Sometimes we can hold on to events in the past so tightly that it affects our everyday life in the present. It can become a huge burden that creates more negativity in our current life. So, it’s incredibly important then that we learn how to let go of the past when it’s smothering us.
We need to learn to use our past as a tool to help change how we act or what we accept in our future life instead of something that we allow to consume us.
Read on for help on how to let go of the past.
Get professional help if you need it
There is no shame whatsoever in getting professional help for your mental health. Whether it seems a small issue or a huge trauma, there is absolutely no reason to avoid getting professional help, therapy, or medication when you are struggling. This will always be my number one suggestion.
Don’t block out your feelings
I know that in the moment, blocking out and hiding away those traumatic events can be the only way to cope, but actually it can be detrimental to you in the long run.
When we avoid feeling and processing our feelings and emotions, we end up absorbing them deep within, and this can affect us for decades.
Instead of blocking it, try to feel the emotions while using great techniques like breathwork, meditation, EFT tapping or journaling. These are ways to deal with the overwhelm that can sometimes create panic around tough emotions.
When you’ve felt the emotions, your mind is then able to process them and move through them. It’s not always about the past going away or being okay, it’s about accepting that it happened and it’s okay to feel that way, but that you’re done with it.
Let go of needing an apology
If you went through hurt or trauma at the hands of someone else, it can be really hard to let go of that. Often it can leave you holding on for an apology. The problem with this is that you won’t always get one.
Should this mean that you should suffer forever because of them? Absolutely not! You need to work on letting go of the need for an apology in order to get closure. Not for them, but for you.
Another reason we struggle to let go of the past, is guilt. Did you do something hurtful, careless or silly? Let me let you in on a little secret… WE ALL DO.
Being human means accepting all the parts of being a human. One of which is making mistakes. Failing. Messing up. Hurting people.
Is it nice at the time? No… Should you suffer forever because of some bad choices? You absolutely should not.
Bad decisions do not mean you’re a bad person. If you’ve moved forward and you’ve learned from past mistakes, then you don’t deserve to beat yourself up forever.
Forgive yourself. Accept that your mistakes are what makes you who you are now. You wouldn’t have learned the lessons and grown into who you are if you hadn’t first made those mistakes.
Finally, this is the big one.
To move through life without constantly holding onto hurt, grudges and mistakes, you MUST learn to accept that these things will happen. You’ll hurt people and they will hurt you. You’ll mess up. Others will too. You will feel silly. So will every other human being.
You must accept that life is just as much about the negative or the embarrassing or the failures and mistakes as it is about the positive happy times.
You cannot grow, you cannot progress, and you will never learn how to cope if you don’t start to accept the full range of human behaviour and emotion.
Accept it. Feel it. Let it go.