Asking someone to let go of the past seems like an impossible task. Emotional pain is invisible. Memories aren’t things we can simply put in a garbage bag and leave on the curb. Everything that happens to us, good or bad, becomes part of who we are. We are, in part, the sum of all our experiences. So how is it that we are supposed to just let some of them go. Radically, we have to accept that when we let go of of something we aren’t actually getting rid of it. The memories will no just disappear from our minds. What we do, however, is change our attachment to whatever it is we have to let go. Clinging tightly to something usually indicates we need it in some way. That way is not always healthy. Often times, when we cannot let something go, we are using it to punish ourselves, in turn causing ourselves the pain beyond the pain of the memory itself. For example, we may never perform well in a job because we’ve never been able to let go of a time a teacher ridiculed us in front of the class. Likewise, we may never be able to be fully intimate in a relationship with another person because we cannot fully let go of a prior one. Staying attached to the past takes up space in our ability to be present. We try to drive the proverbial boat forwards while looking in the rear view mirror. By doing so, we miss out on a lot of life including new opportunities for connection and growth. Here are some quick tips for letting go of what’s holding you back this year.
- Understand your benefit. Holding on serves a purpose, otherwise we would let it go immediately. It might take some time in a therapeutic setting with a professional to uncover what that purpose is. Before you can let go of an attachment, you have to understand what that attachment is.
- Find acceptance. You can’t get over what happened because you haven’t accepted what happened. In accepting it, you feel as though you make it real and there’s no more chances to fix or change it. If many years have gone by without time suddenly turning backwards to alter the course of history, it is time to accept that things are the way they are. Most likely, that’s a good thing, and things are this way for a reason.
- Move into forgiveness. The opposite of holding a resentment is being able to forgive. You need to forgive yourself and forgive the other person. We can’t hold onto disappointments forever. You have to give yourself and the past a break. What’s done is done.
Sound recovery solutions aims to help clients let go of what holds them back from living a happy, healthy, successful, productive life in recovery. Through a clinically founded treatment program focused on personal development and leadership, our program helps clients transform into their best selves. For more information, call 561-666-7427.