Learning to Let Go
Are you holding a grudge over a silly argument you had with a loved one or a former love? Are you stuck in a place of hate and resentment or perhaps trying to hold on to something or someone that doesn’t fit in your present life or your plans for the future? One of the best ways to live your life to the fullest is to put the negative parts of your past in the past and leave them there.
We may not be able to forget our past, and some of it we don’t want to, but when the things you carry with you through life are the negative things from our past, we leave little hope for a life lived to its potential. Take with you, by all means, the lessons your past has taught you, but discard the resentments that those lessons may be borne from.
Negative events from our pasts may shape us, but they don’t define us. To give up our futures to events of the past is to rob ourselves of life and to give away our power to someone or something that isn’t worthy of our pity, let alone our power. Here are a few things to leave in your past that will help you grow and move on:
1. Hurtful words and arguments that made you feel small;
2. The image of yourself as half of a whole; you are always a whole person;
3. Anything you’ve forgiven someone for, making it off limits to bring up again;
4. Physical trinkets that spur on bad memories or make you cry; they’re just “things,” toss them;
5. Grudges; they eat away at you, hold you back, and limit your vision of what could be; or
6. Expectations that your future will be no better than the past; that’s just not so.
People and situations, both negative and positive, are part of what make us into who we are in the present. Luckily, over time, most of the experiences we remember from our past are the good ones. But to keep a negative experience alive is to invite it into your future; it will happily come along and hold you back when you should be moving forward. You could waste years of your life mulling over what might have been or could have been if things had been different, but the past cannot change, it has already happened.
Tabula rasa is a Latin term meaning “clean slate.” Make a conscious effort to leave a negative past where it belongs, in the past. Be it a job or a romantic relationship or whatever, resolve to forgive and forget. If you forgive someone, then don’t bring up their past indiscretion again. If you move on from someone, remember why you did, and leave it that way. It is entirely possible to have a tabula rasa, and a future that looks as bright as the Sun. All you have to do is leave behind the things that no longer serve you.
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