5 Ways to Let Go of the Past When You Can’t Stop Holding On

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“Realize that if a door closed, it’s because what was behind it wasn’t meant for you.”- Mandy Hale

How hard is this to swallow? We’ve all heard sayings like this and when our intended paths have been met with a dead-end or a no entry sign it can be really tough to change gears quickly. Sometimes we can see it coming, other times we are blind sided; left in a whirlwind of emotion that seems to penetrate our entire being. Naturally, to try to cope with the harshness of the event that took place, we cling on to whatever we can, like a cat scaling a concrete wall. Until eventually, we can’t hold on any longer and we fall into the pits of rock bottom.
The longer we cling on however, the more exhausting the whole process becomes, like trying to swim up-stream after you’ve flipped the life raft.Your only option now is to just go with the flow and know that you will find yourself again, when you reach the bottom of the river.

“One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Whether it’s guilt, anger, love, loss or betrayal. Change is never easy. We fight to hold on and we fight to let go. If you’ve been hurt until it breaks your soul into pieces, your perspective in life will definitely change, and no one and nothing in this world could ever hurt you again.”- Mareez Reyes 

1.Explore Your Emotions

The toughest part of letting go, is realizing why you have been holding on so long. If it is the loss of a loved one, a life partner, a friend or a career, we need to dig deep and understand what root emotion is driving the resistance to change. Many times when we feel loss, we start to feel lost and when this comes, we lose our sense of control over our own lives.

Before these life splits occur, we may have built a stable and fulfilling environment for ourselves and suddenly we have been swung 180 where we just can’t seem make that first step in the opposite direction. Other times, our circumstances were so rocky that just when we finally begin to set out and embark on our own journeys, do our past emotional wounds come flooding back to us.

Ask yourself, why can’t I make that first step? What is it that is holding me back?.

**If you have lost a loved one, this can be very tough to cope with and excruciatingly painful. You may think to yourself, I just can’t let him/her go. You need to remember that love doesn’t die. Let the attachment fall, and let the love breathe for eternity. Take this breath and then explore deeper into your emotions. Are you afraid of what it might mean if you let yourself be happy again? You are allowed to be happy and it doesn’t mean that you don’t love who you have lost.

2.Remember Who You Were Before

Who were you before all of this? What did you like to do? What were your interests?. Are they the same or have they changed? It’s time to reconnect to you. It’s ok to be selfish, now is the time to take all the time you need.

3.Realize How Far You’ve Come

The person you were before this loss, will not be the same person as you were going in. Each experience moulds us, changes us and reforms us into a new person and it is during these emotional hardships, that come crashing over us, that we are reshaped–for the better. Even if right now, you are filled with hate, fear or guilt. Upon reflection, it is in these pivotal moments where you will find a stronger, softer, more loving, caring and compassionate you, than you ever were before.

4.Notice What You Have Learned

Every experience we have, is a lesson in disguise. Quite often, we will repeat certain scenarios in our lives until we learn the underlying lesson of it all. Sometimes, we need to be completely broken and reborn anew to learn this lesson because that is what it takes to purge our emotional wounds.

5.Reinvent Yourself

Finally, if you are still at the point where you just can’t seem to move forward and you know you can’t go back. It’s time for a new you. Drop everything for a while and essentially have no opinion or judgement of anything.

Try everything like it was the first time you have ever tried it. Do things that are out of your comfort zone that you couldn’t imagine yourself doing before. Through your own trial and error and with an open mind, you will find the you, you have always been searching for.

 “Never stop discovering yourself, it is a quest that will never cease”-

by LJ Vanier

Thanks to isoulscience for this article.

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