How can you let go of the past? By embracing it.
Things have happened to you that cause you pain. You may also have done other things that cause you pain. How can you embrace what pains you, the anchors that seem to bring you down?
In a previous article, I wrote
Your past got you to where you are today. It has given you both vulnerabilities and strengths. It has given you gifts, and one of the greatest gifts is that you still have life left in you. The past is with you to remind you that yesterday’s heights can be today’s starting point.
Every anchor has a purpose
Ships need their anchors when they want stability so they can load and unload. They know when is the right time to lower the anchor. If you drag an anchor around with you all of the time, you will never feel free.
Your past can be a part of your potential and our pain can be part of your new meaning. Your past can become an important part of your life, a good part of your life when you embrace it. Often this begins by listening to our pain. Listening to pain is a little like listening to the wind. You know it is there, you can feel it, but it is silent.
First, we listen and then we allow ourselves to feel. Know that it may be difficult to feel. Feeling is about allowing, no honoring yourself to listen and perhaps even give voice to what you feel.
How do you embrace your past and allow yourself to feel?
- Take it in small pieces. The moments in the day when things are quiet, just notice whatever you feel.
- Give voice. Giving voice to what you feel will help you to express your feelings in a way that feels safe. It may involve painting, writing, drawing, or modelling it. You may want to get a counsellor to help you speak about your pain, your hope, and your needs.
- Refuse to allow your world to remain small. Step out and do what feels difficult. It may feel safe to shut down, but not taking an action will shrink your world (Click to read more about being fenced in by fear). Action requires risk but it is the only way to begin to grow again. Hard things for you may not be difficult for other people. One way to begin today is by creating a discard pile in your basement or your garage. Write on the calendar when you will take it to the locSalvation Army or Good Will store. Discarding old things lets go of memories, making room for new memories.
The greatest way you can let go of old memories is by creating new ones.
Not hating the past means more than accepting. It means loving the past. The past has made you who you are. Hard things may have happened, but these are mere moments. Your lifetime is a million miles of new moments where you can live the life you want rather than the life that was thrust upon you.
If you enjoyed this article, see the first article in the series on healing: 5 Ways That Will Help You to Let Go of the Past.
I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain.
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Photo by David Feltkamp