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How do I let go of my past?

120 Answers
Last Updated: 09/30/2020 at 11:35pm
How do I let go of my past?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Michael Hofrath, Ph.D. Candidate

Pre-Licensed Professional

The only way to the other side of pain is to walk through it rather than around it. Life is a continual journey. Sometimes we get stuck. I will help you get unstuck!

Top Rated Answers
xKoala
November 4th, 2016 11:05am
Go outside. Run, run and run until you get tired. You see, you should stop dwelling about the past. Once you run, make your you get yourself so tired. Now, look at the sky and tell yourself "This is the new me and the present me, there is no such thing as the past, there is only the present."
funnyHeart83
November 6th, 2016 9:05pm
By forgiving yourself and others and accepting who you are now regardless of whatever happened back in the day.
uniquecreature41
November 18th, 2016 8:09pm
Reconciling yourself with it and forgiving yourself and others where possible. Those are the two main steps towards letting go. Everyone has something in their past that to this day sticks in their craw, it's how you view your past that makes a difference to whether or not you carry that into your future. You might need to talk about something you've never talked of before before fully expunging it. On that basis you might need to get professional help to let go of a few things and it's a very helpful way to get a different perspective on things. Or maybe just talking to a friend about things might dislodge the wedge they have in your brain. While the past to an extent shapes us, it doesn't define us or stop us from getting up tomorrow morning and experiencing a new day. Don't let it get in the way of everything you want to do or become.
Anonymous
November 24th, 2016 1:04am
The past is a difficult concept. Just when we think we are over it, something reminds us. A photo, a song, a place. Some memories are beautiful, others not so much. You keep taking each day once at a time, you continue to walk forward and one day the past won't hurt so much anymore. Because you'll realise the future you were hoping for, is what you are living.
Anonymous
December 30th, 2016 6:34am
Letting go of anything can be extremely difficult, especially if it's something that happened in your past. But there comes a point when holding on becomes worse than letting go, and you have to take that great big step. Letting go isn't easy, and there are days I still get pulled back to my past. But I do some deep breathing and try to change my thoughts and focus on what I'm doing right now in the present, and what I want to achieve and be doing in my future. I tell myself that I need to let go and move on, and think about all I've learned from my past and accept that I can't change it. My past made me who I am today, but that doesn't mean I have to hold on to it.
PoeticSoul314
December 31st, 2016 7:30pm
You don't. You look back on your past to help you move into your future. Life is like a car.. the rear view mirrors are smaller because we need to pay attention to what's behind us. The windshield focuses more on where we are heading.
thoughtfulMelody92
January 25th, 2017 5:10pm
Embrace the present. Not the future. But the now. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe and the miracle that is life. Pay attention to the way the clouds drift lazily across the sky and find the beauty in the moment that you have right now,
Anonymous
March 23rd, 2017 2:09pm
When I think of the past I think of time. The past, literally, is everything that happened up until this one moment - which itself just passed by. The past, literally, doesn't exist in reality - only in my mind. And with that, I can process what goes on in my mind however I want. Have I made mistakes? Yes! A lot of them. Though consequences of those mistakes may be part of my reality now, it doesn't mean I am without the potential of changing. And in a very real sense, regret over things in the past are literally the first step of moving on, toward progress. That's because you say to yourself, "hey, I didn't like that - I'll never do THAT again." And you likely won't. So learn the lesson and forget the experience. Time is always in transition - and set yourself up for success during the only time you truly have: the moment right now.
Anonymous
March 30th, 2017 5:10am
Tie all the loose ends you have, if you have something you want to tell to someone, tell him/her. Don't think about the "what-ifs", everything happened for a reason and you need to learn the lesson of it so you can make ir better or never do it again. Let your past be the building blocks of who you re now and the inspiration of who you want to become.
peacefulkat
April 5th, 2017 4:55am
You could let go of your past by talking about it to your therapist or to someone close, you could forgive those that hurt you in your past and accept the mistakes that you did.
Anonymous
April 9th, 2017 6:05pm
Look forward to the future and be the best you can be! Don't overthink about letting go the past and let it flow :)
RecurringHope
April 21st, 2017 7:13am
The past is a hard thing to forget, but the more one thinks about how difficult it is to forget, the harder it truly is. I can let go of friends or lost family members by staying social, doing my best in school and work, and living my life like I normally would, while getting moral support and help if needed.
Viana
May 3rd, 2017 10:35am
Letting go of your past takes time and effort. Taking on each day at a time and focusing on the present is a good start. Sure, you may think about previous events every now and then and they may pull you down but don't ever forget to carry forward and plough ahead! One day you'll look back and you'll see how much things have changed, how much you have changed, and how much you have moved on. c:
A1b1c2d2
May 4th, 2017 3:02pm
To let go of your past, you have to move on. You have to make new friends, you have to get a new job, a new life. Anything to distract yourself of the past you are trying to leave behind. If you don't want to be so drastic, you must distract yourself. Surround yourself with loved ones and friends, seek professional help, or just have fun with your life. If you distract yourself long enough you will be able to move on. But sometimes it is different. You can't get it out of your head. You can't move on. That is when it is time to confront your problem. Meet your past face to face and just sort it out.
Anonymous
May 12th, 2017 1:58am
It can be so difficult to let go of the past. Letting go doesn't necessarily mean forgetting about it; it means accepting it as part of yourself. The first step to accepting anything is understanding why it happened. It takes a lot of contemplation and forgiveness, and it may take a really long time to learn how to forgive. Sometimes you have to forgive people who don't even ask for forgiveness. It's a learned skill. But once you learn to focus on the here and now and accept that you cannot change the past, you'll be able to welcome happiness back into your life.
KingdomWorker
May 12th, 2017 9:08am
In order to let go of my past, I had to learn to truly love myself. I didn't even know what that meant in the beginning of my journey. When I finally learned how to do this, I saw that I was a valuable person with alot to offer. This allowed me to begin to see a new future for myself. A future that was not built on the past but built on the foundational truth that I was of value, that I was loved, that I was not defined by my past and could lead the good life that I had envisioned.
museofdreams
May 25th, 2017 5:29pm
By holding onto the future. The past is for those of us who either can't or don't want to see the future. Where do you see yourself going? What is the next phase in your life? Where should you be? We let go of the past by agreeing it happened and facing the future. You may have dealt with a lot but are you dealing with that now? Will you deal with it in the future? Having gone through something bad means that you going through something worse is less likely; this can make you more prepared for handling things. Letting go is accepting and moving on. This doesn't mean you need to forget.
Mioamore
June 16th, 2017 5:44am
That is an excellent question. You cannot really let go of your past, you can just accept it and move forward. You have to learn to live with your past, and understand that your past doesn't shape who you are as a person. Your past just helps you not make the same mistakes twice and helps you grow!
BadSpeech
June 22nd, 2017 9:33pm
I believe it's more important to come to terms with your past. The first step towards this is forgiveness. "Forgive not because they deserve; forgive because you deserve peace."
Rosepetaltea
July 2nd, 2017 3:56am
By looking at the lessons it has taught you. We get over regrettable moments by changing our perspective on them. We grow from our experiences.
BlindFaith
July 6th, 2017 11:08pm
I don't let go of my past. I use it to help me understand my present. I become more aware of the positive and negative of my past as an opportunity to create my present and to enlighten my values and wants. I learn to forgive myself and others because of the lessons from my past.
Anonymous
July 9th, 2017 3:11pm
What's done is done, look forward not backwards. Life is full of ups and downs, but you need to learn from your mistakes.
Anonymous
July 26th, 2017 12:34pm
I let go of my past by thinking about my future and my present conditions. I realized how the past kept me stuck up, drained me, made me pessimistic. I realized that my past doesn't define who I am. What defines is who I am in the present. I can't let my past drag me everytime I decide to improve myself. I let go of my past by realizing that if I don't do it, my future is doomed.
Anonymous
August 9th, 2017 4:54pm
Let go of the anger inside of you, make peace with it and come to terms that it happened and move on
RandomHumanBean
August 18th, 2017 3:04pm
Its hard to fully let go of it and you dont have to erase everything. But you need to know that if you're never turning the page and kept reading back the previous ones, you wouldn't be able to finish the book
OwlsSanctum
August 20th, 2017 5:35pm
The past always haunts you. Anyone who tells you letting go is easy is lying to you. But the past doesn't have to consume you, it doesn't have to determine who you will be. A great step is finding people who understand where you come from, but are willing to see you become who you want to be. It might be hard to believe, but are a lot of people out there who can understand your past, and understand your desire to beat it. They might not have an immediate solution, but at the very least, they can help give you a little bit more strength towards the journey towards constantly striving forward.
Larelya
October 25th, 2017 2:52pm
Accept what happened and talk about it. Look at who you are today and who you were back then and you'll realize that a lot has changed since. Understand that you are not your past, it might be a part of you or it might have influenced you but you are not those bad memories and sad moments.
Anonymous
November 5th, 2017 7:42pm
I think confronting your past, first. To be able to let go of something I believe you have to be able to see it, and acknowledge your thoughts and feelings towards it. Sometimes we try to 'let go' as a way to divert how we feel and think about our pasts - and as a way to run from our experiences (and also our thoughts and feelings towards them). We may have shameful, traumatic or embarrassing experiences that we are tired of re-living in memory, so we want to know how to 'let go' of them. That way we no longer have to be inconvenienced by them and we can live our lives. But to 'let go' we need to look at the past, because we can't let go of things we prefer to ignore. It's important that we're honest with ourselves, especially when we make the decision to stop running towards the future and confront uncomfortable elements of the past. Often we put things under filters to make some memories more bearable, but with a difficult past it is SO important to remove the filter and look at the facts. By confronting the past in complete truth we are taking responsibility for ourselves (or dropping responsibility for others!) and GIVING ourselves the tools to move on. Because to address things correctly we need to be looking at the real, uncensored version. This first step is paramount. And sometimes this alone is enough for someone to move on, but it is also completely expected that there will then be more work and introspection involved. This can be one alone or with support (whatever you choose). Just remember (and to wrap this up!) self-love, care and compassion. The feelings we have towards our past can fool us into thinking it's not safe, but remember that you are ALWAYS safe. It can be a slow (and sometimes painful) process to do this, but it is always infinitely worth it. Hopefully, you find this wall useful!
tjb28
November 8th, 2017 8:45pm
Have you considered or tried any therapy. Here on 7 cups of tea there are lots of people who you can talk to and support you when you need it
BraveDuck
November 10th, 2017 8:33pm
Accepting that it happened, and that you can't change it goes a long way. If you can't change it, you can only learn from it, either from example if it was positive, or as a lesson on what not to do, but either way makes progress to a better self.