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Say Goodbye to the Past

Updated on December 27, 2016
Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives everyday by sharing her joy and love of life.


The Four Noble Truths

After his enlightenment, the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths, which together form the foundation for Buddhism. These four truths center on Suffering.

The First Noble Truth, dukkha, translates to: Life is Suffering. It basically means that we all suffer because life is impermanent. Birth is suffering. Aging is suffering. Illness is suffering. Death is suffering. Separation from what is pleasing is suffering. Not getting what you want is suffering. All of life is suffering.

The Second Noble Truth, tanha, means that Desire and Ignorance lead to Suffering. We continually search for things outside ourselves to make us happy, fulfilled, content. But we are continually dissatisfied. This dissatisfaction arises from our own ignorance, and from insecurity about our true identity. We strive to get more stuff, more honor, more everything, thinking it will define who we really are. But we suffer, because we crave.

The Third Noble Truth, bodhi, The End of Suffering. Happiness can be attained. It is possible to end suffering and achieve enlightenment, or bliss. Each of us has a way out of suffering. It is to release our attachments to desire. Our minds hold the key to our freedom from suffering. Non-attachment leads to non-suffering. In release is freedom.

The Fourth Noble Truth, The Path that Leads to the End of Suffering. Buddha offers an eight-limbed path that offers a way out of suffering. Once Buddha described the problem, The Truth of Suffering, he then described the cause, The Truth of the Cause of Suffering, he then described The End of Suffering, by offering A Path that Leads to the End of Suffering. The Eightfold Path will be described further in the article

Say Goodbye

Everything always changes.




You can be sure of nothing else in life, except that fact that things will always change. Things begin and end. Beings are born and die. We love. We lose. We laugh. We cry. And through it all, we control our perception and we control our own suffering.

Most suffering comes from a refusal to accept change. It comes from a desire to cling to what is, rather than accept what comes along. When things are going well, we sabotage our own happiness with fear. What if something happens? What if this ends? What if I screw up?

When things are not going well, we suffer in our misery. What if this never ends? What if I am never happy again? What if this is all there is?

Our suffering is, for the most part, self-imposed. While Buddha once said that Pain is inevitable, he noted that suffering is optional. There is a choice. You can choose to suffer, or not suffer. You can allow change, or you can fight change. Either way, things will change, and sometimes, life will hurt. You alone decide whether or not you will suffer.

Relax, breathe deeply and realize that life is a continual cycle of beginnings and endings. Right now, the end of a cycle, represents a time of great opportunity to embrace change. As one year draws to a close, and another looms freshly on the horizon, take stock of where you are. What have you carried forward, that you can now safely release? What things are you wanting to plan with vigor and execute with audacity?

The New Year is a perfect time to release the past and make room for a bright future. It's time to say goodbye to the past.

How have you moved on from past relationships?

See results

How do I get over it?

This book, Getting Past Your Breakup, can be a valuable asset, in helping you get over a past relationship. When a relationship comes to an end, it is important to allow yourself to grieve the loss and move on. Often times, people get stuck in the grieving, wondering what they could have done wrong, or how they could be different or better.

Sometimes, it is best to remember that it's not always about you. The other person has issues all their own, without regard to who you are or what kind of person, friend, or partner you were. In addition, you have your own issues. You know what they are. If your issues are causing problems in relationships, then perhaps begin working on those. Not so you can be in a new relationship, but so that you can heal and grow and move forward.

Take an honest look at yourself and begin to be the person that you are called to be.

The Eightfold Path of Buddhism

In describing an end to suffering, Buddha suggested following a path in life that avoids extremes and excesses. Buddha described living a life in which people refrain from excess indulgences as well as refraining from rigid self torment and pain. He suggests a middle path of moderation, described as the Eightfold Path

1. Right Understanding: Understand the true nature of reality, understand suffering, the laws of cause and effect, and the Four Noble Truths.

2. Right Attitude: Not holding on to thoughts of greed and anger, but rather holding an unselfish desire to discover enlightenment.

3. Right Speech: Avoid speaking harshly or unkindly. Speak compassionately and truthfully, and avoid lying, gossiping, and spreading false tales.

4. Right Action: Not to destroy life, steal or commit adultery, but to act ethically, manifesting compassion through actions.

5. Right Livelihood: Avoid occupations that bring harm to oneself or to others. Make a living through ethical and non-harmful means.

6. Right Effort: Earnestly do ones best, moving in a right direction. Cultivate wholesome and compassionate qualities while releasing unwholesome qualities.

7. Right MIndfulness: Always be aware and attentive. Be fully aware of mind, body, breath and spirit.

8. Right Concentration: Make the mind steady and calm and realize the true nature of things. Meditate, pray, or spend time in a concentrated, concecrated study.

A New Resolution

The New Year brings a lot of hope for change. People get an idea that this will be the perfect year. We make resolutions, set unrealistic goals, and basically set ourselves up for failure.

What if, instead of stacking the cards against ourselves from the outset, we try a new resolution? What if we resolve to release, let go and be free from our past? Instead of making a resolution, let's instead create a revolution.

Could that work?

Often times, we get stuck thinking about the past. We wonder why past relationships didn't work out, or why a friendship has come to an end. We agonize over our part in the demise, playing every conversation and interaction over and over again, hoping to come across some clue as to why things didn't work out.

Stop it.

Let go.

Maybe the reason the relationship didn't work out has absolutely nothing to do with you. Maybe the friendship ended for reasons that have nothing to do with anything you said or did or didn't do.

Maybe it was time for that relationship to be done.

Rather than dwell on past relationships, perhaps we can try a healthier approach, as part of our inner revolution.

As the old year comes to a close, lets celebrate our past loves, our past friends, and our past relationships. Grab a journal or a piece of paper, and make a list of those relationships that have come to an end, for whatever reason. Once you have a list of people, think about them. Think about their great qualities, as well as their not so nice attributes. You can even write them down, if you are so inspired.

Now, once you have made a list, and mentally celebrated each person on it, say good-bye. Say it out loud. Even if the relationship didn't end on a good note. Even if you have decided that the person no longer serves any purpose in your life. Whatever the reason. You know when things are done. Don't deny or reject the idea. Accept the fact that everything always changes.

Saying good-bye out loud creates a vibration in the Universe. The repercussions will echo loudly through space and time, allowing for more space in your future. Once you finally accept and move on from past relationships, you can move forward into those lives who best reflect what you desire in your life. Saying good-bye is an inward admission that you accept the end, and an outward declaration of your inner decision.

Take a moment to look over your list, say good-bye and celebrate those past relationships. Then take a candle or a match, and burn the list. That's right. Burn it. Take it outside in a fireproof container or dish and burn it to ashes, allowing the fire to cleanse the past. Release that energy to the Universe.

Now, once you've said your goodbye, begin removing any reminders of the person. Donate those frames to the thrift store. Give the books to the library. Put the pictures away. (I would suggest throwing them out entirely.) The letters, the clothes, whatever other reminders remain, get them out of your environment.

When you remove the stagnant, old energy from your life, you will make room for new relationships to enter. How can a new friend come into your world, when you are busy fretting about the friend you used to have?

How can you make room for Mr. Right (or Miss Perfect) when you are busy mourning the end of your relationship with Mr. Not-So-Right (or Miss Slightly-Less-Than-Perfect)? Until you are ready to release the past, you cannot move fully into the future.

Donate, give away, throw away or burn those old reminders of your past life, and give yourself a fresh start. Begin the new year with a clean slate of emotional energy. Release the past and resolve to move forward, unburdened by relationships that have ended.


Creating a new reality

Esther and Jerry Hicks have written several books about creating the life you want. In this book, they demonstrate how important it is to speak what you want in your life, rather than what you don't want.

In addition, they talk about the importance of acceptance and going with the flow, allowing things to happen and not resisting change. Of course, it is difficult not to struggle sometimes, but the Hicks' offer useful suggestions on allowing change to occur, and adapting as it comes along.

A New Chapter

You cannot begin a new book until the old one is finished. If you are ready to begin again, first accept the fact that the old is gone.

The old year. The old job. The old relationship. The old you.

Let it go.

Start over.

You cannot change anything until you are willing to let go of what once was, and move forward. When you are stuck, nothing changes. You continue the same old habits, the same old ways of thinking, the same ways of being, hoping that somehow, something will be different.


Doing the same things, continually hoping for a different outcome is the very definition of insanity. When you continue repeating the same patterns, the same behaviors, and the same choices, nothing can change the outcome.

If you want a different ending, then write a different story.

You must decide that you want life to be different. In this moment, you have a choice. You get to choose, right now, what your life will look like. You get to choose your chapter, and even your book.

A new cycle represents a fresh opportunity to begin again. Sometimes we look at the macro-cycle, a new year. Sometimes, smaller cycles can inspire us to change: the spring, a new month, a Monday morning. Let's keep in mind, however that we don't have to wait so long between cycles.

Each moment offers a brand new opportunity to choose again. You want to be healthy? In this moment, make healthy choices. You want to be more patient? You can practice being patient, just for this moment. You want to be a writer, a singer, a painter? How about if you do that thing, just for a moment.

If you want more love in your life, then in this moment, be love. Share love and acceptance with the people around you, whoever they are. If you want more joy or happiness, then right now, be happy. There is no virtue in misery.

The effects of a decision stay in place until the decision is changed. If you are ready for new results, you can change your decision, change your mind in any instant. No moment is set in stone.

After every breath, our life begins anew.

Life is short. Waste no time

Say Goodbye to the Past

Say Goodbye to the situation
Spend some time grieving
Get rid of the reminders
Say Goodbye to the person
It has nothing to do with you
Release sorrow and remember joy
Forgive yourself for mistakes
Realize that others are doing their best
Easy Steps to Get Over the Past

Practice Daily Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be tough to master. This book explains how, with daily practice, you can begin to let go of past grievances and hurts.

Holding on to resentment and anger over the past will only serve to make you miserable in the present. The past is gone. It cannot be changed or altered. What you can change is yourself and how you perceive the past, and those things that happened.

Remember, most people are doing the best they can, on any given day, with the tools, knowledge and experience available to them. Don't hate people for what they don't know.

Forgiveness heals

In learning to let go of the past, it is important for us to learn to release our hurts. Everyone gets their feelings hurt. Everyone experiences loss, betrayal, pain. How we handle them afterward will determine, to a large extent, how easily we move forward into a life we love.

When you think about people who have hurt you, what do you feel? If the pain comes rushing back like a freight train into your heart, or a punch in the gut, then perhaps it's time to forgive the person, forgive the situation and forgive yourself.

Forgiveness is not always easy, but it will release the burden of negative energy from your energetic and emotional bodies. Think about the situation. Feel the pain. Notice where it settles in your body.

As you begin to sit with your discomfort, say out loud, "My heart (or wherever you feel a physical reaction to the memory) really hurts right now. But that's okay."

Now breathe deeply and continue your awareness of your pain. Notice it, allow it, and then release it. Inhale deeply and focus all of your awareness there. As you exhale with your eyes closed, imagine the physical sensation is dissolving. Or imagine it unravelling like the strands of a rope.

Inhaling again, notice how present your physical symptoms are. Is your gut still twisted in knots? Does your heart still feel heavy and closed?

It is okay. Allow yourself to feel sad, or angry, or hurt. Whatever it is, allow it. And then continue to breathe it out. Continue breathing deeply and releasing your tension, until the pain eases up.

Now, say out loud, "I forgive you for hurting me." Continue breathing and releasing, until you feel peaceful and calm. Imagine releasing the person and the situation. You could picture blowing dandelion seeds into the wind, or balloons floating into the sky. Imagine their influence on you diminishing until it completely disappears.

It is now time to forgive yourself. Offer yourself the same kindness and compassion you would offer to you best friend. Understand that you have done the best you can. At the moment in time when you were hurt, you did the best you could, under the circumstances, given the resources at hand.

Once we forgive the past, we can move forward to a healthy future. When we get stuck in unforgiveness, it creates bitterness, anger, and anxiety. Those feelings will wear you down if you don't release them.

Remember, not forgiving someone is like taking poison, and hoping the other person will die. Unforgiveness will eat you up from the inside and destroy your hope.

Let it go, and allow yourself to move freely forward, unburdened by the past.

To go back to where I was would just be wrong

It is your choice

Every day, you have a choice about how you will show up, and what attitude you will present to the world, and more importantly, to yourself. This book explains the benefits of choosing happiness, and how to change your mindset.

Not everyone goes around with a smile on their face all the time. Some personalities are pre-disposed to be grumpy. But even if you are naturally inclined to be grumpy, you can choose to have a different outlook. It might take a little more mental tenacity and diligence, but you can choose today to be happy.

Moving On

The end of a cycle also represents a beginning. When something ends, something new is created.

The new year allows an opportunity to reflect on past mistakes, past opportunities, past success and the beauty of the things we have done. After we spend some time reflecting on where we have been, it is time to prepare for where we want to go.

Now is the perfect moment to decide how you want your life to look. Create a road map of where you want to be. Look at your five year plan, or create a new five year plan, and decide how you can best get where you want to be.

Every moment in your life is an opportunity to create yourself anew, and to begin again. Rather than wallowing in wasted opportunity and lost love, create something new.

Now is the perfect moment to start over.

Remember, happiness and joy will not be the death of you. Instead, they will open your life to new possibilities and opportunities. Give yourself the gift of your own happiness. You are worth it.

Namaste, friends

Have you resolved to move forward?

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    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 21 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      janshares, Thank you for reading and commenting. I, too, have a number of clients who have trouble moving forward. Thanks for the comment.


    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 21 months ago from Washington, DC

      Very important article, Deborah. I have many clients who remain stuck in the past, unable to let go and move on from hurt and betrayal. You've done an excellent job of laying out a plan of action in order to free oneself once and for all.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 22 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD


      Thanks for reading and for commenting. Sometimes the past does come up to haunt us. The best we can do is notice it, and then let it go.

      I appreciate your comments.


    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 22 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I have since learnt to let go although I must admit the past would sometimes come and visit me. But, I never let it spoil my day anymore.

      This is a wonderful read for tonight, very insightful. Great advise.

      Love from the sky~

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 22 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD


      Thanks for reading and commenting. Much love to you.


    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 22 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      DDE, I appreciate your comment. The past should definitely stay behind us.


    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 22 months ago from london

      A most beautiful and self-giving Hub. So many of us need this! Amazingly, we will still fight it, but little by little, it will seep through. Continue ...continue ...much Love.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 22 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Don't dwell in the past it should stay there. Nicely approached thank you

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 22 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Thank you, hari87,

      I appreciate your comments, and hope you have a prosperous and happy year as well.


    • hari87 profile image

      K HARISH RAMACHANDRAN 22 months ago from INDIA

      One should ignore about the past and should not despair. One has to circumvent any obstacle that comes in their way. Great hub. I wish you a very happy and prosperous new year.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 22 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Thanks Stella, for your input. I appreciate you reading my article.

      Hope you have a great year.


    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 22 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Great advice for past relationships, I must agree with most of what you have written. We can all use improvement in our life. Death seems harder to let go of the person, but this could work . Thanks Stella

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 22 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD


      You are correct, we do need to improve on what we've had, whatever that looks like. It's just when we become attached to a particular outcome that we cause ourselves to suffer.

      Hope you have a wonderful year.


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 23 months ago from The Caribbean

      "Most suffering comes from a refusal to accept change." You made a good case for accepting change, and I agree with you that that's the best. More of the same will result in the same, but we we need improvement on what we've had. Thanks for the wise New Year advice and Happy New Year to you.