Let Go Of The Past

You can only lose what you cling to. – Buddha

Most of us have feelings of regret at some point in our lives. Things we wish we had said or done differently (or not at all). However, it can be toxic to cling too tightly to the past. For me it’s like a venomous snakebite. The longer you wait to treat the wound the more conditions worsen as the venom spreads throughout your body.

Regrets can give you a sense of loss, sadness, or even anger. But suppressing those feelings or denying them will only prolong the pain. It can virtually take over your life and essentially become who you are. We must keep in mind that this continued suffering is of our own choosing. While no one wants to feel the pain of regret, letting it fester only makes things worse and serves to keep happiness at bay.

Emotions are temporary; they change like everything else in this world. We don’t need to attach ourselves to negative emotions. The only thing for certain is that nothing is for certain.

Yes, all actions have consequences, but those consequences may not always be in your control. I once held onto a relationship just because I needed closure from him so I could move on. But we can’t change others, we can only change ourselves. I eventually ended the relationship and created my own closure so I could “shed” the past. Not only did I feel better, but also I was free.

Instead of holding onto the loss of someone or a relationship, grieve. Regrets come from the mistakes we make, and everyone makes mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes and move on. So reflect, learn, and grow. Don’t let your past define you, but let it help shape who you want to be.

16 thoughts on “Let Go Of The Past”

  1. Hey, when are you going to write another post? 🙂

    There’s no more posts for me to “like” 😛

  2. I too love the Buddha quote. It seems seems that our ego tries to drag us away from the present moment, fearing the future and regretting the past. I admire the many insights relating to “a struggle”

  3. Sometimes we don’t want to feel uncomfortable or nasty emotions associated with regrets and letting go. But we own those emotions as much as the “positive” ones, and if we can learn to accept the discomfort and move on in spite of it, growth will happen. BTW, thanks for following my blog, Discover Santosha!

  4. Awesome.Loved the words and inspired by your view point.Awesome blog to follow.

    Hope you like mine also,visit once when you get time and follow this little fella if you like my work.
    Thank You 🙂

  5. Wonderful essay. I want to comment on part of your last sentence: “Don’t let your past define you …” This is some of the best advice anyone can follow. Here is one reason that this is the case.

    In the classic study, Bad is Stronger than Good, (easy to find using a Google search), the authors show how the mind has a negative bias (it is more apt to see bad in the world than good) and it remembers the bad longer. They say that this quality of the mind is adaptive. As a species we were better able to survive by keeping our eyes open for the bad (i.e., things that wanted to kill us and eat us), and remembering the bad so we can avoid it in the future.

    If your mind sees more bad than good in the world and remembers it longer, how to you think you are going to view yourself, if you let your past define you?

    Acknowledge the past, but do not let it define who you are.

  6. Holding on to the past is like taking a small bucket of water for a long walk with your arm raised. It is easy in the beginning, and it causes no pain. But after a while you feel like you are taking the weight of the world. Actually the bucket has the same weight, it is you, who change. You just have to put down the bucket and go further.

  7. As i just tweeted, this whole post resonates on a fundamental level: “the only thing for certain is that nothing is for certain” — embracing change, accepting pain as a counterpoint to pleasure, sadness to happiness. Yes yes yes!

    Do you know the work of Jeff Brown? He does a lot with pain-body stuff: https://www.facebook.com/SOULSHAPING. And Eckhart Tolle? It sounds like you’ve read his work on ego and the pain-body. They’re onto something, these blokes. As are you, Avery. I really enjoy your posts.

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