September 28, 2006

Can you let go of the past?

I was talking to a friend the other day and we ended up discussing how he had a hard time letting go of the past.

It’s very common for many people to keep allowing things from the past to be a large part of their current life which keeps them stuck.

It’s worth looking at your life to see if you are allowing things from the past keeping you under their influence, sometimes you’re not even aware of it.

Yes everything in your past happened, back then – not now.

If you choose, and you do choose, to re-live something from the past, you are keeping it alive today. And not just as a memory, but as an active part of your life today.

The question is, do you really want to keep reliving the past?

Do you really want to continue to bring it up over and over, and give it power today?

You don’t have to.

You don’t have to let it stop your future progress or continue to hurt you.

Your past is actually only a memory, not the director of your life today.

It’s what happened then, based on who your were then, you are different now.

But you can’t fully move on if you keep reliving past regrets, anger, mistakes or whatever.

You are only hurting yourself by holding on to any past negative feelings.

What you think and feel about something is of your own making. Something that happens does not come with a set of pre determined emotions attached.

You chose what to think and feel about it when it happened and you choose today.

You are what you think about, what you focus on.

When you keep focus on a past event, feeling or perspective, you are bringing it alive today.

It is not forcing itself on to you, you are bringing it up.

We’ve all had things happen that are painful, devastating and regretful but they do not need to be relived today.

If you want to grow, prosper and be happy in life look at your past as a way to learn about life and yourself.

What can you learn from something that happened or that you did or didn’t do?

It may be how not to do something again, or to do it differently.

Maybe to look at things differently, make different choices.

It’s done, over, finished, let it be what it was in the past and allow yourself to move on – to grow and develop into all you can be.

You can’t change anything from the past, and continuing to dwell on it now will not do anything except keep you reliving the same emotional feelings you had when it happened.

There are lessons available in all that we do and in all that comes into our life, seek them not a rerun of how you felt.

There are also lessons of forgiveness, understanding and acceptance in our past, which can be very powerful.

To let others and yourself off the hook and move on.

If you could change what happened in the past, then dwelling on it now may be of some value but you can’t. However, you can change how you think and feel today.

If you don’t like something from the past, why would you want to have it continue? For the misery, self-punishment, to rejoice in your resentment or hatred?

All these only hurt you every time you subject yourself to all the same debilitating emotions.

Let go and move on.

It’s really a choice – yours!

Don’t dwell on what you can’t change, dwell on what you can change – today.


“The things you want are always possible; it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. The only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience.” — Les Brown

“Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.” — Dennis Waitley

“Having looked the past in the eye, having asked for forgiveness and having made amends, let us shut the door on the past–not in order to forget it but in order not to allow it to imprison us.” — Desmond Tutu


I have studied many aspects of personal growth, spirituality, religion, psychology, and philosophy for over 40 years. My writing and training reveals ideas and methods which assist with affecting the desired change and growth people want to live more happy and fulfilling lives. Much focus is on what can be done daily and the how it can be implemented for actual results as opposed to just collecting information.

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