Letting go of the past by living in the present
“We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” Marianne Williamson
I’ve struggled with it.
Letting go, I mean. I’ve struggled with moving on from my past. I’ve struggled with ridding myself of guilt, shame, and fear, and I’ve struggled with freeing myself from my mistakes, past relationships, recrimination and regret.
It’s not that I didn’t try. Believe me, I tried really hard. I wrote goodbye letters, tried positive thoughts, cried my eyes out, talked about it, and took it to my meditation practice.
And to an extent that helped, but not enough for me to move on. Instead of being free, I felt stuck between my past and my future, like being in a parallel universe where I was living my life in the present with my past running in the background. The difficult emotions and feelings associated with my past kept coming back into the present and I kept finding ways of ignoring them or shoving them back down. But that didn’t make them go away.
It was frustrating because I’m fully aware of the importance of letting go and moving on. I know that past pain, anger, and resentment holds us back, and that letting go is essential to living a life that is fulfilling, joyful and peaceful.
But knowing isn’t enough. It’s not always easy to turn theory into practice, but I found a way and want to share how we approach this in My Map to Freedom.
In My Map to Freedom we know that you cannot reject or push against the unwanted. This results in more of what you don’t want and the very act of trying to rid yourself of something is an act of rejection.
But if you want to let go of the past then you have to sit with the emotions that arise and accept rather than avoid them. Don’t argue with your thoughts and feelings. Don’t resist them. Don’t try to push them away. Instead, give them permission to exist.
Eckhart Tolle said: “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
By feeling your feelings rather than trying to get rid of them or avoid them, the battle between you and them ends. When there’s nothing more to argue about, they lose their power over you.
It’s normal to be nervous about feeling the emotions you have been avoiding. We have all learned to be afraid that we will be overwhelmed by them, but the reality is that they are the only way to set yourself free.
Freedom from your past naturally happens when you connect with your true self.
And connection with your true self happens more often if you feel into and release the trapped emotions of the past, creating the space for the true self to appear. The more you sit with whatever is happening in your daily struggles with the past, the more chances you have to connect with your true self.
It was only when I finally stopped fighting the feelings from my past and realised that they were actually a gift that I was finally free and able hear the wisdom of my true self.
Connection with my true self helped me see the peace, joy and love within the unknown and more importantly allowed me to let go of the battle with my past and live in the present moment free to feel the rapture of being alive.
Discover how My Map to Freedom can develop your ability to live in the now and download a free copy of your very own map here