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Letting go of the Past for Mental Peace

Updated on September 30, 2010

AS someone whose made a lot of mistakes in my life, I've often found myself thinking about the past and all the different decisions I could have made and different paths that I could have walked down. I'm sure many of the readers have felt that way as well. Thoughts would creep up in my head like, "If only I'd said that", “I shouldn’t have done that", “Why did I hesitate?" and more of the like. A perfect word to describe it would be Regret. Regret of the past. Just one of the things, I discovered that was unhealthy for my mental peace, But wasn't the only thing destroying my mental peace. Many times I've found myself so in love with someone, that'd I'd have trouble being without them. I'd feel disturbed, uncomfortable, out of place in their absence. I guess obsessed would be a good word for it. But there have also been many times, where my mental peace was disturbed not by negativity, but indirectly by my own positive actions. Winning the Basketball tournament 2 years in a row, my past had made me confident for a 3rd win. Beyond confident, I was teetering between arrogance and superciliousness, both of which weren't a good side to be on.

All these states always left me feeling depressed and sad at the end of the day and after some serious time out and meditation, I realized the key to freedom from the past. A way to achieve sustained and serene mental peace. There is no magic formula to it. It's really all about Just LETTING GO OF THE PAST. Just LET IT GO...

Every time something happens that agitates you, just be glad nothing worse happened and LET IT GO

Every time someone tries to put you on the spot, bless them for spending so much energy on you and just LET IT GO

Whenever you make a mistake or falter somewhere, its o.k., pick yourself up and LET IT GO

Whenever You achieve some great feat or great goal, Good for you, don't hold on to it and become egotistical. Be modest and humble and thank god for the strength and then LET IT GO, As well.

Every time something happens that makes you feel fearful, anxious, uncomfortable, depressed or unhappy. Just remember all the good times you had in your life and LET THE BAD GO.

Now I know that letting go can be difficult and to be honest, initially it is. But there were two things that really cemented the power and thought of "LETTING GO" in my mind.

1) Let me start with a story I once heard. "There were two monks travelling through the Jungles, heading for the monastery at its end. One of them was an aged and wise Master Monk. The other was his young pupil, still under training. On there journey across a stream, flowing through the forest, they came across a beautiful maiden with her cloths in tatters. She had been robbed and was unable to walk. Upon further enquiring, they discovered that her village lied on their path. She begged them to help her. The young monk was captivated by her beauty, but knew it was against their code to touch a woman. The Master Monk, not wasting much time, lifted her and carried her to her village. They safely brought her to her village, and then left for their destination. Throughout the journey, the young pupil was filled with questions and condemnation for his master’s actions. Upon reaching the monastery, the pupil asked the master, “Master, Why did you carry that women with you, back at the stream And then leave her till her village?" The young monk felt cheated and was quite rude in his questioning. The Old monk calmly answered, “My young apprentice, I have left that girl behind at her village because she needed my help, but have you left her yet?" "

This story made me really understand the concept of letting go clear as crystal. It's all about doing what you have to do or bearing with what you have to and then just letting it go. Releasing all energy, thoughts, emotions and feelings associated with it. Clearing the mind of its shackles and finding that elusive obvious Mental Peace.

2) The second technique I've found, that helps me let go of a lot of negative things, is to create and use a very strong Positive anchor. Look into your past (only this one time :) ) and find a feeling so strong and positive that it still possesses that feeling and energy to resummon happiness and bliss. Just remind yourself of that thought, that moment , that feeling and use it whenever you need to let go of something unpleasant. I personally find the LOVE works the best here. I remind myself of the beautiful women who’s waiting for me back home and how no negativity can measure up against to the happiness I feel when I'm with her. It's like a rain cloud trying to float up to the azure skies of heaven. It's just not happening. Remind yourself that no matter what happens, it doesn't make a difference and just LET IT GO.

Our time is NOW. To be as RADICALLY honest as I can. There is NO such thing as the PAST and NO such thing as the FUTURE. They just don't exist. Think about it. Do they really matter. It's not like you can do anything except think about them. All we can truly do is live in the NOW, the PRESENT. Why waste time thinking about things that don't exist. True mental piece is when you’re free from the burdens of time and are free to just focus on this moment right now. Now is all we have and all we'll ever have. So let everything else just go...


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    • DawnMSamora profile image

      DawnM Samora 3 years ago from Akron, Ohio

      Hi Alpha Romeo,

      I enjoyed your Hub "Letting go of the Past for Mental Peace"! I believe you are helping people by writing about this. I have trouble letting go of the past, and your hub is very helpful for me.

      Thank you a lot!! DawnM

    • profile image

      Futamarka 5 years ago

      По всем Соединённым Штатам крупные города сидят без гроша в кармане и быстро деградируют. Они наполнены бедными людьми, которые быстро становятся всё озлобленнее и разочарованнее. В городах просто не хватает рабочих мест для всех. Миллионы простых американцев проводят свои дни в мучительных раздумьях о том, как найти хоть какие-то средства к существованию для себя и своих семей.

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      Kristina 6 years ago

      It makes perfect sense, but I find somewhat difficult to implement in practise. How does one really let go? What techniques could be out there?

      The one that has worked the best for me is the idea of thought observation. The other, a nearly identical method is to observe past occurences from a third person perspective and dis-identify self from that person (you in the past). I'm still in the process of learning these...

      Any other suggestions or comments are more than welcome.

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      Jahmila 6 years ago

      awesome what a great way to think. love the part that says all you can do is think about it. what's the use if you can't change it. Now is our moment. love it.

    • profile image

      Nooha 6 years ago

      I tried. It is difficult. I hope gradually it becomes easier.

    • profile image

      Kath 6 years ago

      I maintain my inner stillness and calm whilst welcoming the change and transition in my life

    • Betty Zeritis profile image

      Betty Zeritis 6 years ago from

      So true. To let go is to live on. All past mistakes serve as a lesson and every lesson makes us wiser and one step closer to our own personal truth and spirits mission. Never regret the past, everything happens for a reason and in hindsight is often a blessing.

      If you hands and mind is full of baggage, you cannot receive something new from the universe.

      Thanks for a wonderful blog. So good to be reminder that the power is in NOW!

    • profile image

      smb 6 years ago

      Your article is great, but it is not as easy as it seems. Some events in our lives you can't let go as they constantly impact you everyday. I think it is hard (for me anyway) to accept the inevitability of things and therefore hard for me to let it go. When an event or a person changes your life it is hard to let that go because you are seeing the constant effect of it/them everyday. Parts of one's life cannot be reverse and/or forgotten because they make us who we are today.

    • profile image

      connect2hcb 6 years ago

      LET IT GO is surely an effective to way to live life, happily. Many a times we feel helpless and struggle to handle the situation. The following article captures something of this sort:

      Life is a Constant Struggle

    • profile image

      Anthony 7 years ago

      WOW.. that story of the monks really made crystal clear sense to me!! Thank you for sharing

    • Alpha Romeo profile image

      Alpha Romeo 7 years ago from ashwinspower .blogspot. com


      you have to understand that is OK for you to feel these things. Understand that you are perfect exactly as you are right now.

      Your reactions is the fuel which is giving strength to these other peoples actions and how those actions affect you. Just meditate on that thought of "your reactions to the other peoples actions and how you can change the affect, by changing your own reaction" it will help you find a solution. :)

    • profile image

      maed 7 years ago

      I don't know how to let go! There are days when I'm ok and the bad doesn't bother me but others I don't know how to deal with it! The hurt and anger and wanting to say see justice is what I see! My husband had an emotional affair, his family mom, 2 sisters and a daughter from a previous marriage have hurt me so bad and I know that by letting them get to me they have won and stolen the power I have! How do I control this I feel crazy, sad and depressed some times then I feel pity and so sorry for them and then anger gets a hold of me and I want blood. Any suggestions because praying and therapy have not worked?!

    • profile image

      letter-goer 7 years ago

      I find that it is hard for me to LET GO of the past and of the future and just focus on the present. But I will certainly think of this hub whenever i am faced with the problem again. Especially the story about the Monks... Thank you

    • Alpha Romeo profile image

      Alpha Romeo 7 years ago from ashwinspower .blogspot. com

      the good thing is that if you realise that you were responsible for your negative past, then you're already aware of what things "not to do" so that you don't repeat them.

      2ndly, sometimes letting go is easier when you have something to replace "the thing/event/person" with. Use your imagination and see what you could do, to make yourself feel better about your situation. Take your imagination seriously, it has the power to shut off your limiting beliefs and show you what really gets your ZEAL flowing.

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      Najma Khan 7 years ago

      Thank you for this.However, how does one 'let go' when there is a huge feeling of self-responsibility for one's negatve past actions. I feel responsible for my failures in life, and I just do not know how to progress with my life. I have no zeal anymore.

    • ahostagesituation profile image

      SJ 7 years ago

      I like this. I'd like to share something.

      Last year, I encountered someone from my past who was all 'picket fences' the last I knew of him years ago, and is now living in a way that worried me. My fighter instincts kicked in right away, and the urge to do something was so strong I could have talked to it. So, I prayed to the only God I know to be true to ask Him to show His hand to him in some way to call him to reason. I asked for his life, and when I was done with that--I asked again. And when I was done with that...I asked again.

      I have played the game of "Life" with so many advantages almost my entire life, and I really can't not care about others, I do not have the ability. But even I, in my usual single-minded lunacy, with what my old boyfriend would label "fierce determination," even I had to sober up and realize that we are all adults making all of our own choices, and then re-making them everyday. As much I'd like to will a change to take place, I do understand that that is not my decision. I learned a lot from the whole thing, as I was likely supposed to. You can't learn the lesson of letting go too often. Today, I wish him peace, and the happiness I thought he would have years ago when I knew him.

      The monk in this hub broke the rules for the greater kindness. I appreciate that because I follow the Christ, and that's what he did. I've done that before, and I would do it again.

    • selfbetter profile image

      selfbetter 7 years ago

      I found it interesting in my single days (13 years and earlier) that the more time I spent thinking about my imperfections and regretting little things I did or said, the less success I had in dating, etc. Finally, I realized that I don't have to be perfect and I don't care what others think of me. Once I stopped worrying about myself, strangely I started dating more. I really think our well being in large degree depends on our attitude.

    • lukebroad09 profile image

      lukebroad09 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub, this was very inspiring!

    • lyndapringle profile image

      Lynda Pringle 7 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Thanks for your vote of confidence, Alpha. You don't know how much I've beaten myself over the head over my insane rage which lasted over the year in which I lambasted my ex boss and the human resources department for over a year with his minor indiscretions over me and which I suspected occurred with my friend. Nothing was done, most likely because I did not have the heart to pursue the matter to its fullest because I knew I was acting for selfish, and not altruistic motives, and, in the end, we grown women need to make our own best decisions. But it is only through pain that we can learn positive change. Thanks!

    • Alpha Romeo profile image

      Alpha Romeo 7 years ago from ashwinspower .blogspot. com

      Thanks for the vote of confidence lyndapringle :) .

      Honestly, it's the mistakes that teach us more about life than the successes.

      We're all human and the best we can do is to try and learn from ours and others mistakes.

      I'm really happy that you let it go.

    • lyndapringle profile image

      Lynda Pringle 7 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I truly loved this. I had formed an inappropriate attachment with an employer at a prior job which lasted for four years. I did not see this attachment coming as it was so subtle but I realized how deeply I had been sucked into it when he unceremoniously discarded me for my best friend at the office. It has been until recently that I have been able to let the matter go but not before the passage of a lot of ugliness and smatterings of reputations. Indeed, following the advice of your blog is much easier read than done but I hope to not make the same mistakes again, i.e. form inappropriate attachments at the workplace.

    • Jo sif 1992 profile image

      Jo sif 1992 7 years ago from Manchester

      This is a great hub, especially for the inspiring notion at the end that the past and future really don't exist !

    • profile image

      Sandy 7 years ago

      What is the point of letting go of a mistake from 20 years ago,when a 'respectable' pillar of society...choices to broadcast it , just when you have an opportunity to do something good!!

    • Alpha Romeo profile image

      Alpha Romeo 7 years ago from ashwinspower .blogspot. com

      Allen, the WHOLE point of letting go is so that you don't end up beating yourself about stuff that happened 18 months ago.

      And it's not just about letting go of events in your life. What it's also about is: In relationships whenever problems happen, you gotta LET GO of your EGO and just be willing to forgive (yourself and the other person)and let go of your own assumptions and hear the other person out.

      18 months is a long time, be a man and have the courage to look forward and live your life without being dependent on someone else for happiness . Let go of the past mistakes.

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      allen 7 years ago

      Well not to be the negative nancy here but to me this article was terrible. With the way I feel sometimes, there is NO way I can just say "Oh Allen just let it go", it does not happen like that. I have some things that happened last summer between me and my girlfriend who I love more than anything and I can't seem to let them go. Even nearly 18 months after, today I heard a few lines in a song and started crying, I went numb and shut down. I wouldn't talk to anyone and it eventually turned to rage and I literally beat the hell out of myself. "Let it go" would not have done anything for me.

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      Keon 7 years ago

      Thank you for such a simple and profound message!!!!

    • MermaidMoney profile image

      Alanna Fox Starks 7 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      Yes! Let it go! I love this message and completely agree with you! It is so hard to not focus on the past or the future and to realize that here, now, is all we have!

      Good job!

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      howardroark 7 years ago

      there is no spoon...

    • Rastamermaid profile image

      Rastamermaid 7 years ago from Universe

      I love this hub!

      Good,true,and useful info.

      You can't change what happened 5 minutes,5 hours,or 5 days ago,so let it go!

      No need to carry something you can't use,let it go!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • mrod profile image

      Monique Rodriguez 7 years ago

      And "letting go" doesn't necessarily mean forgetting,for unless we suffer from amnesia, we can never forget. It just means keeping life experiences in their proper perspective places. Whatever happened in the past, happened because of a set of circumstances and conditions that existed at that point in time and space. Since circumstances change from one second to the next, why continued tied to experiences that have no relation to our present circumstances? It's pointless. Great article, keep it up.

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      abhishek 7 years ago

      Very true..

      we can not go to past and we can not control future..

      have to live in present.

    • profile image

      connect2hcb 7 years ago

      LET IT GO is surely an effective to way to live life, happily. Many a times we feel helpless and struggle to handle the situation. The following article captures something of this sort: Life is a Constant Struggle

    • profile image

      Drea 8 years ago

      this is a very powerful yet brief passage, it has opened my eyes so much more to the power of letting go...I have had a hard letting go of the future because it keeps coming back to haunt me, but with this i feel more equipped in letting go....Thanks

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      qadeera baghban 8 years ago

      hi i am very much stuck in problems n i try many ways for mental peace i am a medico n i wanna peace to contnue my further studies...

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      Ramit 8 years ago

      great article...thanks buddy...

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      clearview 8 years ago

      This helped me SO much! Thank you!

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      how to increase vertical 9 years ago

      Great Hub! Thanks for the excellent ideas in a good form.. I found lot of stuffs here.. Very good stuff to be shared up!

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      maya 9 years ago

      The part "it's not like you can do anything about it except think about it ...' is liberating.