The Importance of Learning to Let Go of the Past and How to Move Forward

Many of us go through tragedies or heartbreaks that are so intense that we believe our lives will never be the same. If you are one of these people, and you feel like pains from the past are destroying your life in the present, then you owe it to yourself to let go and live a new life.

Clinging to pains from the past is pointless, self-destructive, and completely unnecessary. When you cling to the past, all you are doing is perpetuating that event into your present. If you continue to do this for the rest of your life, then you would have wasted it dwelling on a single past event!

Even with this knowledge, it’s never easy for a person to let these destructive thoughts go. However, with some work and practice, it is easier than you think.

Here are some pointers for letting go and moving on:

Identify Your Problem. Exactly what are you dwelling on? What caused this hurt? Why do you insist on keeping it inside you? Maybe you’ve been hurt by a friend, lover, or parent who neglected or rejected you. Recognize the situation, and then figure out the best way to deal with it. Try to contact the person and make peace. Recognize that dwelling on something that happened is unproductive for your future. It doesn’t really matter if this person accepts you or apologizes. Often times, simply voicing our feelings provides closure. You must accept that you cannot control what others think and do, and you should not worry about things you have no control over. Let it go. Achieving closure is an important step in letting go. If it feels like a story isn’t finished, then it is hard to put it on the shelf.
Discuss your Feelings. If the friend or relative who caused this hurt is still in your life, you can try talking to them and expressing how you feel. If they are gone, then it may help to talk to a professional about it. Expressing how you feel may reduce your anger or your pain. Keeping intense emotions trapped inside is destructive. Release these emotions by talking about them, and you will feel much better. Be careful not to talk about things too much, as this will simply remind you of the pain.
Forgiveness. This can be very difficult, especially if the pain or anger is intense, but a great way to put things behind you is to forgive the person who has hurt you. If you maintain anger or hurt feelings about a person, it is difficult to put the experience behind you.
Be Proactive. You can control your mind, and you are responsible for the way that you feel. You will feel much better if you recognize that you are in control. Affirm that your suffering has a cause, and that there is a tangible way to fix it. Find the best solution and actively work on removing the source of the pain.

You can control your thoughts! If you find yourself constantly having thoughts about this past event, force yourself to think about something else immediately. It will take time, but you can train your brain to avoid the painful memories through constant distraction.

The past is unchangeable. There is nothing we can do to change past actions, so therefore we should not waste our precious time in dwelling on things that we have no power over. This empowers us to take charge of our future, which we can change.

All it takes is the willpower to make the decision to be free from the shackles of the past, and the future will be bright!