It is human nature to hold on to the past, to re-live special moments, saviour close relationships to hold on hurts and disappointments. But does this ‘holding on’ to negative moments help us become a better person in the long run? From my experience I have learned that it by holding on to negative judgements, unkind words that you’ve heard or how you have been wrongly treated has a damaging effect on your attitute and outlook on life and those around you. Perhaps it is easier for human nature to hold onto the past with all its troubles, trials, bad choices and hurtful feelings. But by holding on to the past we bring the past into the present. If we keep re-living the past we cannot move forward.
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
Letting go: the past
One of the greatest steps you can take in letting go of the past is acknowledging that it now is gone. What remains in the past should stay that way. Once you learn to acknowledge your past for simply that, you learn to move on and face the future with a much clearer vision.
Perhaps it is a life-changing decision you made which you now regret or a hurtful word you said in haste. The ball is in your court to let go of the hurt and move forward by taking the necessary steps to let go. Forgiveness is an essential element. Perhaps you need to go to that person who you’ve offended or hurt or who has hurt you. Acceptance of that forgiveness of that person is non-essential. Once you have done what you can to leave the past behind you, you are free. It is not your responsibility to force that person to accept your act of apology.
Letting go: friendships
Throughout life we meet many individuals. Some of which, there is an instant connection, others not so much. Through the twists and turns that life hurls at us, people’s personalities change and their lifestyles and goals adapt. This alteration creates an effect on the friendships we hold with one another.
For whatever reason, perhaps you are at a point of ‘letting go’ of friendships you may have valued in the past but the other party simply doesn’t have the same sentiment. This may cause a fracture within the relationship but friendships are simply a state of trust and support between two people. If that trust is broken and the support is no longer in existence there will usually come a parting. There is a way of allowing that friendship to move into the past without holding hate or hurt against that person. Firstly, you must realise that some friendships fade with time. Learn to understand that upon closing a door, a window always opens. Perhaps letting go of this friendship prepares the way for a new and more positive relationship to form and grow.
Letting go: hurts, disappointments and negative judgements
Whatever we have experienced in our childhood or adult life each of us has at one time or another been given ‘the upper hand’.
Through my experience, I have learned that sometimes the greatest disappointments and hurts that life so easily hurls at you can be transformed into some of life’s greatest learning curves. Just think of the life that that you have been handed, with all its troubles, trials and uncertainties has made you into the person you are today.
There is one thing that I am a great believer in, and that is despite where you have come from, it is your choice and your choice only that creates your future. Never let a disappointment, a hurt or an offense that is in the past continue to affect today’s decisions negatively. Learn from your sorrows to create a brighter future for tomorrow. One of the most rewarding moments in life is when you finally find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.
Whilst it is important to ‘forgive and forget’ it is equally important to learn from the circumstance. If you find yourself in a similiar situation that you were in a year ago, or a few weeks ago you know one thing – you have not learned from your past.
Letting go: gossip + untruths
For some unknown reason, the voice in our head can have so much power over our thoughts. In the end it comes down to how much you value yourself to hold on to those things in the past which do more harm than good. It is in that moment, when you make a conscious choice to ‘let go’ of those hard feelings.
I have seen in my own life, as I have grown older, you learn to care less about what people think or talk about you and care more about building your values and principles. The people who care most about you will speak the truth in love to your face and not behind your back in malicious gossip. Those who speak behind your back are behind you for a reason.
It may depend on your personality and experience in how you deal with gossip but from my experience it is best to detach yourself from those people. If they are speaking ill of you to others in the good times, how can you depend on them in the hard times?
Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Breathe deeply. Do your best.
Leave everything else to the powers above you.