Category » Personal Development

How to Let Go of the Past

Let go

I am sure you have heard the phrases ‘let go’ or ‘letting it go’, more than a few times.

What does letting go mean? What do you let go? How to let go of the past?

We usually use the abovementioned phrase when someone dwells on past pains, failures, or resentment.

Most people are unable to quit the past. They keep thinking about it and creating unnecessary continual pain and suffering.

The problem is that most people don’t know how to let go. They are even afraid to let go. They are too attached to the past, even if it was not a happy past.

Do you, like most people, fear you might lose something in the process of letting go of the past? Losing what is causing pain is a blessing. It is not a loss.

Too much involvement with memories that bring you suffering and pain gives rise to unhappy thoughts.

This demands a heavy toll and can take too much of your time, energy, and health. This involvement agitates your mind and feelings, obstructs common sense, and prevents you from enjoying inner peace.

Letting go is the answer. You need to release the past; this will improve the quality of your life.

What Is the Meaning of Letting Go?

Here are a few definitions that explain what is the meaning of the words “letting go of the past”:

  1. Letting go means stopping the attachment to the past, especially to painful memories, and focusing on the present. When you release the past, you can start accepting the present.
  2. It is the attitude of non-attachment to results. This means that you do your best in every situation, but if things do not turn well or as planned, you don’t dwell on them and don’t get disappointed or discouraged.
  3. Letting go is like lifting your ship’s anchor so it can sail away. You must release painful thoughts, negative habits, fears, and worries to move on. These anchors and shackles tie you down to the same way of life, to the same habits and circumstances.
  4. Letting go of the past and releasing it from your mind requires a certain degree of emotional detachment. This leads to non-attachment, about which all the spiritual traditions speak.

Letting It Go Brings Relief, Joy and Freedom

If you don’t let go, you remain tied and not free. You limit your perception and cause yourself stress and tension. If you cannot detach yourself from painful memories, envy, jealousy, and bad relations, you suffer. It is like being in a swamp, doing nothing to get out.

On the other hand, letting go and detaching yourself from the causes of suffering brings relief, ease, joy, and love.

Letting go is so most valuable, but few people do something about it. It might seem strange, but they prefer to stay where they are, emotionally, mentally, and physically, even if this hurts them.

People love the familiar and unknown and feel more comfortable and safer in familiar situations, even if this causes suffering. They fear the unknown and, therefore, don’t want to let go. They also don’t know how to let go. No one has ever taught them.

Learning how to let go requires more than a short article. It requires inner work and daily practice, and that’s why I wrote a book about it.

Letting Go - Forget Injuries

Guidelines on How to Let Go of the Past

Do you wonder how to let go of the past and how to release it?

Are you trying to figure out how to relieve yourself of your attachment to the past?

Here are simple guidelines that can help you:

1. Make peace with the past.

What happened belongs to the past. Don’t let it tie you down. It is time to go on and live. Will thoughts about the past help you? Absolutely not!

Yes, the mind keeps returning to thoughts and memories you would be glad to forget. That’s okay. Be smarter, and use the same technique the mind is using.

Whenever you catch yourself thinking about painful memories, immediately replace them with opposite thoughts. Replace them with positive and happy thoughts. In time, this will turn into a habit.

2. Did you love someone and now you are separated?

If you want to return, and there is such a chance, keep trying. However, if you see no chance, let go and move on.

Thinking about them and suffering is useless. No one gains anything from this situation. It might be easier said than done, but you should move on with your life and meet other people. Don’t stay stuck.

3. Goals and plans change

Sometimes, goals change. Sometimes, priorities change. Learn to change with them and take another course, another direction.

4. Do not allow fear to hold you down

Fear might be holding you back. Letting it go means facing the fears and disappointments of the past and then severing your connection with them. Try it, and you will see that it is not so difficult.

More Tips on Letting Go of the Past

5. Leave your grudges behind

There is no need to hold on to old grudges and hurts and keep nurturing them.

Are you holding on to old grudges?

Do you play in your mind the words someone said that hurt you?

If you do, you are hurting yourself, not the one who hurt you. You are the one suffering, and that’s a foolish thing to do.

Don’t hold on to grudges and hurt feelings. It is like pouring fuel into the fire.

Holding on to anger, resentment and hatred will hold you back.

It will make you unhappy.

Throw away these feelings. Yes, you can. Refuse to have anything to do with them. That might not be easy, but that’s the direct way.

6. Do not allow people to discourage you

Sometimes, people discourage us and prevent us from moving on. They keep reminding us of the past.

Don’t let people stop you from moving on. If they really love you, they should allow you to move on.

Do they insist on tying you down to the past? If they do, you need to consider seeking the company of positive, open-minded people who look forward to the future.

7. Keep an open mind

Open your mind to opportunities, new starts, and new things. Do what makes you happy, improves, improves your life, and benefits you and the society where you live. Don’t be afraid to let go of what holds you back.

Following these steps will teach you to let go of the past and enjoy everyday life more.

When you choose to let go of negative past events, not obsess yourself with fears and worries, and display emotional detachment from them, you choose happiness.

Additional Tips on How to Let the Past Go

8. Read and learn about personal growth.

This would add to your emotional and mental health.

9. Avoid negative thoughts.

Such thoughts create dissatisfaction, discontent, unhappiness, and emotional pain and can awaken painful memories.

10. Always be present in the moment.

This would not allow your thoughts to wander to pain, hurt, or emotional pain.

11. emotional detachment.

A certain degree of emotional detachment would enable you to let go of the past and give you a step-by-step way to more happiness and a sense of freedom.

Follow the suggestion mentioned above to learn how to let go of the past.

Quotes about Letting It Go

“Do you feel a burden weighing you down? Letting it go and refusing to dwell on it would make you feel free and happy.”

“Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about yesterday’s wrongs. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?”
–Leo Buscaglia

“There are several things to let go of in life. One of these things is the worry of which there is nothing more unproductive or personally debilitating.”
–Catherine Pulsifer

“When you stop living your life based on what others think of you, real life begins. You will finally see the door of self-acceptance opened at that moment.”
–Shannon L. Alder

Read our collection of letting go quotes.

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