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How do I let go of my past?

154 Answers
Last Updated: 10/03/2021 at 8:55am
How do I let go of my past?
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Jui Shankar, Ph.D


My worldview offers a systems perspective that values diverse clients and their struggles. I believe supportive and nonjudgmental therapeutic relationships empower clients.

Top Rated Answers
August 2nd, 2020 7:53pm
Hmm that can be a very controversial question. Although I don’t know what happened in your past, I think we cannot truly let it go because it is something that uniquely happened to you and shaped you to the brilliant person that you are today. Using myself as an example, I made fun of a classmate back in middle school which I sincerely regret. I tried to let go of my past and convince myself that I’m not the brat I used to be. But I realised that I shouldn’t do that because I didn’t change to a completely different person, I only evolved to a better self. Therefore instead of pretending I’ve always had this bubbly personality, I wrote a letter to my classmate along with gifts to apologise for what I did. So to answer your question, don’t let go of your past, embrace it and outgrow yourself to become a better version of you. Feel free to talk to me and share your progress. I understand that I don’t know what you have experienced but I’m willing to listen and help :)
September 2nd, 2020 10:37am
Making peace with your past is the first step. Nobody walks forward looking back. Nobody walks lighter, carrying the weight of the past on their backs. Nobody walks happy, with the pain of what is gone, aching in the chest. Wake up to reality. What passed, passed! It is no longer there. The only place where the past can still be present is within you. In your mind, I live in your thoughts. The reality calls you to the truth that what happened is behind you. It is when we insist on the opposite, wanting to maintain a situation that has already been, not accepting things the way they happened, wanting to change what is already accomplished, that we end up suffering. This pain is the voice of life, trying to wake us up. Everything happened in the best way that could happen: in other words, the way it was. If the past could have been better, it would have been. Of course, in the face of many situations we have the desire that they would be different from what they were. But, if we analyze everything as it happened, without letting our emotional speak louder, we will see that we acted as we could, that each one of us involved did everything within the conditions we had, that if things did not go as we wanted, they went as we could to be. To insist otherwise is like hitting a wall. We can help shape the future with our attitudes in the present, but as for the past, the only thing we can change is the way we see it. Enough looking back with suffering. Good situations should be remembered fondly. The bad ones with wisdom. You don't have to forget your past. You must come to terms with your past. First accepting that you can no longer change it. Second, accepting the limits that each one had at that time: forgiving yourself and others. Third, realizing that everything happened because of your need for experience: you are neither a victim nor an executioner. Fourth, being grateful for all that this experience can teach you. Fifth, leaving the past where it should be: behind! Open your eyes: there is an infinite world of possibilities ahead. Your past is not your definition, it is your reference for better attitudes and experiences. Making peace with your past is the first step towards better hikes. So, you never hate the experiences that helped shape what you are. A look of wisdom in the face of everything you've been through can be the miracle you need so badly in your life and the key to better experiences! So accept the reality that everything was as it could be. Believe that starting today everything can be better, as long as you are better with yourself. Probably what you wanted would not bring the happiness you thought, but it did bring the learning you needed. When we understand that we need to live certain experiences out of necessity, we understand that there were no culprits, but characters from an important situation for everyone. Those who could not do better one day will learn. Compassion for each one is an attitude of wisdom, of those who can see an event through the eyes of the heart. Leave your past in its place. Allow it to pass. He's gone outside, now he needs to leave inside you. Let go of that weight, let go of that hurt, shake off the dust. LOOK FORWARD: a new and beautiful path presents itself before you.
September 17th, 2020 8:20am
Letting go of the past can be difficult for many people. Past experiance are what make us who we are or give us the mindset we have. Letting go means we need to accept change. Change for some can be just as hard to manage, as we don't know what to expect and change can be unfamiliar to us. Somtimes change can be good, it means we can move on from a bad experiance and allows us space to evaluate our past experiences. It can be challenging to see the reality of a situation when you are involved in it at the time. Stepping back allows us to see it with a freash perspective and from a different view. Letting go of past experianced is not about forgetting them and more about understanding them. These experianced both good and bad can help us to know what it is we want and offer us tools that will allow us to make better choices in the future. With situations such as abuse, the abused will offten blaim themselves for what happened, even after the abuse has ended. However, if you can step back and allow yourself a moment to veiw the situation outside of the box, many come to realise that it was not them who was in the wrong but rather their abuser. We can then learn from this experiance and in turn gain life skils that will allow us to move on. So when you are holding on to the past, take a moment to step out, look at the experiance from another perspective, then you will have a better chance of moving forward with new and better life skils.
September 30th, 2020 11:35pm
I journal about past trauma and experiences. Getting it out on paper is a relief for me. And I can always go back and see how I felt in that moment and what caused me to feel that way. I try to talk to friends and my spouse about my past. It's not easy but its nice to get it out of my mind and most of the time I feel better about it. If it's about somebody, I'll usually block them on social media so they do not appear on my feed or add list. Meditation helps to remove those negative thoughts.
October 18th, 2020 8:52pm
While there is no simple answer to moving beyond a major event or time period that you have already experienced, the answer to the question might just be hiding inside the question. Letting go is important to moving forward. You can do this in many ways, such as forgiving others (even if you do this privately, instead of confronting the other person) or by forgiving yourself. It’s also helpful to remember both the good and the bad memories of the past. It’s easy to dwell on all the good things (or bad things) and forget the rest. This puts a slant on those memories. By being totally honest with yourself about your past, it might allow you to find a way to break down those barriers and live a better version of the future.
October 25th, 2020 5:59pm
How do I let go of my past? What a great question. I am not sure if we ever get to a point that the past won't surface up. The key is to not be reactive and not let it throw us down the rabbit hole. As far as my experiences go, the only way to not allow our past to keep us entangled in dispair, quilt and shame is to go back and act like a detective over all the things that caused us to be wounded. Some of us should not do this without the help of a professional. Especially if there were traumatic events that happened. But for others who want to try to get to the root or the core of why am I hurting still from my past it involves getting involved with your own emotional wellness. Knowledge is power and the more you are willing to invest in your self the better you will begin to feel as you begin to expose all that stinking thinking that holds us back from our recovery. Inner Child therapy is a great technique. If you feel that you would rather get help so they can guild you into digging and finding the answers that are ready within us.
November 14th, 2020 5:45am
Figuring out why moving on from the past is necessary? Identifying your emotional habits and getting of harmful habits if you have! Focussing your mind and in your personal growth. Surrounding yourself with positive person. While Letting go of the past, find something you want to serve that is greater than yourself. Live for your family, your community, and humanity. Go beyond yourself. The secret to living is giving. Surround yourself with positive person and nature like a small garden. Living with nature heals you faster. Fill your mind with empowering stories. Try meditation and yoga or mindfulness exercises. Be gentle with yourself.
November 19th, 2020 6:23am
Letting go of the past doesn't necessarily come from forgetting and or trying to pretend like it had not happen. I believe letting go of our own pasts come from us facing it directly. What was about the past that you can't seem to let go of? Is it really that important/dear to you? How much of it is your assumptions/opinions and how much of it was what you inflicted on yourself? Questions like this are something you should consider and slowly face the past head on. Once you finally get a hold of those basic things, and I definitely know it will take a lot of time and thinking, you'll come to a conclusion for sure. You'll start to accept that it did happen, it had happened and there's nothing you can do about it, and nothing you need to do about it. Dwelling and not facing the past is what leaves you in the past. Accept and embrace it. Take care of yourself, hope this helped you out!
November 26th, 2020 5:56pm
Honestly there some aspects of your life that you unfortunately cannot necessarily let go of. But to being able to put it behind you and to only focus on what's ahead of you can be done. To be able to focus on what's ahead of you you don't need to bury yourself into to much, because drowning yourself in a multitude things is not healthy. But focusing on things that you love and still care about can really change perspective on some things. Focusing on what you love to do will kind of melt everything else away and allow for you to focus on the future instead of the past
December 3rd, 2020 1:31am
Somthimes we don't have control over situations. Things that are supposed to happen, happens. What is leftover is regret and guilt. I just stopped thinking about the things that are making my life difficult and focused on the things that can improve the help me to grow. First step towards moving on is not expecting any sorry or regret from the person/s those who hurt you in past. The only solution to anger is to confront and forgive. If you feel someone has hurt you, communicate the hurt to them. Just communicate. Don’t expect anything from them…not even an apology. Then you must forgive them. Only then can you truly move on from the past and focus on your present. Self Confidence is the anecdote to self-pity. Self-pity is the most worthless amongst all emotions and must be eliminated as early as possible. If we start believing in our victim complex, then there will be no end to our problems in life. The understanding of one’s potential will help us move on to greater passions in life which will inspire us to move on and move ahead.
December 30th, 2020 6:08pm
Sometimes it can be hard for us to move on from the events of our past. It is important to realize that we don't have to "let go" of our past as much as understand it, respect it, thank it for impacting us, and decide to move forward. We don't have power over the things that have already happened to us, but we do have the power to reframe them and choose how we want to relate to them. You don't have to cut that part of your life out of you, instead, perhaps you could learn from it, integrate it, and choose to relate to it as something that allowed for change, helped you grow, or allowed for different things or people to move into or out of your life.
January 2nd, 2021 2:31am
In a catchy way, my advice is to move forward. Focus more on going TO something instead of THROUGH something. With that said, letting go of the past is not always easy. I get it. It takes time. It sucks to hear that, but seriously, letting go of the past takes time. One of the main things I do to help let go of the past is to see if there's a lesson in this "past" I'm trying to let go of. I think that viewing the past from a different perspective can help with letting go of it. Also ask yourself, "What about the past am I holding on to?"
January 15th, 2021 4:20pm
Letting go can be hard, but the way that you can do it is just by taking it one step at a time. You have to understand that you are forever affected by it, so if you can't let go instantly, that's fine. It will take a long time before you can, it literally just takes time for those wounds to heal. You can open up to people that you trust, or talk to one of us at 7Cups to help, but the main point is that talking to people, taking your time, and not trying to rush recovery is going to be the best way to let go of your past.
January 16th, 2021 9:57am
Something that has helped me lately is the realisation that I might have felt sad, stressed and unhappy in the past, but by feeling sad about having felt sad all I really do is multiplying the amount of sadness I feel. Now I try to look back and just think by myself "okay, so I was not really happy back then, but I have learned from it. It is okay that I was not happy all the time and that is not going to upset me". Hopefully this helps a little! Have a lovely day and good luck!
January 27th, 2021 5:00am
Letting go of your past is a gradual process that may fake a few days or months depending on the person so trying to rush this does not help. To let go of your past, you have to accept that what happened before is not what will define your future and that you are much more than any problem that has plagued you in the past. To let go of your past, you would think in terms of the future. Every time I get a bad result on a test or an assignment, I have the tendency to dwell on my faillure but that won't do me any good. My main goal now is to think in terms of the future and see how I can grow from it and be better at it. This can also be applied to mental health and trauma. Even though you may have been at a low, it is never where you will stay forever and you can always change it if you believe you can :)
January 28th, 2021 6:15am
First of all, I acknowledge that it happened. Secondly, I accept that there is nothing that I could do about it. Thirdly, I can imagine that if it happened again, what would I do better to avoid regrets? If I find it difficult to let go of my past right now. It's entirely okay too. I would whisper to my ears that it's no rush to let go of the past if I am not ready. I would consider cultivate loving kindness and self-love and self-compassion in me. If possible, I may try to talk to me in a way that what would reply if a dear friend asked me this. How would I be a support to them? If I am more courageous in some way, I could try to share this difficulty with a trusted friend/family member that I know I won't be judged - and see what they have for me. By simply having this question is already a wonderful step.
February 17th, 2021 6:25am
With compassion. The decisions that you made in the past were based off of the person that you were then, and with the limitations of the knowledge available to you at the time. Regrets show us that we've grown. We now have knowledge that we didn't then, to help guide us into making different decisions than we would have at that point in time. It's easier said than done. One thing that helps me is looking at the past version of me and considering how a separate person in that situation would have reacted given the circumstances. It can be easier to forgive others the effects of the world on them than ourselves.
February 21st, 2021 11:02pm
In my opinion, in order to let go of your past you need to focus on your present. Unless what you need to let go is trauma related, moving forward and improving your present can help you let go of your past. Additionally, giving it time can help, as time can heal many wounds. If time and focusing on the now do not work, working with a therapist can help you understand your trauma and find techniques to deal with your feelings. You may never be able to completely let go of your past, but you can learn to accept it and move forward.
March 10th, 2021 9:49am
Letting go of the past can be a process. I think letting go starts with accepting what happened in the past and not convincing yourself it could be different. Then through that acceptance one is able to focus on moving forward and not letting the past dictate the present and the future. We have a hard time letting go of the past when we are still attached to it emotionally. Non-attachment of things such as the past is important. Recognizing what is no longer helpful for us and making a conscious effort to not let any lingering unhelpful things stay with us.
April 7th, 2021 12:59am
Often times, if I feel I can't move on, no amount of willpower will do the trick. I have to find a more tangible or even physical way to part with whatever is keeping me stuck there. If it is a physical location that keeps me stuck it would help to move. If it is a person or a relationship that one is trying to move on from. If it was a fight, I find it helps to forgive. If it was a relationship of dependency, it helps to find someone else, or at least other outlets. If it is guilt, I recommend seeking out forgiveness in prayer. If it is trauma, it may help to tell someone you trust and then try to build a new life in a new direction.
April 9th, 2021 2:44am
Our past is a part of us, and who we are. It’s okay to have a lot of feelings about your past. Instead of thinking of letting go of it, think of learning to accept you past and see what you’ve learned and how you have grown. Some pasts may hurt, or make us feel ashamed, or any array of emotions. It’s okay to feel those so long as you allow yourself to move through it and grow from it. From our pasts we can heal, forgive, and accept. I believe that in that thinking, your past becomes just that and not something that holds weight over your present or future.
May 12th, 2021 1:30am
The best way to let go of one's past, in my experience, is to evaluate the person you currently are and how you've changed since then. You can ask yourself, "How am I a different person?" or "What efforts have I made to be more optimistic moving forward?" The most important part is to remember that change is always possible. No matter the challenges you've faced, you ended up stronger because you are here. The past is just that, the past. Although it may be difficult for some, moving forward and reflecting on who you once were is crucial to becoming more hopeful in the future.
May 27th, 2021 6:38am
It's not easy but we must not hold on to our past too much to the extent that we cannot move forward. Although they say, forgive and forget, but I do not believe we should completely forget our past experiences as they are what shaped us today and we are hopefully strong and wiser because of them. We can also develop our own coping strategies to calm down any anxieties whenever the past gets a sudden hold of us because something may have triggered it. Remember your past is in the past and just because one door is closed, it doesn't mean others are not opened or slightly ajar for you to explore and advance ahead!
May 27th, 2021 12:33pm
This is a question I struggle with too. It takes time, experience, self-awareness, and practice. There are hurtful things in the past for me that have damaged my sense of worth, confidence in myself, and the way I go through life, so I do understand it on that front. Bad things in childhood can also affect you. My advice would be to not try to handle it alone, and ask a licensed therapist how they think you could combat bad memories or feelings from the past. It is difficult to handle alone, but journaling, thought re-framing, and spending time with friends/family/your pets can help. Also, making new connections for your future or overcoming new challenges can give you a bigger sense of self worth, accomplishment, and belonging.
June 3rd, 2021 4:42am
I think you have to come to peace with your past, and sometimes that's like onion layers. Sometimes we go through a lot and then close up again when we don't feel safe. Healing the past takes time and it's ok if old wound return because you know how to deal with them in the past so the recovery is quicker. Sometimes the past is all you have because the present doesn't seem to offer as much as the past did. But if you live in the past, you're not living. Your not living each day of your life. Sometimes it's shame, how do I let go of the shame. You got to forgive yourself and move forward. If your dealing with trauma I don't think the past ever truly goes away, you heal and remember it and deal with it as it comes up. But having something to look forward to makes the future brighter
June 30th, 2021 3:42am
Simply realize that your future is much more important than the past. The past is meant to be a learning curve not a roadblock. You simply learn from what you have been through and use that to help better yourself. All you need to do is let go and let yourself become who you want to become. Go bring out the best version of you and live life with happiness and joy rather than regret and sadness. This is how you let go of the past. You pick yourself up and take the day on headfirst with the goal of accomplishing everything in your path.
July 2nd, 2021 3:58am
Letting go of past is really hard. You have to accept the past, you have to learn the lesson from the past and you have to work hard to reflect on yourself. If you don't learn the lesson from the past the same situation or incident will keep on recurring untill you learn the lesson. If you are keeping on to the past you will be living in the past. You won't be able to live in the present. You will always feel guilty or embarrassed by the past and you will never be able to live happily as you used to. You can only take care of yourself. Only you can help yourself. Everyone can give suggestions or advices it's you who have to walk through the path.
July 9th, 2021 8:20pm
Letting go of anything is the hardest thing anyone has to deal with. Me? Letting go of my past was the hardest thing i had to do. For me, my past was the reason I am who I am today. It's so hard to let go of the trauma that shaped you into the person you are today. I battled with it constantly, and still to this day I've only let go about half of it. Letting go of bits and pieces, forgiving people you never thought you would, makes you feel better. But the first thing I did? I forgave myself.
July 21st, 2021 1:39pm
This is a really good question. I think that one of the most important steps to letting go of the past is confronting it in your mind and accepting the reality that it happened and there is no longer anything you can do to change it, but that you can change how it is affecting you to this present day. There are many therapists that can help walk you through that process. If you ever have a day where your past is heavily weighing you down, a helpful thing to do is to take some deep breathes and imagine breathing out lol of those bad memories or thoughts and breathing in the future and good things to come. I hope this helps!
July 29th, 2021 6:24am
Take it step by step. Try to figure out what is it that bothers you about your past? Is it one single event that’s causing you to feel this way or there are multiple events that are causing you uneasiness? The first step is to try and recognise what is it that is truly bothering you. You can do that by talking it out. It can be anyone that you feel comfortable with, be it a friend, family member or a mental health professional. Recognising emotions can go a long way. Once you realise what past event is associated with what emotion, you can work on letting go or deal with those issues.