Let the Past Be the Past – Day 6 of 365 Days to a Better You

Let the past be the past.
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Sounds simple, doesn’t it? We humans are experts at carrying our traumas and dramas with us through life. We can develop an odd, even fearsome loyalty to them.

Some people even come to define themselves almost exclusively in terms of their past negative experiences. The victimize themselves again and again because some harm brought to them by another or by circumstances long ago. They allow it eat them up like a toxic acid within. Let it go.

Maybe that’s not you. Maybe you’re storing a thousand little “paper cut” grievances that have coalesced into major baggage. Let it go.

Some, at the suggestion of letting go, will vehemently defend their need to hold on because they have for so long and life without those scars seems frightening.

Look, I’m not saying don’t work through a natural anger or grief process or even legal process, depending on the situation. There is a time and a place for that. I’m talking about the kinds of things you’ve been carrying with you for years or decades beyond any possible benefit to you. Let it go.

You’ll feel amazing, once you do. A burden will be lifted from your shoulders. The sun will be able to shine into your soul again. You can be the person you came to the planet to be rather than someone stuck back there somewhere.

Here are some practical tips for letting go.

  1. Let go and let God – this is a standard practice in 12-step programs and spiritual healing approaches. This meditation can help you. This classic collaboration meditation between John Bradshaw and Steven Halpern helps you connect to your higher power.
  2. Letting Go Strategies – this is an article I wrote back in 2009 with some very tangible ways to release something, if that’s what your situation calls for.
  3. Mentally release – for some, recovery  approaches or burning things is not necessary. You’re able to release the baggage once you become aware of it. It’s amazing how we can go through our lives accumulating this stuff, almost unconsciously.

Common Questions

  • How do you know you’ve let something go?
    • It’s not weighing you down any more. It’s not the defining event or thought process in your life any more. Forgiving others and even yourself is often a HUGE component of letting go. If you need professional help, get it.
  • How do I know what I need to let go of?
    • This may require some reflection, meditation, or prayer. If you’re more logical, it may require sitting down with a piece of paper and capturing what’s going on with you. You know what it is. You may just need to choose to see it.
    • Another rule of thumb, if you’re just cleaning house in your life, is if it serves me it stays, if it no longer does it goes.
  • What if I can’t do it myself?
    • I would tell you that you do have it within you to release and let go. However, if you want the support, get into a self-help or recovery group related to your issue, seek counseling, or confide in friends or family that provide a safe space for you to work through this.

I only know this. Without these weights around your neck, you will soar and become the amazing miracle you are here to be.

Stay inspired, my friends!


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