You know that horrible feeling. It happens right after you get smacked in the face with disappointment of colossal proportions.
It leaves you standing there dazed and confused, trying to make sense of what just happened to you.
You review the situation over and over in your mind. You finally pinpoint the straw that broke the camel’s back. But there’s not much you can do about it now, it’s over and done with.
You promise yourself not to make the same mistake again.
But this issue sticks out to you so much that you cannot let it go. It’s like you’re hypnotized by it.
You replay all the other possibilities over in your mind.
If you changed this part then maybe that wouldn’t have happened. If you didn’t react this way perhaps you could’ve avoided that.
You just keep torturing yourself with the what-ifs. But what for?
What exactly are you accomplishing? You already know what to try the next time something like that happens so you should be done.
But instead you’re spending all your time analyzing this one specific event.
And what about what’s going on with your life now. You’re not giving it your full attention because you’re stuck in the past.
Why can’t you move on, because the whole experience has scarred you.
You don’t want to make the same mistakes. That’s why you keep harping on the issue. You want to stop it but you keep going further down the rabbit hole than you need to.
It’s understandable to look back and your mistakes in an attempt to prevent history from repeating itself. But it’s not good for you if you don’t allow yourself to move on from your past.
You have to get over your past to have a successful future.
Putting It Behind You
Easier said than done I know. But the idea of letting it go is actually harder than forgetting about it.
There are actually simple and practical ways that you can put your past behind you. You just don’t ever think to do it because you’re too busy dissecting it to think about letting it go.
Think about all you can accomplish if you took the time and energy you spent on it picking apart your past and used it to paste together your future.
Remember these the next time you find yourself dissecting your past like a frog in biology class.
1. Just accept it
Many people have a hard time overcoming their past because they’re unhappy with the choices that they made.
They can’t believe they let that happen. They don’t know what they were thinking when they did this. Or, they beat themselves up about not having the information they have now then.
The fact of the matter is it’s over and done with. You can’t turn back time and change what happen in the past. So just let it go.
Accept what happened. Face the music and try to do better the next time around.
It’s pretty much the only option you have.
2. Accepting your lack of understanding
You know how they say hindsight is 20/20, right? Well there are going to be a number of things from your past that hindsight will not make sense of.
No matter how many times you review every detail it’s still going to baffle you. You may even end up scratching a hole into your head. Some things can’t be understood or explained.
Accept the confusion. Accept that you just don’t get it.
You don’t have to understand everything single thing that happened to you in order to move on.
Hey, maybe one day it’ll hit you and it’ll all make sense. Or maybe it won’t. At this point it doesn’t matter.
3. Appreciate who you’ve become
Come on, look at you. You know you’re pretty awesome. Sure you probably have some things to improve but who doesn’t. Besides, you’re still pretty cool.
And you know how you came to be so cool? Because everything that you’ve been through has shaped you.
Your accomplishments, your screw ups, the highs and lows, ups and downs all helped to make you who you are today.
Even though there are parts of your life that you may not be proud of those parts helped you to sort things out. You got to learn about yourself and what to work towards.
Besides, you’re so much more than the bad experiences you’ve been through. After all, you got through them, so that says a lot.
4. Look for the lessons
There is something to be learned from everything, I mean everything. Especially your mistakes.
When you can’t help but to pick apart the pieces of your past, take that opportunity to figure out what you can take away from it.
Ask yourself what you learned from the experience, what you can use to improve it if it were to happen again.
5. Get help
This seems obvious but a lot of people don’t do it. And I’m not even talking about getting a therapist, but maybe just another perspective.
Talk to a good friend or someone who can give you helpful insight from an unbiased point of view.
Because it’s different it can be a little difficult at first to accept it, figure out the lesson and move on. But when someone else can help you sort through the muddle it will become easier to take in.
6. Let it go, physically
I know, I know, it sounds crazy like how can you physically let go of the past. It’s not tangible but it doesn’t have to be.
There are so many different ways you can push something like that away from you in the physical form through a releasing ceremony.
People release things that are weighing them down by lighting sky lanterns and releasing them into the atmosphere.
Others write down on a piece of paper, review it then throw it into a fire pit or fire place to watch it burn.
You can even use a little boat made out of flowers or a lantern, drop it into a body of water and let it float away.
It’s a liberating and new way of putting your past behind you, watching something move away from you. Sometimes seeing that happen is helpful when it comes time to do it mentally.
While looking to your past is a good way to learn from it and prevent history from repeating itself. It can become harmful when you over analyze it and don’t let go.
When you’re used to ripping yourself and your past to shreds it can seem impossible to leave things in the past but you can.
Remember you don’t need to understand every bit of it to tackle the road ahead. And you shouldn’t rob yourself of a future by focusing on the past.
Just take what you need or find useful from the past and put it behind you.
It’s like when you’re driving a car. You look in your review mirror here and there but you can’t effectively drive forward when you’re constantly looking behind you.
Free yourself of the shackles of the past. Keep your eyes forward and keep moving in that direction.
What part of your past still bugs you and which strategy are you going to apply to it?
What releasing ceremony would you do?