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Letting Go of the Past in 7 Simple Steps
Do you feel weighted down by things that happened days, months or even years ago? Do you often relive past events over and over, wishing for different outcomes?
The more time you spend in the past, the less time you have to enjoy what is happening in your life right now. You miss all the great opportunities and beautiful blessings you have right now because you’re so focused on something that happened long ago.
So, how do you let go of the past and start to live? Just follow these seven simple steps:
1. Allow yourself to feel the emotion
When you’re fixated on a past event, it’s often something that was very emotional. The more you try to deny the feelings that it represents to you, the harder it is to let it go. Allow yourself to feel the emotions it evokes. If it makes you mad, so be it. Sad? Feel it. You have to be able to feel the emotion before you will begin to heal from it.
2. Understand the other person’s side
Sometimes you spend so much time justifying your own reason for being hurt, angry or upset that you fail to realize the other person had their own justifications for doing what they did. And, if you’re too hard headed to admit this, you find yourself never fully resolving your issue.
Try to see their side of it. What reasons may they have had to do what they did? Remember, they chose their actions based upon their past experiences and beliefs.
This doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. It just means you acknowledge them.
3. Take responsibility for your part
If you had a part in the situation not being the best it could have been, admit it. Maybe you screwed up and said or did something you shouldn’t have. The first step toward moving past it is to own it. Everyone has a misstep from time to time. If that was your time, so be it.
4. Accept it is what it is
When it comes down to it, whatever happened in the past cannot be changed. It is what it is. You have two choices at this point. You can accept it, learn from it and move forward or you can continue to punish yourself for it and hold on to it forever. I don’t know about you, but the first choice sounds much better to me.
5. Stay in the Present
Obviously, the more time you spend in the past, the less time you have to spend in the present. You can change that by focusing on all of the great things that lie in front of you right now.
One of the best ways to do this is to practice giving thanks and gratitude for all of the blessings in your life. Spend time each morning or night listing all of the wonderful people, things and opportunities that you have.
And, when you do something, fully engage in it. Keep your mind focused. If you feel it start drifting into the past, call it back. The more you concentrate on what you’re doing, the greater satisfaction you will receive.
6. Channel your energy creatively
If you bottle things up when something is bothering you, it’s not good for you physically or mentally. It’s best if you can get negative emotions out in some shape or form.
Try to find a creative outlet for your energy. Paint. Draw. Put things together. Tear things apart. Do something that is constructive and helps you express yourself while channeling your energy.
Letting go of the past involves being at peace not only with yourself, but with the situation or person that has such a hold on you. One way to release that hold is to meditate.
Meditation increases your ability to gain insight into situations and helps you to make sense of things. It releases your body of all of negative feelings you’ve been harboring, allowing you to feel clean, free and fresh.
Once you leave the past behind you, you will have the energy, vitality and life to create a future that holds great promise. By letting go, you gain so much more.