5 ways to let go of the past
Past events, although been and gone, show up in our daily lives. We are reminded of someone or something by the smallest of reminders, through smell, taste or sound. Particularly if the memory is an unpleasant one, we try and avoid thinking about it altogether. However, it’s often when you try and stop thinking about something, you can’t help but think about it.
The past is the past. And putting trivial events into perspective is a way to really understand the true magnitude of the situation. And realistically, is feeling sorry for yourself going to make this any better? No. Therefore the true way to handle these situations is to rise, rise and not let anything get to you. If you have to pretend that it didn't happen - fine. If you have to give that person an excuse for why they did what they did - even better. Below are the top 5 ways to help let go and move on from the past once and for all.
Change your own reality
It’s possible to change the story in your head about an event that happened. Particularly if it is painful, viewing it from a different perspective or angle can help alleviate the pain. You may assign a different reason as to why something happened, that the person who caused the emotions you felt did it because they themselves were hurt. Hurt people, hurt people. It’s a reflection of their own minds that they project into the world. It’s worth remembering this next time you feel hurt at someone's actions.
Lessons, not mistakes
Remember that there is no such thing as a mistake if you have learnt from your past actions. If you can reflect back, understand where it went wrong and note how you would go about it next time, you have created your own lesson. We need to go through some lessons to realise the kind of person we want to become, or to give us a certain perspective around what we want to do in life. These lessons sometimes come at a high price, we might lose those closest to us by our own actions, or regret our decisions entirely. It's important to make sure that during these times, we really identify the kind of person we are and who we want to be. These events may be a complete blessing in disguise or a wake-up call for you to learn what your values are.
A powerful and effective tool in moving on from the past is practising forgiveness. You can forgive those who caused you pain or forgive yourself for being the cause of the pain. Either way, forgiving is a crucial technique to let go of past events and people, allowing you to completely move on. Learn why you should practise and how you get started here.
It’s easy to get stuck in the past once we visit it. A trigger that takes us back in time to relive those unpleasant moments grab hold of our attention and makes us dig for more. When this happens, we must avoid getting caught up in the turmoil as fast as possible before our emotions and reactions become too influenced. The way to do this is to keep your attention in the present moment. In the present, there is nothing but just being. Learn how to stay in the present here.
Affirmations are as powerful as ever if you need to need consolation about any past actions that you wish you never made. Just because we made a bad decision does not mean you are a bad person. One decision does not determine the kind of person you are, it’s what you do after you made that decision that says more about who you are. So don't let one situation control you, it is in the past, it's gone and there is nothing you can do about it. What you can do to move forward is to redefine who you are by using affirmations such as “ I am a good person. I am brave. I am trustworthy. I am strong. I am fearless.” - you need to remove the judgment and focus on who you are week to week, not based on a single day.
Rise and be free.