Last time, we thought about being kind to ourselves. Part of that is about letting go and moving on from past mistakes, hurts and bitterness. This releases you from the difficulties of your past, allows you to be kind to yourself and others, and to build a more positive future.
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” Ann Landers
But how do you let go and move on?
Letting Go and Moving On
This is about bringing the same compassion and kindness to yourself, and others, as I talked about last time.
It is not about denying what happened, pretending the shortcomings or mistakes didn’t occur.
It is instead about accepting what happened, learning and growing from it, and then enjoying each moment of your precious life from a place of kindness, to yourself first and then to others.
What we tend to find, as frail, imperfect human beings, is that we hang onto the past hurts, mistakes, anger or sadness. We ‘polish’ them, endlessly going over and over what happened and reliving those difficult emotions.
Trouble is, through this endless ‘polishing‘ we’re training our brains to notice the bad, the past, the regrets, the hurts. The good stuff slips through almost unnoticed, and any little sign comes as another reminder of what we did, or didn’t do, or the hurts we experienced. Because our brains are trained to notice them.
As Karim Hajee says, it’s as if we’re carrying unwanted baggage in our backpack. It weighs us down, but still we carry it. It prevents us from moving forward easily.
What if, instead, we chose to put that baggage down?
Then we would no longer need to notice it, because it is not weighing us down. We could, instead, stop and notice the scenery.
This isn’t necessarily easy. After all, our brains are trained to do the opposite.
But it can be totally liberating and lead to a much happier, kinder, more positive life.
What’s good right now? Even, perhaps, what’s good right now about the past hurt? How has it allowed you to grow, to learn, to change? What different thoughts could you have right now that reframe your past hurt or mistake into something positive?
We could choose the direction we want to move in – the things we want, rather than don’t want. The way we want to be, the places we want to go, the changes we want to make.
If you reframe your past into something good, what difference will that then make to your future? And what steps can you take to create the future you want?
Letting go and moving on is essential to our wellbeing, when our past drags us down.
You can stop hurting yourself.
You can choose to think differently about your past challenges.
This can release you to think differently about your present and the future you want to create for yourself.
You are responsible for your life.
You are even responsible for your thoughts.
Choose them carefully, and put down the ones which get in your way.
Bring kindness and compassion to yourself, and so to others.
Let go and move on.