The Past Is History, Let It Go!
There are a lot of ups and downs in life. If we’ve noticed anything about our life experiences, we’d see that everything that happens to us leads to something wonderful. It could be a lesson, a friendship, a new interest or hobby, or even an entirely new perspective on life. I don’t know many people who enjoy tragedy, but I do know a lot of people who hang on to the past and re-live their tragedies over and over again. I think that this is simply the mind’s way of saying “you haven’t learned the lesson, yet”. As soon as we’re able to let go of the past, we can start to enjoy the present moment.
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” Will Rogers
The majority of my childhood was anything but pleasant. My family was torn apart by divorce. I was sexually abused; neglected; hungry and cold. For most of my teenage years, I hung on to a negative outlook on life that was based on my past experiences. I was filled with anger, sadness, hopelessness and grief. I couldn’t see past my own pain to realize that life could be better. It took a long time for me to see that the past was not what defined who I was.
I relived my own tragedies over and over again by hanging on to the pain. I was mean to people around me, physically, verbally and emotionally. I didn’t let anyone near my heart. Since my perspective was focused on the pain in my past, my present moments were filled with pain and my future looked very grim. I wanted to blame everyone else for my pain. So-and-so did this to me, or that person made me feel a certain way. I refused to see that there was a lesson to be learned from each of my painful experiences.
The instant that my paradigm shifted, I was able to enjoy my life. My future started to look bright and cheerful. I was able to let go of my painful past. I was able to relax and let it be what it was. I saw that the divorce taught me to be careful about choosing my partners. I didn’t rush into marriage only to be married. I was able to take the time to find the right partner. The sexual abuse that I endured taught me about self-respect and compassion. Being neglected taught me to appreciate friendships and togetherness. Being neglected, abused, hungry and cold showed me that I could endure anything and still survive.
Let go of the past. Let it be what it is – history. It’s over and done. It does not define you or hold you in chains. It was simply an experience that you had. You have stepped away from it and it is over. Now is your chance to re-define your life. Right now, you can shift your bad luck into good luck. You have to let go of the pain and the anger. You have to welcome love and peace. Smile, right now, and feel the present moment.
The extreme opposite of hanging on to the past, is a fixation on the future. What I mean by that, is a behavioral habit of always planning for a rainy day. Working and saving so that when you retire you can do amazing things. Yet, some day never comes. Dreaming and visualizing, planning and saving, are all good, but if you live life only for your future, you miss out on the moments that are happening right now. When it comes down to it, the past and the future are imaginary things, existing only in our minds. The past is gone, the future is always ahead of us. What that leaves us with is a truth that the only thing that’s real is right now.
Let that “right now” moment be everything that it can be. Let it morph from day to day, minute by minute. Reflect on the past and dream about the future. But, live in the present moment. Make the most of every moment and watch as your life becomes a documentary of one amazing experience after another.