Originally, I thought that writing an article on how to let go of the past was going to take me months. I thought I’d always be battling with it and trying to word things in the right way, but I deleted all the previous drafts of this post. Really, it’s quite simple, but nonetheless painful. It’s a lesson that took me a long time to learn, and I’ve no doubt I’ll have to keep relearning for years to come.
How To Let Go Of The Past
Accept that it’s over. It’s finished.
There is no going back and rewriting or making things over.
It’s impossible for it to be any other way.
It’s brutally raw, but that’s the unvarnished truth.
The past might seem very real in your mind. We replay memories, the good and the bad, over and over until we become haunted by them.
Why didn’t you do this?
What if I’d gone there instead of here?
What if she hadn’t said that?
What could I have done to make it better?
These thoughts move round and round in our heads until we either exhaust ourselves or convince ourselves of something that simply isn’t true, a made-up story. To get a handle on our emotions, our brain then helps us to make sense of what happened by creating a story around it. This means we can rationalise and ultimately survive, but these stories are not always positive ones. (I’m still clinging on to a few of my own.)
So, how to let go of the past?
With grace, gentleness, gratitude and a knowing that spending all your energy focused on the present is a hell of a lot more productive than sending your body and mind back to the past.
You might have to grieve as part of the letting go process, and you should allow yourself to do so. Sometimes what we always thought we’d do can ultimately never be done in the same way again. We have to be ok with this, because, ultimately, we don’t have a choice (as I learned myself the hard way).
It is safe for you to let go.
It is safe for you to forgive.
It is safe for you to move on even though you’re terrified.
It’s safe to not have a damn clue what you’re doing.
Just let it go.
Love, Katie xx