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How to Move On, Let Go & Leave your Past in the Past

Updated: Apr 3, 2021

Past incidents can linger on our minds for a long time which keeps us stuck in a low mood. If this state of being continues for a long time, it depletes our quality of life & impacts every area of our life, personal, professional, spiritual etc. The question is, how can we move on from past hurts, situations and people? It is easier said than done. Below are some tools that can help you deal with the situation in a better way.

1. Feel the Hurt

It is important to process how you are feeling. We all are brought up in a culture where being emotionally tough & strong is valued over crying and feeling emotions. We try to numb out our experience and play cool as if nothing happened. Although, not becoming a victim is crucial in any incident but to move forward, it is important to feel, be in touch with the emotions you are feeling. For this, let the thought of the incident take over. Feel how you are feeling. Sad, angry, guilty, regret?? Feel those feelings. Don't run from it. Cry it out. If possible write about it. Journaling (writing) can help you release these pent up emotions. Write a letter to your older self from your current self regarding how you are feeling. For eg. If you are of the age 21, write a letter to your 30 year old self telling about the incident & how you are feeling. This way you will be able to feel the hurt and release it.

2. Forgive Yourself & Them

This step may be a little tough for some but forgiving yourself is extremely important. Read this to know more. If in the past incident, we were the ones who did wrong, forgiving ourselves is important. We do the best as per our mental, emotional & physical capability at that time. Be kind to yourself. Stop using the harsh words for yourself. Instead, change the statement with, "I forgive myself for the incident and I did the best as per my capability during that time. In future, I will take the lessons from the past & not repeat it." Apply the same for the other person. Forgive them and remember they did as per their capability. If their capability would have been higher, they would have behaved better. So set yourself & them free. This doesn't mean, allowing anyone to walk over you or treat you badly. If their actions repeat, then it is more wise to cut off the relationship with them.

3. Remove the Memories

If there is anything that reminds you of any person or incident from the past, it is wise to remove their memories be it in any physical form or virtual in terms of photo, videos, social media etc. When we are surrounded by things that trigger us, it prevents us from getting out of our past. If it's a thing that cannot be removed, for e.g. the house or office you are in where the incident happened then try to replace the memories with something that brings you Joy. If a place in your home reminds you of the past hurt, then try to do any activity there that brings you Joy. It could be having a good time with family, kids or doing something you are passionate about like cooking, dancing , baking etc. Try to replace the sad memory with happy & joyful ones. Do it often so that the replacement becomes easier.

4. Progress not distraction

Many try to move on from the past by distracting themselves by activities that give pleasure like partying, shopping, eating, dating, sleeping with random people, even falling in love. But soon after the initial high these activities give, they are back to feeling the same thing. Hence, in this case it is important to have progress in your life, instead of numbing out the pain. Have projects, goals that give you fulfillment and meaning. Read here to know how to find your purpose. It is not necessary to have a big life changing project . Not everyone is interested in doing something big. It could be as big as starting your own business or getting fitter or as simple as spending time with yourself. So focus on finding at least one activity that brings you Joy or puts you in a state of flow. It could be reading, writing, painting, playing a sport, working out, walking in nature, running, meditation etc. And when you find the activity, take out a minimum of half an hour to an hour for that activity daily. This will help you progress and grow as a person. Hence, instead of distracting and numbing out your pain by seeking temporary pleasures, you are growing as a person through activities that bring you Joy!

5. Fill yourself with Love

Lastly, give yourself the love that you are seeking outside. The incident that caused you pain can lower your self worth. To help you deal with this, having high self love is important. Practise self care and affirmations in increasing your self worth. When you feel inadequate about yourself, you find it difficult to forgive yourself, your past & others. Read here to know how to increase your self love.

Life throws at each own of us situations which we wish wouldn't have happened. But such incidents are inevitable and learning to deal with them can help you move ahead. Moving on from past incidents or people can take time, but if you are determined you can not only become stronger and mature as a person but use the lessons to improve your quality of life. If you need a professional coach to help you move forward, click this link. What are your tools to move forward in Life? Comment below and share your knowledge!

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