let go of the past

Why is it so important to let go of the past? The main reason is that your past can keep you from living in your present. Excessive dwelling on the past prevents you from moving forward in life. If you find yourself struggling with the present, consider that your past may be playing a significant role in it.

Everyone has a past. Not every past is a rosy memory. The past can hold a considerable amount of anger and hurt. But if you let it, it will rob you of the beauty and significance of your life in the present. If you have feelings of pain, regret and anger stemming from the past, they must be resolved before you can truly move forward.

Live in the Present

Living in the present takes courage. The present is not always what you would like it to be. But consider this, any positive change that you want to make, can only be made at this very moment. The past is gone, and the future hasn’t gotten here yet.

Ask yourself this, what can you do today, right now, to make your life better? How can you improve the condition of your present? Don’t allow your past distract you from what needs to be done today. If you feel yourself slipping back into the past, gently acknowledge it, and bring yourself into the present.

Understand Your Role

Take an unbiased look at your past. Learn to understand the role you played in it. Assume accountability for anything that you may have been partially liable for. It’s a liberating experience, to acknowledge any responsibility that you had in life. You can learn much from the past, if you just take an honest look at it.

As you’re letting go of the past, give it credit for being a good teacher. There is a saying – without the past, there would be no future. While it’s important to let the past remain in the past, it is no less important to understand and learn from it. Apply what you’ve learned to the present, to avoid the old mistakes, while reinforcing the correct action.

Learn to Forgive

You can not change your past. But you can change your attitude to it. Whatever painful memories you may have associated with it, practice forgiveness to set yourself free. When you have forgiven those who have harmed you, you are releasing the negative energy associated with those memories.

In essence, it is yourself that you’re helping through the process of forgiveness. Forgiving someone, does not obligate you to love or even like them. It’s a cleansing experience for your own emotional well being. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy. But the results will benefit you for a lifetime.

Develop Compassion

If you are resisting forging someone, try putting yourself in their position. You will find that in most cases, people are motivated by their own fears and insecurities. And whatever they have done, may have been carried out of a misunderstanding or an instinct for self preservation.

When you look at a situation from that angle, you may find that it becomes easier to develop compassion toward that person. Again, being compassionate does not mean agreeing or supporting wrong behavior. It is about developing higher understanding of the situation.

Embrace the Change

It has been said that we die, and become reborn in every moment. This rebirth process occurs on such an ethereal level, that most of us are unaware of it. Nevertheless, change is a fact of life and can not be denied. It’s a universal law that manifests itself in everything we do.

Rather than trying to avoid this change, practice embracing it. Try to look at it in this way; each new moment holds new, unlimited possibilities. It’s a positive process that you can harness to achieve whatever you want in life.

In Conclusion

The past and the future do not exist. They are a mere illusion. What is real however is the present. Take advantage of each moment by learning how to be fully present in it. If you can fully emerge yourself in the now, you will naturally let go of your past, and stop worrying about your future. Enjoy!

Live well. Vlad

2 Responses to let go of the past

  1. Peter April 30, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    “You can not change your past. But you can change your attitude to it.”

    And sometimes that change in attitude makes the past seem to change – because all of life is just our experience of our own perception. By choosing to perceive the same events in a different way, they become something new.

    “Rather than trying to avoid this change, practice embracing it.”

    I think the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with in life came from me refusing to accept change and just clinging to what I was afraid to lose – failing to realize that when you let things go gracefully you get bigger and better things.

    “The past and the future do not exist. They are a mere illusion.”

    Be Here Now.

    I’ve been following your blog for a while, Vlad, and I really dig all of your articles but this one really resonated with me. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    • Vlad Rapoport April 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

      Hi Peter,
      So good to hear from you here!

      Glad you liked the post. The past is something that we all have in common. It can be a source of tremendous inspiration, or a nightmare. I agree with you: “our experience is our perception”. Once the present becomes the past, it is subject to our interpretation and perception. At that point, it really becomes up to us how to relate to it.

      Hope all is well with you, keep on grinding! :-)