Letting Go Of The Past

Something I’m not good at. For the sake of explanation; it could be anything – moving away to a new town, a favourite colleague leaving a workplace, a relationship, even a point in time. I guess all of these could be bundled under the gruesome heading of “Change”. And I am riddled by endless overthinking about it all. It must be a form of grieving.

Things I don’t process well historically have been situations where I have had zero input or control over and/or that result in situations never being quite the same ever again. Of course nothing is ever as good second time around. Memories are unkind like that.

Perhaps it is a positive to embrace life in the way I do, deeply and loyalty. I just struggle to accept, or let go and move on. Often I harbour extreme nostalgia (aka rose tinted spectacles), hurt feelings and rejection for years. Literally….I know! I seem to take things very personally. People often seem disloyal. I’m sure it’s just that everyone else simply moves on and puts themselves first, as they should do. We can talk healthy emotional boundary setting another time!

When I look back at how much time I have spent ruminating over the past, it makes me realise something major has to change. My attitude. It is holding me back. Good or bad events in the past are holding me back. As Einstein once said, choosing to live in the past is tantamount to depression.

I can choose to be defined by shoulda, coulda, wouldas. Or I can try to make peace with the imperfect, the things I can’t change, feelings of failure or rejection or any situation that was less than perfect. Learn to love the imperfect. Life is messy but it is too short to live in the past.

I love the Japanese analogy of the vase. A broken vase is not disposed of, but lovingly repaired in a way to show it is no longer perfect. The restored vase is coveted as an item to be proud of and display front and centre. It becomes much more valuable – its changes and flaws show it has a rich history from which wisdom inevitably flows.

Ironically, a modern philosopher of a different sort (the deceased rapper, Tupac) believes in leaving those (metaphorical) broken pieces on the floor and not looking back at them as a way to move on. This is a visualisation that I also find helpful to meditate on, albeit some might say it could be the equivalent of sweeping stuff under the carpet. It does seem to work, or provide some short term relief anyway.

Do you have a favoured approach to letting go of the past?

5 thoughts on “Letting Go Of The Past

  1. Well you asked about a “favorite way.” Mine involves the use of expletives. Which I am working to internalize. Life, fortunately does not give up on me when I feel deprived of something I love or loved or (even) was loved by. Life always, always, always, comes back at me with something new. Never replacing, just bringing new aromas, new flavors, new colors. Good read, your post. Thanks.

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  2. Thats a nice blog. Aren’t we all a little reticent to change? Especially if we are in a ‘comfortable stage of life’ and life has also provided us some speed bumps to travel over? On your question, I literally just block the past worries out and ignore them. I genuinely feel (and not just say) that past regrets are futile. I am definitely not the same person as I once was! One weird thing for me good or bad is not having FB I don’t get constant picture reminders. They used to make me a little nostalgic and in someways anxious about the future. I suppose I am missing out in some other way, as I am not remembering my past as well without having photos popping up from ‘this day in history’.

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    • Yes, I think we are. Some people just appear to sail through and thrive on it, whereas time and time again I seem to cling on with my fingernails even if not in a good place. When I put it like that I really need to put my big girl pants on!!! And a break from FB does sound sensible! Hope you are well 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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