SOMETIMES JUST LETTING GO OF THE PAST IS SO HARD TO DO. SPEAKING FOR MYSELF, IF I DONT HAVE CLOSER AND UNDERSTANDING ITS LIKE IM CONSUMED WITH THOUGHTS.
Realize that the past is gone. Understand that you are a wonderful person because of all the things that have happened to you, good and bad. Moments in our life are just that, moments. You've had millions of moments and you will have a million more. Some of them will be good, and others will be not so good. You have lived through hardships and you are strong. Focus on the moments that will be. Try to see the good that has come of your past. You will be fine. You are strong, or you wouldn't have asked such a brave question.
I find that the past that stays with me and haunts me is about not being able to make sense or resolve the issues that keep coming up. Sometimes that takes time to do, and some things can't ever be really resolved. However, learning from the experience, and figuring how to turn the negative to a positive by learning from it does bring resolve in most cases.
I also think that a lot of the trauma in our lives becomes somehow cellular in our bodies, meaning that we store that trauma as physical thing. It takes time for our bodies to heal, but as they do and as we continue to work through these lessons, they usually become less important and fade. For me the trick is to just keep going and try to keep learning from all these experiences so I don't have to keep repeating the same things I hate over and over.
First of all, start believing that everything happens for a reason. Once you start thinking this way, you start looking for the reason and often find your life takes a turn for the better. Secondly, do not waste the short time you have here on earth worrying about the things you cannot change. Does worrying make you feel any better??? No. And finally, improve your health by eating good foods and exercising regularly. If you are physically strong, you will be mentally strong as well.
I heard a speaker once that said that we identify ourselves through our emotional and psychological wounds of the past. When we hold on to these without, without treatment, they fester and infect and kill. Being a very visual person, this was very helpful for me. Now, when feeling angry, I look at it, notice the wound for what it is, and the part I played in its creation, and attempt to find the appropriate "medication" for its healing. Sometimes its just a matter of diverting my attention - time heals all, they say. Sometimes, it is more serious and I seek the advice of my friendly on-call therapist. Surround yourself with friends who understand, not just agree with you, friends who will help you pick yourself up and move on. Friends who just want to join in and on contribute their own pains to your pity party should not be invited. Positive thoughts help. Listening to inspirations speakers helps. Try anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He has helped me survive many a troubling period in my life. Cliche, I know, but the sun still rises, and life goes on. Its up to you and no one else to decide how your new day and your life will be. Good luck.
Pray about it. That is how I cast off my burdens and worries and my past.
If you really want to be free of the past, you must stop holding on to it, stop gazing longingly, ruefully at it. Turn around and walk away. The farther you get from it, the more distant it becomes.
People are often haunted by the past because they lost a piece of themselves and are looking to go back and find it. Often, the best way to let go of the past is to place something in the future and walk towards it.
It can be an upcoming celebration, vacation, anything ... By dwelling on the future, the past moves backward where it belongs.
There's a famous line in a book, 'The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there'. The past has tentacles that can pull us in and put us in a stranglehold if we let it, but the trick is to recognise that it is a foreign country, and we have travelled on.
If you are having trouble letting go, try finding out about EFT (I think there are a few hubs posted.) You might find it helpful, and it costs nothing to try.
Letting go of the past is very difficult and in some cases can be the hardest thing to do. Yet, you need to do that if you want to move on in life. The more you bind yourself to the past, the more you will tend to arrest your growth (spiritual, mental, financial and physical). The best way to let go of the 'old' is to find yourself a 'new' vocation or a hobby to keep your mind and body at work. Make sure that your mind gets very little time to think about those things which keep nagging you. The memories will fade out with the passage of time. Good luck.
The past is actually in the present, your mind keeps bringing it into the here and now.
Have you heard of The Sedona Method?
Its not the past, that you want to get rid of. For there are good lessons, in past moments, that get get you to point a of your life to point b in your life.
Rather what you do want to do is get rid of your anger at yourself, for what you see you have done and your anger at what you see others have done to you. Realize that you nor they had no understanding why they did what they did. They could not stop themselves any more then you could stop yourself. come now and make peace with these two things. cry if need be, let it all out. begin again to see the goodness in yourself and others and hold on to the new understanding you have gained.
You just do it. It's like sitting on the beach and watching the ocean waves. It's inviting, warm, and refreshing. You can either sit there and watch and wish you were in it, or you can get up and get in and actually be in it. Take action. The remainder of the healing process will take over.
I've been able to pretty much walk away from the past since childhood, but on reflection I do realize there are a few techniques involved in the process. A few of the most identifiable include:
1. Planning for the future. I always have goals "out there", or at least it seems so, and how much can I agonize over the rear view mirror when I'm racing toward the finish line?
2. Reading, particularly (in my case) science fiction and fantasy, plus a little in other genres. For some reason, reading historical fiction (a novel about the life of Alexander the Great, for example) gets my thinking away from my OWN history to some degree.
3. Requiring myself to ask, "What did I learn from that experience?" There's always something, painful or otherwise. Once I've identified that "something", then I'm able to say, "Okay, now let's take all that newfound knowledge and see if I can do better next go-round."
4. Writing. I realize other posts in this thread have already mentioned that, but I'm referring to something quite specific. For example, I also write songs now and then. After leaving my 6th wife, but prior to the divorce being final, I listened to my soon-to-be ex talk about us getting counseling and getting back together. My response? A song titled, "I'd Rather Die" (it's on YouTube under my Mogularian user name). It helped!
There are some things that make getting over the past more difficult. It is hard to forget bad choices when the past keeps haunting you. Some people refuse to let go of the past and if you have hurt them, whether you meant to or not, they try to hold you as a prisoner because of their decision to harbor unforiveness in their heart. At this point, you have to realize that it is their problem and you have to refuse to be drug backward by simply marching forward with your head held high.
Letting go of the past can only be accomplished as we are willing to forgive ourself for decisions we made that have resulted in unfavorable consequences. We also must forgive others for their actions and how their actions may have adversely affected us. Living in bitterness and unforgiveness only leads to unhappiness.
Looking forward to the future, having learned lessons from the past is the best way to allow the past to slowly fade behind us. We are not just "surviving" through this life but we are "becoming" by allowing all of our life expereinces; be they good or bad, to mold us into wonderful people who are able to wholeheartedly smile at the future!
Your mention of closure suggests you either need an explanation or the reasons something happened, or else you want to see justice of some sort. Sometimes "justice" can be as simple as having the person who did something acknowledge it and apologize.
When it comes to getting an explanation or reasoning that will put some sense to something that happened, much of the time there is no making sense of something that was done by someone for no rational, reasonable, reason. When that's the problem I think all you can do is keep reminding yourself, "There is no making sense of what's crazy."
If the thing in the past is something like a death, usually time takes care of that; but it takes longer than we ever think it will. Five years is about what it takes to truly get back to ourselves after a death or big tragedy (and even then we sometimes have "left-over" stuff and just learn to live it without focusing on it much).
If the thing in the past is something someone did to hurt you or someone you care about, you have to ask, "Did they mean it, or did they not realize what they were doing?" If they didn't realize what they were doing you need to forgive them for their mistake/bad judgment. If they did mean it, that goes back to realizing you can't make sense of what is crazy (and hurting someone intentionally is "craziness").
If it's something you did and feel bad about, you ask the same questions. Did you know what you were doing? If you did, maybe it will help to acknowledge what it was to the person you hurt and apologize. If you didn't realize you were doing it, you have to forgive yourself. Talking to the person you may have hurt can help.
But what if someone intentionally hurt you or someone you love; but you can't get an acknowledgment, apology, or other form of closure? That one I have no answer for because I'm dealing with one of those situations myself. You can try to sue someone (if you have case), or press charges (if that's appropriate); but if those aren't applicable to the situation, I guess you could try talking it out with a therapist or maybe talking with people in similar situations (who can at least understand what you're going through). You could try writing about it (privately or making it public, as long as make sure what you say is true). Other than that, I guess you have to ask if you want some "piece of scum" to take yet more from you and your life than they already have.
take it one day at a time! just always remember the good times with that person..
I came here to see if I could add something to this thread. I am extremely impressed with the answers above me here. Every answer was a quality answer. Well done fellow hubbers! I shall move along, it appears things are in good hands here.
The past - it's always there in the background. Focusing on tasks that will make a beneficial difference in your life will use up most of your capacity which won't leave room to dwell on the past.
You've gotten some good advice here. One thing that is not productive is to pressure yourself to "get over" whatever happened to you, in the sense of forgetting about it or not caring about it anymore. You never get over your past, you just learn to deal with it and the emotion attached to it eventually fades away to some extent. It's part of who you are, and there are very few people who have not suffered some trauma, loss, or pain in their lives. I have gotten some satisfaction from helping people who have suffered the same type of experiences I did. And as many people here have suggested, reading, writing, looking forward, and planning for the future have helped me. You may also be suffering from clinical depression, and it might help you to get some counseling or be evaluated to see if medication might help you get past the tough times. I don't advocate being medicated for the rest of your life, but if you're having obsessive thoughts about the past, you may need some help, at least temporarily. Take care, and best of luck.
Forgive yourself and the other person.When you forgive yourself and others you can walk in love.One step at a time.
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