My past is probably much like your own. It is filled with laughter, love and adventure. It is also filled with hurt, resentment and loss. If I could alphabetically shelve the endless memories, people, and special moments onto a single bookshelf, it would take me years to complete. The good and the bad, the laughs and the tears—they all reside in the past, some more superior than others.
Looking back on the last two years, the past has been anything but smooth sailing. I’ve suffered the loss of friends, the loss of life, and the loss of tenderness. I’ve experienced endless nights of laughter, ounces of pure love, and so much happiness.
However, the bad always seems to outweigh the good. Why is that? Why do we overlook the positive and weigh our hearts down with the negative? We all have at one point struggled with this. We release the good memories but hold onto the ones that bring you sleepless nights or heartache. This is the worst thing we can do for our peace of mind and heart. So let me express from personal experience three ways that holding onto negative parts of your past cause you more harm than good.
1. You Blame Yourself.
Whatever you’re fretting about, whatever in your past causes you pain, you blame yourself. You put this heavy burden on yourself for how things could have been or what you should have done. But that’s just that. Your past is your past for a reason. There is no “could have” or “should have.” Whether you’re blaming yourself for bombing that 35% exam, blaming yourself for a breakup, or blaming yourself for how lost and sad you feel, you will overcome it. You’ll rock the next exam you have because you know you can do better. You’ll get over the jerkoff who broke you into a million pieces, and you’ll eventually be happy and move on and settle your mind into happy thoughts that bring you peace.
2. You Think You Can Change It.
Newsflash. It’s the past. It’s already come and gone, torn you down, broken your heart, and made you late for work. You can’t change your past no matter how hard you try! No matter how cliché the statement is, everything happens for a reason. I honestly HATE that statement too. The amount of times I’ve had this said to me is limitless and every time I hear it, it absolutely makes no difference toward how I feel. However, I think deep down I know how true this is, in any context, good or bad. Maybe you saw your ex and you thought “Wow, this is crazy! This must mean something,” only to have it only teach you that seeing him a second time just showed you how better off you actually are. Blow a nice big kiss to that PAST mistake.
3. You Don’t Allow Yourself To Grow From It.
You carry it around with you constantly, which only causes you to hurt more. It’s completely horrible to want to let go of a memory or a person so badly, yet still yearn to keep them in your thoughts. But this prevents you from moving on, from growing, and from learning. But I get it. I get that letting go of your past is difficult. I would be a complete hypocrite to say I am not experiencing this right now in my own life. Your past meant something to you, and maybe it still does. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if it causes you more hurt, such as mine, then letting it go only seems like the most logical option.
Or is it? We all want to believe that we can change our past and relive it and have everything back to how it once was. But that is not the case. We need to come to terms with that fact that our past trials and errors can be neutralized with other happy experiences and memories! Do not carry the burden of a lost dream or lost memory. They’re in our past for a reason. So shelve them. Open the book one last time and then close it for good. You are better than your past, and certain people and memories deserve to collect dust. The past creeps back in through that song you hear on the radio, a certain word, or even a place. You need to decide for yourself when you are ready to let it go for good this time.