How To Let Go Of The Past

Surely, we all have some negative memories in our lives but the question is do we still have to suffer?

Roman Kraft (on Unsplash)

Letting things go doesn’t come that easy to all. We all have some disappointments, maybe a little anger towards certain events in the past.

Negative emotions and experiences are all part of your life, as much as we wish they weren’t. And while we cannot change those negative memories,
we can change how we respond to them and that changes everything.

We don’t have to dwell in the memory lane and let how we feel about the past dictate, or even ruin, the present day.

If you think about it, there’s nothing wrong in the present moment. The now is always perfect.

Eckhart Tolle writes about this in his renowned book, The Power of Now.

All the negative emotion in the now comes either from resentment, regret or nostalgia about the past or worry and anticipation about the future.

Now don’t get me wrong. Planning for the future and feeling excitement for it is great. And there’s nothing wrong about learning from the past, as it can be resourceful of very important lessons for us, to personally grow.

We must separate clock time from psychological time

Imagine the Earth devoid of human life, inhabited only by animals and plants. Would it still have a past and a future? Could we still think of time in a meaningful way? The question “What time is it?” or “What’s the date today?”, if anybody were there to ask it, would be quite meaningless. The oak tree or the eagle would be bemused by such a question. “What time?” they would ask. “Well, of course it’s now. The time is now. What else is there?”

- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

So, I can hear you asking… how do we exactly let go of the past?

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Reflect
  3. Do not revisit
  4. Redirect

Let’s first start with acknowledging what has happened. Acknowledging you have trauma can be extremely powerful in the next steps for forgiving yourself and letting it no longer dictate you.

Then, let’s make some time for reflection. If you struggle with reflection, try to focus and redirect all your energy to what you’d like in the future.
For example, if you are resentful about a past relationship, you can focus on how you can improve and manifest a new relationship. Focus on creating a stronger, healthier adulthood for yourself. The future has not come yet and you can make it a healthier, better place for yourself. Try to form new healthy and positive habits.

If you are struggling with still thinking about the past and you can’t not revisit it, try to redirect your energy into building something else.

“The present moment is all we have”

If you need to talk to someone, you can download Ashley AI Friend. Ashley is a therapist-trained friend which listens and converses with you and you can chat with real life users about your day. It’s free to use.




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