

The first thing is to understand that you can not change the past. You need to let it go. You do not have to forget, but forgiveness for yourself or others will help you move on. All of the situations we face in life, both good and bad, shape who we are. I have often seen people come from adversity and use this to build strength and resilience. How do we change the negatives to a positive and let go of the past that is holding us back?

One good exercise to try is to write down the situation that you can not let go of. Once you have done this, write below all the things you have learned from this experience. Some may be good and some may be negative. That is ok.

writing down your list of negatives to let go of

An example may be that your partner cheated on you. You can write things like ‘I now mistrust new partners.’ ‘I have learned to love myself even if someone else does not love me.’ ‘I feel unworthy of love.’ ‘I learned that I am strong and can get through bad situations.’

Now analyse the comments. From my example above, the two positive comments are tangible outcomes that the experience has taught you. The negative ones are your own thought patterns. Thought patterns that are negative and are now creating your evidence that you should not be part of another relationship. You can change these thought patterns by writing a positive to replace them.

identifying negative thoughts

Write out the negatives again with a replacement positive for each. Example: ‘I feel unworthy of love.’ Would turn into I am worthy of the love of another.’ Or ‘I have lots of people in my life that love me.’

time for changing thought processes

Reflect on the negatives from the past. Create some positives

Once you have done this, sit with your paper for a while. You can reflect upon the situation, and look at the negatives, then focus on the positives that have resulted from the situation. You may want to use another paper to write the positives on and put this somewhere you will read it and reaffirm the positives to help you change your thought patterns of the situation. The paper you used to do this exercise with can be burned to release the negatives, you may just want to rip it unto small pieces and throw it in the bin or the river or dispose of it however you will feel a release and a physical letting go of the negative thoughts associated with the situation.

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