Let Go!

We all harbor a tendency to be sentimental about our past. A certain touch of regret, nostalgia, hurt, or romanticism lingers on, depending upon what we are thinking about, lending an ethereal sublime touch to our life. But this lingering feeling is based on an illusion because the past does not exist anymore, only its consequences. That does not mean you should not value the past. Before you bid goodbye, take a moment to acknowledge it, understand it, and savor each strand before you surrender it to the sea of yesterdays.

Every interlude building on our story, layering it with different hues and colors to create a kaleidoscope of life that we take with us, wherever we may go next.

Yet for many, the past is a painful place. It is not easy to forget or forgive, or easy to let go, and its shadow lingers on in their present subduing every new experience and interaction.

So how do we deal with a painful past?

1. Realize that the past is no more – Come to think of it, everything you do, you feel or think about is in the present moment. Even if you are thinking about the past, you are doing it in the present.

2. Don’t let your past cloud who you are – We inherit many qualities and traits from our past. We have to discover who we are as individuals first, and only carry what agrees with our experience and reasoning.

3. You can pick and choose your memories – A memory is like a thought. A thought has no power to affect us unless we give attention to it. Yes, certain memories are life-changing or very painful, and hence difficult to let go. But if you focus on watching them instead of going along with them, your very watching can create that shift and release you from their hold.

4. Assume full responsibility for your life – You are the captain of your ship. And while you cannot change circumstances, you have the power to choose your response to them.

5. Let go of the drama – Many of us have a set of special victimhood stories. Instead of building on the drama and repeating the cycle, be the change maker, the catalyst that will snip the process midway, and create joy instead.

Today is my Dad’s fourth birthday since he passed away and I learned the above approach from him without a word exchanged. He taught by example, not by words!

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