Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.
Release the Past and Move Boldly Forward
Everything always changes.
You can be sure of nothing else in life, except that fact that things will always change. Things begin and end. Beings are born and die. We love. We lose. We laugh. We cry. And through it all, we control our perception and we control our own suffering.
Most suffering comes from a refusal to accept change. It comes from a desire to cling to what was, rather than accept what comes along.
When things are going well, we sabotage our own happiness with fear. What if something happens? What if this ends? What if I screw up?
When things are not going well, we suffer in our misery. What if this never ends? What if I am never happy again? What if this is all there is?
Our suffering is, for the most part, self-imposed. While Buddha once said that pain is inevitable, he noted that suffering is optional. There is a choice. You can choose to suffer, or not suffer. You can allow change, or you can fight change. Either way, things will change, and sometimes, life will hurt. You alone decide whether or not you will suffer.
Relax, breathe deeply and realize that life is a continual cycle of beginnings and endings. Right now, the end of a cycle, represents a time of great opportunity to embrace change.
As one year draws to a close, and another looms freshly on the horizon, take stock of where you are. What have you carried forward, that you can now safely release? What things are you wanting to plan with vigor and execute with audacity?
The New Year, a new season, or a new month each offer a perfect time to release the past and make room for a bright future. It's time to say goodbye to the past, and live your best life today.
Attachment Creates Suffering
A New Resolution
New beginnings, whether it's a new year or a new season or a birthday, offer a lot of hope for change. People get an idea that this could be the perfect year. We make resolutions, set unrealistic goals, and basically set ourselves up for failure.
What if, instead of stacking the cards against ourselves from the outset, we try a new resolution? What if we resolve to release, let go of resistance and be free from our past? Instead of making a resolution, let's instead create a revolution.
Could that work?
Often times, we get stuck thinking about the past. We wonder why past relationships didn't work out, or why a friendship has come to an end. We agonize over our part in the demise, playing every conversation and interaction over and over again, hoping to come across some clue as to why things didn't work out.
Maybe the reason the relationship didn't work out has absolutely nothing to do with you. Maybe the friendship ended for reasons that have nothing to do with anything you said or did or didn't do.
Maybe it was time for that relationship to be done.
Rather than dwell on past relationships, perhaps we can try a healthier approach, as part of our inner revolution.
As you move forward, into your best life, celebrate your past loves, your past friends, and your past relationships. Grab a journal or a piece of paper, and make a list of those relationships that have come to an end, for whatever reason. Once you have a list of people, think about them. Think about their great qualities, as well as their not so nice attributes. You can even write them down, if you are so inspired.
Now, once you have made a list, and mentally celebrated each person on it, say good-bye. Say it out loud. Even if the relationship didn't end on a good note. Even if you have decided that the person no longer serves any purpose in your life. Whatever the reason. You know when things are done. Don't deny or reject the idea. Accept the fact that everything always changes.
Saying good-bye out loud creates a vibration in the Universe. The repercussions will echo loudly through space and time, allowing for more space in your future. Once you finally accept and move on from past relationships, you can move forward into those lives who best reflect what you desire in your life today. Saying good-bye is an inward admission that you accept the end, and an outward declaration of your inner decision.
Take a moment to look over your list, say good-bye and celebrate those past relationships. Then take a candle or a match, and burn the list. That's right. Burn it. Take it outside in a fireproof container or dish and burn it to ashes, allowing the fire to cleanse the past. Release that energy to the Universe.
Now, once you've said your goodbye, begin removing any reminders of the person. Donate those frames to the thrift store. Give the books to the library. Put the pictures away. (I would suggest throwing them out entirely.) The letters, the clothes, whatever other reminders remain, get them out of your environment.
When you remove the stagnant, old energy from your life, you will make room for new relationships to enter. How can a new friend come into your world, when you are busy fretting about the friend you used to have?
How can you make room for Mr. Right (or Miss Perfect) when you are busy mourning the end of your relationship with Mr. Not-So-Right (or Miss Slightly-Less-Than-Perfect)? Until you are ready to release the past, you cannot move fully into the future.
Donate, give away, throw away or burn those old reminders of your past life, and give yourself a fresh start. Begin the new year with a clean slate of emotional energy. Release the past and resolve to move forward, unburdened by relationships that have ended. Celebrate the past without clinging to it, and allow yourself to move forward peacefully.
Be Peaceful Now
A New Chapter
You cannot begin a new book until the old one is finished. If you are ready to begin again, first accept the fact that the old is gone.
The old year. The old job. The old relationship. The old you.
Let it go.
You cannot change anything until you are willing to let go of what once was, and move forward. When you are stuck, nothing changes. You continue the same old habits, the same old ways of thinking, the same ways of being, hoping that somehow, something will be different.
Doing the same things, continually hoping for a different outcome is the very definition of insanity. When you continue repeating the same patterns, the same behaviors, and the same choices, nothing can change the outcome.
If you want a different ending, then write a different story.
You must decide that you want life to be different. In this moment, you have a choice. You get to choose, right now, what your life will look like. You get to choose your chapter, and even your book.
A new cycle represents a fresh opportunity to begin again. Sometimes we look at the macro-cycle, a new year. Sometimes, smaller cycles can inspire us to change: the spring, a new month, a Monday morning. Let's keep in mind, however that we don't have to wait so long between cycles.
Each moment offers a brand new opportunity to choose again. You want to be healthy? In this moment, make healthy choices. You want to be more patient? You can practice being patient, just for this moment. You want to be a writer, a singer, a painter? How about if you do that thing, just for a moment.
If you want more love in your life, then in this moment, be love. Share love and acceptance with the people around you, whoever they are. If you want more joy or happiness, then right now, be happy. There is no virtue in misery.
The effects of a decision stay in place until the decision is changed. If you are ready for new results, you can change your decision, change your mind in any instant. No moment is set in stone.
After every breath, our life begins anew.
Life is short. Waste no time
Say Goodbye to the Past
Say Goodbye to the situation
Spend some time grieving
Get rid of the reminders
Say Goodbye to the person
It has nothing to do with you
Release sorrow and remember joy
Forgive yourself for mistakes
Realize that others are doing their best
In learning to let go of the past, it is important for us to learn to release our hurts. Everyone gets their feelings hurt. Everyone experiences loss, betrayal, pain. How we handle them afterward will determine, to a large extent, how easily we move forward into a life we love.
When you think about people who have hurt you, what do you feel? If the pain comes rushing back like a freight train into your heart, or a punch in the gut, then perhaps it's time to forgive the person, forgive the situation and forgive yourself.
Forgiveness is not always easy, but it will release the burden of negative energy from your energetic and emotional bodies. Think about the situation. Feel the pain. Notice where it settles in your body.
As you begin to sit with your discomfort, say out loud, "My heart (or wherever you feel a physical reaction to the memory) really hurts right now. But that's okay."
Now breathe deeply and continue your awareness of your pain. Notice it, allow it, and then release it. Inhale deeply and focus all of your awareness there. As you exhale with your eyes closed, imagine the physical sensation is dissolving. Or imagine it unravelling like the strands of a rope.
Inhaling again, notice how present your physical symptoms are. Is your gut still twisted in knots? Does your heart still feel heavy and closed?
It is okay. Allow yourself to feel sad, or angry, or hurt. Whatever it is, allow it. And then continue to breathe it out. Continue breathing deeply and releasing your tension, until the pain eases up.
Now, say out loud, "I forgive you for hurting me." Continue breathing and releasing, until you feel peaceful and calm. Imagine releasing the person and the situation. You could picture blowing dandelion seeds into the wind, or balloons floating into the sky. Imagine their influence on you diminishing until it completely disappears.
It is now time to forgive yourself. Offer yourself the same kindness and compassion you would offer to you best friend. Understand that you have done the best you can. At the moment in time when you were hurt, you did the best you could, under the circumstances, given the resources at hand.
Once we forgive the past, we can move forward to a healthy future. When we get stuck in unforgiveness, it creates bitterness, anger, and anxiety. Those feelings will wear you down if you don't release them.
Remember, not forgiving someone is like taking poison, and hoping the other person will die. Unforgiveness will eat you up from the inside and destroy your hope.
Let it go, and allow yourself to move freely forward, unburdened by the past.
To go back to where I was would just be wrong
The end of a cycle also represents a beginning. When something ends, something new is created.
The new year, a new season, or even a new day allows an opportunity to reflect on past mistakes, past opportunities, past success and the beauty of the things we have done. After we spend some time reflecting on where we have been, it is time to prepare for where we want to go.
Now is the perfect moment to decide how you want your life to look. Create a road map of where you want to be. Look at your five year plan, or create a new five year plan, and decide how you can best get where you want to be.
Every moment in your life is an opportunity to create yourself anew, and to begin again. Rather than wallowing in wasted opportunity and lost love, create something new.
Now is the perfect moment to start over.
Remember, happiness and joy will not be the death of you. Instead, they will open your life to new possibilities and opportunities. Give yourself the gift of your own happiness. You are worth it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Deborah Reno
Have you resolved to move forward?
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on June 12, 2019:
Thank you for your kind comments, and for taking the time to read and respond to my article.
Gupi on June 02, 2019:
Very inspiring and uplifting article. thank you for sharing!
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on March 04, 2016:
janshares, Thank you for reading and commenting. I, too, have a number of clients who have trouble moving forward. Thanks for the comment.
Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on February 28, 2016:
Very important article, Deborah. I have many clients who remain stuck in the past, unable to let go and move on from hurt and betrayal. You've done an excellent job of laying out a plan of action in order to free oneself once and for all.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on January 28, 2016:
Thanks for reading and for commenting. Sometimes the past does come up to haunt us. The best we can do is notice it, and then let it go.
I appreciate your comments.
CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on January 26, 2016:
I have since learnt to let go although I must admit the past would sometimes come and visit me. But, I never let it spoil my day anymore.
This is a wonderful read for tonight, very insightful. Great advise.
Love from the sky~
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on January 25, 2016:
Thanks for reading and commenting. Much love to you.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on January 25, 2016:
DDE, I appreciate your comment. The past should definitely stay behind us.
manatita44 from london on January 24, 2016:
A most beautiful and self-giving Hub. So many of us need this! Amazingly, we will still fight it, but little by little, it will seep through. Continue ...continue ...much Love.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 23, 2016:
Don't dwell in the past it should stay there. Nicely approached thank you
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on January 20, 2016:
Thank you, hari87,
I appreciate your comments, and hope you have a prosperous and happy year as well.
K HARISH RAMACHANDRAN from INDIA on January 19, 2016:
One should ignore about the past and should not despair. One has to circumvent any obstacle that comes in their way. Great hub. I wish you a very happy and prosperous new year.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on January 14, 2016:
Thanks Stella, for your input. I appreciate you reading my article.
Hope you have a great year.
stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on January 13, 2016:
Great advice for past relationships, I must agree with most of what you have written. We can all use improvement in our life. Death seems harder to let go of the person, but this could work . Thanks Stella
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on January 05, 2016:
You are correct, we do need to improve on what we've had, whatever that looks like. It's just when we become attached to a particular outcome that we cause ourselves to suffer.
Hope you have a wonderful year.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 31, 2015:
"Most suffering comes from a refusal to accept change." You made a good case for accepting change, and I agree with you that that's the best. More of the same will result in the same, but we we need improvement on what we've had. Thanks for the wise New Year advice and Happy New Year to you.