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How do you find yourself letting go of the past? Can you truly do so?

+7 votes
Given a recent trend amongst myself & people close to me, I've been wondering on how many of you find yourselves letting go of your past; assuming you can do so.
Or do you find yourselves holding onto it & attempting in some way to learn or perhaps take a different viewpoint now that you're older & supposedly wiser.
Do you truly believe we can let go of our our pasts, or are we in fact just learning to better mask our stories with lies so as to help others feel better as well as simultaneously distracting ourselves from thinking about the past?
asked Jul 29, 2015 in Self Improvement by V
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9 Answers

+7 votes

This is a tricky question - and letting go of the past seem to be easier said than done. You're hurt; we've all been hurt, but would you really want that feeling to torment you for the rest of your life? It all begins with yourself, and whether you like it or not, you'll have to leave the past behind, bury those memories and face the present and prepare for your future. It doesn't really matter if a person completely left behind his past, or started to mask all the pain and suffering they've been through with better memories. What matters is that you were able to move on and start treating yourself better - because you definitely deserved it. 


We get it - it hurts, and it's not that difficult, but you have to start today to make the decision and let go. Only then will you be able to start living a normal, happy life once again [1] It's normal if you'd feel like you're the victim, and you'll start blaming others; but, believe me, no one is to blame. Blaming others won't even help you cope up with the pain.


As soon as you're ready to do so, acceptance is the next step. [2] Only then will you be able to empty your cup,let go of your story, and even get your judgment and mind straight. We know it's difficult, but we just have to face it and deal with it. It doesn't matter how long it would take you to recover, as long as you're putting an effort into making it happen, you're doing great.


I'd leave you with this quote:



[1]  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/07/22/learning-to-let-go-of-past-hurts-5-ways-to-move-on/

[2] http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4116/10-Tips-to-Let-Go-of-the-Past-Embrace-the-Future.html

answered Jul 29, 2015 by mrsaustria (13,230 points)
+6 votes
Development and self improvement does not occur without having one's past experiences to  lean on. It is imperative to maximize past experiences (good or bad) for the betterment of one's own future[1]. This should be the approach everyone takes in their day-to-day life. Improving in all of the little things will add up over time.

Masking stories is a personal decision. This does not mean if a person hides their past, they are not learning from the mistakes made. They might have learned from these mistakes and want to keep such development to themselves.

Moving on the past should not be assume to mean forgetting about what has happened before in one's life[2]. It should be reviewed on a regular basis as encouragement to become a better person as a whole.


1. http://www.evantarver.com/past/
2. http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/3-secrets-rewriting-past/
answered Jul 29, 2015 by kingusama92 (23,380 points)
+6 votes

I am not sure you necessarily have to let go, but there comes a time when you should be able to accept the past for what it is and not allow it to have total control of you. My past was very ugly, and when I used to wallow in it, I found that my current life wasn't so hot either. Once I learned to accept what happened and understand that my past made me who i am today, I was able to better things and try moving forward. There are many ways to let go, but I honestly feel like acceptance is the most effective.






answered Jul 29, 2015 by Johnresa (33,810 points)
+6 votes
I never had any success at willing myself to let go of past hurts. They happened and I can't forget. What I have found helpful is a few techniques I learned while studying Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy. First, it's important to accept and reflect on the situations that caused the hurtful feelings. It's not pleasant to look back, but there are ways to do so with minimal pain. One can visualize being in the painful scene as a caring adult, perhaps the caring adult you needed, but did not have at the time. It's helpful to imagine your current self as the caring adult on-looker who steps in and offers the care you needed but did not get at the time. By reflecting on painful situations in a curious way, and visualizing a proper outcome... what should have happened, a new emotional association is created. You don't change the memory, you just adjust your emotional response to the memory. It feels like setting things right which can come as quite a relief for those living with painful memories. It's a wonderful technique. For more information on using IFS as a tool for self development, see the website below.

answered Jul 29, 2015 by tangolady1 (4,230 points)
+6 votes

I find that I can only let go of the past when I choose to live in the present. This means that I take the time to truly appreciate what I have, to look forward to the next day, and to realize that the past has no hold on my current being. I spent years thinking about the past, hoping that I could change it, and feeling like I was a failure for not being able to change anything. Now, I sleep better and feel more full of life.


Here is some more information about living in the present.

Reference 1: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200810/the-art-now-six-steps-living-in-the-moment

Reference 2: http://www.howtolive.com/be-present/#.Vbm53vlLpko

answered Jul 29, 2015 by jesheckah (20,300 points)
+4 votes

I have had a bad past, but I just try to focus on the now[1]. I think it's important to not hold onto all of the things that hurt you, but in the end they are what made you come to this point in your life. I try to just stop negative self talk since it can lead to anxiety loops[2].


Anyone is able to change for the better now, and it's never too late. However, sometimes things can't be changed about the past and so living for today and tomorrow instead may not be a bad idea!

1 - http://www.rd.com/slideshows/10-steps-to-mindfulness/

2 - https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/extreme-fear/201205/breaking-anxietys-bizarre-death-loop

answered Aug 1, 2015 by zuulspaceman (37,960 points)
+4 votes
One thing that makes a person reluctantly hang on to the past is the inability to forgive. It is a very difficult thing to do, and perhaps that's why so many people revisit the past even though they don't want to dwell on it. If you had a negative experience in the past, maybe this is part of the reason. Once you learn to forgive, you can start letting go.

Maybe some of these suggestions can help:

answered Aug 2, 2015 by turker88 (23,620 points)
+4 votes

Letting go of the past is not as easy as it may sound, but that does not mean it is impossible. If you want to let go of the past, the first thing you should do is talk about it with someone, such as a counselor. Talk to them about situations that have occurred and how those situations made you feel. You may be able to receive advice that helps you with the process of letting certain things go instead of dwelling on them.


After you have expressed your feelings, try focusing on what is currently going on. Spend time doing fun activities and surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh and have a good time. If you are constantly laughing and having fun, you may not think of the past nearly as much as you once did. It will take some time before you completely stop thinking about things that have happened many months or even years ago, but you can certainly do it.








answered Aug 3, 2015 by AmyLynn (20,980 points)
0 votes
I had a bad childhood and I found it very difficult to let go of my past. At one point of time, I had to accept what happened in the past and move on. If not, I would have been stuck in the past which would have ruined my present and future experiences. If you keep on lamenting about your past, your present experiences will be colored by the bad experiences of your past. This is why it is essential to understand this and move on.

You should think like a grown up adult, and not let your inner child control your present and ruin your future. You are handing over your power to the inner child by lamenting about the past. Can you see how you are ruining your present by going so? This is why it is important to forgive yourself and others for the mistakes of the past and move on.




answered Sep 14, 2015 by nilupa1973 (35,290 points)

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