Let It Go!
Seriously. Discard, flush, erase, eradicate, obliterate, and otherwise demolish all those emotion-packed, life-limiting, memories that are holding you back and preventing you from cruising on to a happier life destination. All of ‘em. Everything! Let the past go! Just let it go!
OK, wait a minute… there are some of those memories you might like to hang on to. You know the ones I mean. The good ones. The fun ones. The exciting ones. Yeah, all of those. Those are worth keeping. You can even enhance or brighten them a bit if you want. But the rest of them – let them go!
My handy dandy little dictionary defines the past as anything that has “gone by or elapsed in time”. Here’s old Gene’s definition… anything that existed or occurred before NOW. This very moment. About a second ago, you read the previous three-word sentence fragment “this very moment”. About three seconds ago, that was your “now”. “Now” it is a part of your past – a thing that you did or experienced. It is no longer real. It is just a part of your memory.
Our “pasts” cover a lot of territory and admittedly, some for some of us it covers a bunch more territory than others. But for every one of us, our “past” is everything from one nanosecond ago on back to the beginning of our existence. Everything. It’s all just a part of our personal mental video.
I know folks who periodically dredge up memories of yucky events that happened half a century ago. They relive the moment. They see the scene, hear and mentally speak the words and frequently feel emotions very similar to those that existed when their video was a live presentation. They feel the anger, guilt, despair or any one of the other half jillion emotions that could be associated with any uncomfortable situation. And they mentally modify the closing scenes by wondering “what if…?” or by inserting a new “if only” segment.
Realistically, I know that some of the uncomfortable situations in our pasts are really, really hard to shift back into the far corner of our mental archives. They just had such an impact on our lives at the time they occurred that it’s hard to let go. However… it’s still just a frickin’ video! We can’t re-script it, we can’t re-shoot it, we can’t change it. We may sometimes have an opportunity to make amends for a damaged relationship or to take some action to correct an ongoing uncomfortable situation. That would probably be a good thing to try to do. Frequently however, all we can do is accept that what is done is done, forgive ourselves and everyone else for those remembered transgressions and uncomfortable circumstances – and get on with life. Get on with “now”.
If you are one of those individuals who is having difficulty shaking the memories and emotions of uncomfortable past events – who is allowing the past to negatively impact your happiness, productivity and enjoyment of life – I would suggest that you seek professional help. It’s natural to occasionally feel a twinge of discomfort related to an unpleasant memory but it’s not natural or healthy to dwell on these things. For many of us, this is a pretty nice world. Our “nows” are generally OK. Wouldn’t you like to join us?
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