“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
These quotes from the Chinese master of Taoism, Lao Tzu, are powerful in their wisdom. Life does bring us one thing for certain: change. When we cling to things we do not want to let go, we live in the past and we do not live in harmony with life’s principles.
Understanding that this is easier said than done, is the first step but if you consciously make a decision to let go of your past–the things that hurt you—you will learn that those experiences made you who you are today, and hopefully have taught you lessons for the future. Our past makes us who we are and if we don’t take control of our hurts and past wounds, we will never move forward.
How to Let Go of a Painful Past
- Realize that you have the power to let it go. This does not mean that you will forget. It simply means that you will acknowledge to yourself that yes, you’ve been hurt by something or someone but you are making the decision that this thing will not hurt you any longer, that you have the power to continue to dwell on it or move forward. Remember that we attract what we focus on the most, and focusing our attention on negatives that have long gone by and we have no power to change will ultimately hurt us, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
- Let the person know how they’ve hurt you, or if this is not possible let the Universe know. Acknowledge that you’ve been pained, hurt. Sometimes the other person has no idea that you’ve been suffering in silence. Perhaps they may make amends, perhaps not. That is not the purpose if this exercise. It is for you to externalize your bottled-up feelings that have created deep rooted emotions and resentments, to excise them out and give them to the Universe because you do not want them anymore.
- Take responsibility. Many times events or things seem to come at us for no reason at all. Yes, even horrible things. If we want to heal ourselves we have to take some sort of responsibility for your life. This is actually very empowering when you look at from the other side of the coin. When you take responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life you are actually telling yourself that YOU are in control; you are not a victim. This may be hard to accept but blaming others without looking deep within yourself will not help you to forget what’s happened to you.
- Stop being a victim. It’s easy to fall into this trap and feel sorry for ourselves. Being a victim of your own circumstances, is your doing. Stop asking yourself why this happened to you. Instead, tell yourself that it did happen, and that you are not the same person you were when this hurtful thing happened. You are stronger now, and you are in control.
- Forgive: yourself and others. Give yourself permission to forgive the offender or the one who’s hurt you. If it’s not a person, but rather a circumstance, forgive it too. Yes, if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one and cannot move on, forgive them from passing on. If someone has hurt you deeply, forgive them as well. By offering forgiveness you also forgive yourself. You have given yourself permission to understand that you are human and that your reactions to certain situations come from a place of fear, anger, hurt, and sadness. Once you have given yourself permission to forgive the situation or the person, be thankful for the situation. Yes, give thanks. Be grateful for whatever occurred to you in the past for these are the things that have shaped your life and have brought you to the more enlightened place you are today.
A beautiful prayer of forgiveness and compassion is the Hawaiian Ho’oponopono, a meditative prayer of confession, repentance, mutual restitution, and forgiveness.
Simply meditate and think of the circumstance that hurts you and speak to it with these words:
I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You
This powerful prayer has helped many move on from difficult circumstances but most important chanting and meditating can help you heal from within, your soul and your spirt. Remember, only you have the power to take hold of your emotions, your thoughts, and heal the hurts of your past.