"Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?"
~ Mary Manin Morrissey
The past is important to us. What we have experienced in the past has made us into the people we are today. We learn from the past. We carry beautiful and joyful memories from the past into our present day.
Unfortunately, we also carry forward other things from our past, things that are not so pleasant…things that don’t serve us. We carry past hurts and struggles (not the lessons from these, but the actual events). We carry blame and regret, stopping ourselves from forgiving – either ourselves or others.
As time passes, we find ourselves carrying more and more of this non-productive baggage with us. It begins to weigh us down and becomes detrimental to our current selves, both in adversely affecting our health, and in preventing us from moving forward with our lives – moving toward the things that we want…the things that will help us allow our happiness to well up from within us and shine into our lives.
Bad news…we can’t change the past. What has happened has happened. We might as well let it go and move on. Accept what has happened in the past as a part of your path to the person you are…and so, it is also part of the path to where you are headed in your life. It is a part of you…it has helped to shape the person you are…and the person you are becoming.
Good news…we can’t change the past…but we can change the way we perceive the past. We can look at the lessons that we can draw from all of our experiences, good and bad, and use them to guide our future thoughts and actions. We can choose to perceive our past experiences in any way we want. We can look at them, over time, from a broader perspective, showing us how everything is leading us to exactly where we want to go.
Once we draw the lessons from what we consider to be unpleasant experiences in our past, we have the opportunity to set the baggage of the actual event down. We have the opportunity to leave it behind, taking with us only that which will serve us as we continue our journey. When we set it down and leave it behind, we find that we are much lighter. We move forward with more ease and joyful anticipation.
We can’t change it, so take what you need and drop the rest. Forgive yourself – If you need to. Forgive others – always. Learn the lessons and let go. Put what you want to take with you in the carry-on and check the rest of the baggage.
We don’t live in the past (or we shouldn’t be living there), so there is no reason to carry the past with you if it isn’t going to serve you.
I encourage you to take some reflective time to examine what unnecessary baggage you are carrying around from your past…set it down…and move forward with your life.
Do you carry your past with you? Do you have a favorite method of letting go of the past? Do you feel your past serves you? Leave a comment and let the community know how you feel about your past, and how you deal with your past. We’re listening.
"It's hard to be clear about who you are when you are carrying around a bunch of baggage from the past. I've learned to let go and move more quickly into the next place."
~ Angelina Jolie