Letting go of the past can be difficult. Getting over things such as relationships, people, ideas, dreams, bad habits, can feel almost impossible at times. It’s perfectly okay to feel a longing and a hesitation to move on. All of us have suffered a loss, no one is immune to it. It’s important, however, to move on and let go after some time. Do you want to be down and depressed forever, or do you want to learn to let go of the past and become active and part of the real world again? Here are 7 tips that will help you let go of the past.
1 – Declare Your Commitment To Let Go Of The Past
Unless you consciously decide to let go, you’ll always find ways to hold on to the hurt. Decide that you will begin to move on and no longer waste another moment dwelling on the past. By doing so, you are telling yourself that letting go of the past is possible and that it is a choice that you have the power to make.
2 – Get Over Yourself
This sounds harsh but don’t ever adopt a victim mentality. Yes, someone may have hurt you. No, you didn’t deserve it, but you and your feelings are only one small drop in this life bucket. The world will move on without you. It’s sad, I know, but you and only you are responsible for your happiness. Thinking that it is the responsibility of someone else to “make it better” is a foolish assumption. Be strong, and take control of your feelings and your happiness.
3 – Feel The Pain, Then Be Done With It
When I was going through my divorce, I was mad and angry. I was sad and lonely. I was confused and hurt. I went through so many crazy emotions. I did everything I could do to avoid my pain. I went out and drank every night and I ate junk food all the time. I ended up gaining almost 30 pounds. The negative emotions always found their way back into my life. It wasn’t until I faced my pain, and LET myself feel all those emotions fully, that I was able to let go. I let myself imagine a life without my wife. I let myself feel lonely. I felt all of those emotions. Once I did this, those feelings started losing their sting. I was able to move on fast once I started doing this. Let yourself feel all the pain, and then be done with it.
4 – Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is an effective method to let go of the past. It forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. Sometimes we forget all the great things about ourselves and all the great things we have in our lives, especially during the tough times. Make a deliberate effort to notice what you have right now. You can start a gratitude journal or you can say a gratitude prayer every day like I do. Just take time to be grateful and recognize that there are some things in your life that are wonderful.
5 – Forgive
You know the saying “everything happens for a reason?” There is a lot of truth to this. Every situation you go through has a purpose. It may not be easy to see it right now, but things will become crystal clear in time. Once you understand this, it is easy to forgive what has happened. Decide to forgive the person or circumstance that hurt you, and forgive yourself.
6 – Visualize
Visualization is another great technique to let go of the past. When you visualize, you can picture anything about you and your circumstances. Use this technique to imagine a better, new you. Imagine being happy. Imagine being free from pain. Imagine being at peace. Doing this will start moving your life in that direction. “You move in the direction you face.”
7- Focus On You
There is no better time to work on you than when you are in a tough situation. It’s life’s way of telling you that something needs to change. Work on your self-esteem, improve your confidence, develop better eating habits, become more at peace with the world around you. I suggest continuing to read blogs like this, read lots of self-improvement books, and even get a life coach if you can.
It’s difficult moving on from certain things in our life, but if we don’t learn to let go of the past, we can find ourselves stuck, unmotivated and empty. Don’t fall into this trap. Allow yourself to go through a mourning period and then do your best to move on.
What have you used in the past to let go?