All of us have heard the song ‘Let It Go’ by Idina Menzel from the Disney movie Frozen. It said, “Let it go, let it go/Can’t hold it back anymore/Let it go, let it go/Turn away and slam the door.” Like Princess Elsa, we should also ‘slam the door’ to negativity & open the door to new possibilities to move forward in life. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to let go of the shadow of the past. Here are some Tips for Letting Go of the Past.
How to Move on in Life
Most people have, at some point, speculated how to let go of a wounding past. It is natural to feel that your present emotional pain is forever connected to what you underwent before. But though the past caused it, letting go of the pain starts with concentrating on today.
1. Ask Yourself If the Pain is Comfortable
At times when you have hurt long enough, you may get accustomed to the emotional pain. It may feel safe & familiar. Maybe you have recognized it as part of your identity. Maybe staying angry at that person is contented because you can keep a distance. Growing pains can be real trouble.
Moving away from the things you have felt & thought about for a long time can be uncomfortable. But healing, joy, & peace of mind may come after the process of Tips for Letting Go of the Past. It may not be the case for everyone, but if you ask yourself, “why can’t I let go?” try to concentrate on the inner voice, which will point out the reasons.
2. Be Determined to Let It Go
To heal, you have to feel it first. Locking up your thoughts & emotions may injure you more in the long run & make it harder to let go, specifically if you keep thinking about the past & what injured you. Pondering over the same negative thoughts will affect your mood and relationships, & maybe even your capability to be productive & creative.
Try to find ways to convey how you feel in a healthy manner. Releasing the emotional storm can help you to stop ruminating continuously. Consider engaging in activities that offer a secure space to let it all out. You may try to note down your emotions, finding a trusted friend or family member to whom you can open up.
3. Take Responsibility
Taking responsibility does not mean you have to blame yourself for those things that happened to you in the past. It is more about understanding how much energy you spend on remembering or feeling things that are no longer valid in your present. It is also choosing to pay attention somewhere else. When you stick to your pain, bitterness, or hurtful memories, you are going through that painful experience again & again. This may keep you trapped in the past, which is something you cannot change.
Taking responsibility is also about claiming your authority & deciding others will not control how you feel or live your life. Maybe you did not have an opinion on what hurt you in the past, but you have a say now. You can choose where you will concentrate today. It is natural & compelling to feel this is a difficult task. Maybe the pain is so deep that you cannot help but be fixated on it, or maybe you have to live with the consequences of the past. But healing is possible. It is the best Tips for Letting Go of the Past.
4. Make Space for New
Getting stuck on past events may leave no room in your heart & mind for new experiences, including those you may enjoy. Not letting go of the past can make you miss the good things in your life. You may try these steps to make space for the new & to let go of the past:
- Set personal & professional short-term & long-term goals.
- Practice gratitude so you can focus on the present good.
- Evaluate the quality of your present relationships & choose those that work for you.
- Try a new hobby or activity frequently.
- Organize your spaces so you give away or dispose of items that no longer serve you.
- Create new bonds or try to strengthen casual relationships that can be fruitful.
- Practice mindfulness to control your mind when it wanders to the past.
- Engage in one self-care activity every week.
- Try philanthropic activities that may improve your mood by helping others.
5. Focus On the Lessons You Had
Ask yourself what you have learned about relationships, yourself, & life from your upsetting past experiences. Your first reply to this question may be to think of the negative things you may have learned. It is natural & legitimate. But try to stop if this is your first reaction & try to focus on some positive lessons. For example:
- How strong & flexible you may be.
- Who stood beside you & proved you could rely on them.
- Things you now know you don’t want in your life.
- The skills you may have developed to face life challenges.
- The realization that everything passes & this too shall pass.
This is not an all-included list & may not apply to your situation. The Tips for Letting Go of the Past is to recognize whatever strength, skill, knowledge, or clarity you may have attained from an excruciating event. Concentrating on these lessons may make it easier to let go.
6. Accepting Things, You Cannot Change
One reason you may be chewing over past events could be a wish to return to past choices or what could have been – getting fixated on the “what ifs” may lead you to engage in the same inner conversations & scenarios continually. But getting stuck on what happened is not going to change it.
It can be hard to accept but identifying things you have no control over may help you to let go of the past. The “should haves” or “what ifs” will never change what happened. The “what could” & “what wills” can help you to move forward & be deliberate in daily decisions that will affect your present & future. It is the best Tips for Letting Go of the Past.
7. Prioritizing Yourself Can Help
Prioritizing yourself is about being deliberate with your decisions. This can start with realizing that selecting what is good for you does not mean you are being self-centered. Putting yourself first may also mean regaining your power by leaving the past, leaving things that hurt you & focusing on the healing process. It is about identifying that you matter.
8. Admit The Negativities
It is annoying to replay past mistakes over & over in your mind. It is frustrating to be stuck to things from the past. This is frustrating when you cannot move on despite your best efforts. Not only does that spoil your future, but it also robs the joy from the present moment. Instead of trying to let go, accept where you are. Admit it. Admit all worry, shame, & guilt. Substantiate all the negative thoughts & feelings so that you can free yourself from their grip and give up the losing battle. It is the best Tips for Letting Go of the Past.
Letting go is about remembering certain events or people without experiencing the pain. You may feel it is about forgetting on the whole. Or, it may mean you want to move forward despite not forgetting or forgiving. Whatever it may mean to you, it is possible to release that burden on your heart & mind. You can heal, & these Tips for Letting Go of the Past can help.