We often resist letting go of the past because we either project that pain that we’ve felt will happen again, or pleasure that we’ve experienced may not repeat again. In this article, we’ll explore why letting go, and forgetting is possible, and most useful if you want to enjoy a peaceful, successful and balanced life.
Questioning why we won’t let go
Why can’t we let go? We can’t we forget? Is that even true? Or, is the belief that we can’t, creating this reality? And why would we even want to believe that we can’t let go, or that we can’t forget? What do you think would be the point of creating any belief that we can’t do something? These are important questions to ask yourself on an ongoing basis if you want to be free of past painful memories and trauma.
There’s a belief that while we might be able to forgive something or someone that has caused us pain in the past, we can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t forget or let it go. If we hold this belief, likes all beliefs, it will become reality. The simple act of referencing back something that has happened in the past over and over again keeps it alive.
By keeping it alive, we unfortunately also continue to feel the pain associated with it. Meaning that all the associated thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we’ve experienced around it will continue to affect us and influence our physical, mental, emotional, and even our spiritual state of being. This constant reminder of how we’ve been wronged, how we haven’t been loved, how we’ve been misunderstood, or how we’ve been disrespected or unappreciated, etc. is what turns our pain into suffering.
How much time do you spend each day, every day, thinking about things that have happened in the past and that can’t be changed? None of it helps. None of it feels good. On the contrary, it essentially leads to keeping things in, holding back, stagnation of energy, emotion, and thought patterns, feelings of being stuck, confusion, doubt, and overall a wastage of your energy, focus, and attention towards what’s happening right now.
Thinking is projecting from the past into the future
Did you know that any thought that you have about anything is a thought about the past? Once you’re thinking about something, it’s already happened. You’ve stopped being present. You can’t possibly be present and be thinking at the same time. If you’re thinking, you’re caught up in the process of comparing, analyzing, interpreting, assessing, judging or intellectualizing instead of simply feeling and being. You’re essentially using the past to define what might happen in the future.
This process distracts us from being able to respond to what is happening in the present moment, at each moment. It also keeps us stuck in projection mode, which creates a disconnect between yourself and whoever you’re interacting with from moment to moment. It creates feelings of separation, loneliness, and fear.
Looking at something as a problem limits your capacity to affect constructive change
How often do you look back on what you, your partner, or others have done in the past and judge it as ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’, instead of focusing on how you could do things better now? For instance, instead of looking at how it was ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, you could be focusing on what’s creating the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that you experience about it right now. Your attention and time could also be more wisely spent on understanding deeply what created the dynamics that you were or are in, and how you can improve it.
It’s looking at it as a problem, and the potential future problems we project from it, that keep us stuck in the past and in the problem mindset. When you unknowingly look at life through the problem mindset and assess anything from the past as if it was still happening as projected, you’re actually limiting your ability to move forward towards achieving what you want in your relationships and life. Holding any fear or negative belief about the past reoccurring in the present or the future inevitably creates a glass ceiling on your capacity to constructively focus on what you want to create right now.
Judgments and projections limit your clarity of perception
Judging yourself, your partner, or others for past perceived ‘wrongs’ is not going to support you in bringing about the changes that you want in your relationships and life. It can’t. It’s more like dragging a 500-pound weight behind you as you try to run a marathon, or sailing on a ship with the anchor dragging behind. You stop or slow down your momentum.
Fearing what you, your partner, or others might – or might not – do in the future is not going to help either. Those are just facts and interpretations from the past being projected onto the present and the future. Whatever you project into the future is a process of imagination and scenario projection. It’s not useful. Nothing that has happened in the past ever unfolds in exactly the same way.
And if you didn’t really like what’s happened in the past and you intend to build a better future, why would you use the past – i.e. what you didn’t or want – in order to achieve that? How many negative emotions are you going to feel as a result of these fearful or painful projections? And if the future is never going to be exactly what happened in the past and what you imagine it to be, why waste another moment worrying about it?
Letting go and forgetting is a conscious choice you make because you recognize the value of doing so
You don’t have to continue hitting your head against the wall, feeling like you want to let go and forget, and you can’t. You have power and influence to bring about the changes that you want to bring in your relationships and life. You CAN consciously choose to let go of the past and not worry about the future. You can choose to focus ALL of your energy and intention towards reaching your goals right NOW.
Every second that you spend away from right NOW – i.e. either in the past or the future – diminishes your capacity to apply all of your conscious intentions, wisdom, discernment, energy, motivation, focus, power and influence to positively affect the results that you want in your relationships and life. You have power and influence ALL the time. You are never a victim in any situation, no matter how others are behaving towards you. You can choose to partake or not partake in any relationship dynamics. You have free will.
When you consciously choose to shift away from disempowering thoughts, feelings, emotions, and reactions that result from projections from the past, and that take you away from the present moment, you have everything you need to make the changes that you want to make. When you do that, you get unstuck and you start manifesting more of what you want in your relationships and life.
Understanding why we won’t let go and forget
That doesn’t mean suppressing or repressing your negative thoughts, feelings, emotions, and reactions, but rather constantly learning how to process them out optimally and permanently and using intentional focus management to stay on track with what you want. This process is only possible when we become aware of the deep reasons why we might be holding on, clinging, and not wanting to let go.
When you go through this introspective process, what you’ll find is that the reason why we don’t let go and we choose not to forget is because a part of us believes that holding onto the memories and pain will somehow prevent it from happening again. Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to believe that fear is useful when it’s not. We’ve been conditioned to believe that it is because of a misinterpretation that, if we feared something, somehow, we would be prepared for it when it came. Of course, that’s nonsense.
This misinterpretation actually leads us to constantly replaying the same movie inside our mind and emotionally reacting to it as if what had occurred in the past was still occurring right now, or could occur in the future. This creates emotional reactivity, occupies our mind space, limits our bandwidth, puts us in a reactive projection state, and prevents us from being completely present to what is happening right now. To be agile, flexible, discerning, wise, conscious, and to respond optimally to any situation, you need all of your energy and attention in the present moment, not to be wrapped up in the past.
Letting go of the past and focusing on your intentions
When you identify and let go of the fears that lead you to hold onto the past, cling to your pain, and create suffering, you are free to respond to your situation as it is unfolding right now based on your intentions and what you wish to achieve, not in reaction to what has happened in the past.
If you want help understanding what’s pinning your negative thoughts, feelings, emotions, and reactions in place, identifying the fears, beliefs, and projections that are coloring your perspective of your situation, and releasing the core emotions that keep your pain and memories alive, then schedule a consultation with us where we’ll help you release the pain and the memories permanently: Coaching with Us