How To Make Peace With Your Past: 8 Steps To Letting Go
Making peace with your past can be extremely difficult. As a method of learning and self-preservation, our minds are naturally conditioned to cling to the past.
We consciously or subconsciously often stay attached to profound experiences – visceral feelings that linger even though they may no longer be in our best interests.
Remembering these past experiences may be helpful to us for a finite amount of time, but reliving them over and over again through our imagination is only nurturing a festering wound that adds zero value to our present life.
When was the last time you felt truly happy? When was the last time you found yourself smiling for no reason? Do you even remember the last time your heart was full of gratitude and bliss?
You see, when you’re holding on to the past, you’re depriving yourself of experiencing those feelings.
Being attached to your past is a result of a limiting belief that says the event that was done to you, or what you did – defines you as a person, it’s part of your identity. And the difficulty you’re struggling with is to let go of that identity.
Clinging to the suffering and the pain you went through, puts you in a negative vibrational sphere. And when this is your dominant frequency, you’re blocking the way of positive emotions to come in.
It may be a transgression that was done to the innocent us, an unhealthy relationship, a cruel ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, or even the death of a loved one.
But until we come face to face with what happened, cleanse ourselves, mend our past wounds and bring light into our once gloomy world, these things will persistently haunt us.
You must make peace with your past at some point in your life to truly grow. It starts with making quality choices. Exert the mental awareness and consciously choose only to hold onto the feelings that make you happiest.
You are hoarding low energy within you
Question: What happens when you stretch a coil spring and let it go?
It moves forward.
When you stretch a coil spring, it hoards energy within. And as you let go, the energy within is released and thrown far into the distance.
By holding onto these feelings that were caused by events in the past, you keep the negative energy inside. But once you release the spring and let go, you start an emotional detoxing process. You begin to make peace with your past.
When you make peace with your past, you create a whole new sense of freedom- freedom from negative vibration, freedom to forgive yourself and others, and the freedom to evolve and actualize your greatest potential.
Steps on how to make peace with your past and move forward
Step 1: Revisit all of the bad memories, irrespective of how painful they may have been
I’ll be honest with you: Letting go isn’t easy. You may think it’s just a matter of putting the past where it belongs, getting over it, and focusing on the future.
Oh boy! – Not the case at all. While this formula may ease the situation there is far much more than meets the eye. I discovered this the hard way! The harder I tried to shove the past, the more persistently it hung like a shroud.
But what I came to realize is that shoving my past traumas is the worst thing I could do.
Instead, I allowed myself to revisit all those painful memories.
When I did so, I enabled myself to grieve – grieve my unmet needs, and all those scary and fearful moments I was forced to go through, which I couldn’t handle as a child.
This was the hardest part for me. By revisiting the painful moments or periods and finding resolution with it, you’ll see a huge healing transformation. This is what primal therapy is all about!
Jean Jenson, Author of Reclaiming Your Life wrote a must read book about revisiting our memories to make peace with our past.
As she wrote in her book – “When revisiting childhood situations, you may experience a great deal of anguish. Allowing that to happen— weeping when your tears flow, crying out the words of the feeling, “seeing” your family members, being “back there” as you visualize it, being “in the body” of the child you were— makes it possible for the energy of the child’s unfelt pain to flow through you, undefended, unchecked.
It may seem as if it will never stop. But it does…. [the pain] It stops, you rest, and then, as some of that old pain is healed, a bit of your adult reality becomes available to you, as something new, unknown before; at the same time, what really happened to you “back there” becomes clearer as well as what your real needs are now.”
I also used to write down the situations I avoided facing or chose to repress.
After I wrote down all of the experiences that I wish I could have just forgotten, the words on the paper just stared at me. The truth was there, fully exposed, and it flooded me with deep emotional soreness.
However, a few weeks later, I was finally able to experience that comfort that I craved.
This is one of the most imperative steps you can take to make peace with your past.
When you have a day off, go to a quiet place and list, in detail, all the things that have hurt you and still haunt you to this day. Don’t force yourself to remember all of it if it doesn’t come naturally. You can repeat this process again and again if you have to.
Putting these specific events on paper is a process that might take a while to recover from. You might find yourself sobbing during the day without logical reason… You might find yourself depressed… You might not be as productive at work.
Know that this is ok. Don’t rush or try covering up your emotions to get it over with.
Let yourself dwell on the painful past and be patient.
As you write down everything with complete honesty and have the willingness to be vulnerable again, the relief will come shortly.
Step 2: Accept your past
Refusing to accept the past is arguing with reality. When you think things like “I wish I were born to a different family” or “I wish my mother had better resources to raise me” you are not helping your healing process.
It’s taken me years to hone the concept of just accepting things the way they happened.
My childhood was a traumatic experience; I lost my Dad when I was a little less than two years old. I remember the days when my mom struggled to support us, working non-stop, thanks to my family’s yawning bank account.
When he passed on, my family’s whole world crumbled. For years we grieved, and I personally went into solace trying to figure out what I was in for in my future life. The absence of my father made me feel like there is no safe place for me, and this consumed me until it became a norm.
Although he left us a close-knit family, the lack of fatherly influence made it next to impossible for me to build confidence, embrace my sense of self, and feel empowered.
But you know what? When I stopped arguing with the chain of occurred events, and just learned to accept them for the way they were, I finally felt relief.
For years, I was holding resistance to something that happened and can’t be changed.
I am not saying the suffering of your upbringing has not caused tremendous effects and pain. However, when you continue to battle in your mind with what has happened, you are arguing with something that already happened.
No matter how much power and thought you put into it, the past is never going to change. Making peace with your past is mainly about accepting it for what it was.
Accepting it, instead of disputing it, will create a remarkable relief that will prevent your future from becoming an endless battle.
So our only healthy option is to just accept it, no matter how crappy it was.
Step 3: Find the good
There is a hidden treasure in all of our experiences. This can be challenging to see at first, but when you condition your mind to become a friend with past pain, you are permitting yourself to receive the beneficial and rewarding possibilities instead of just purely sulking in the negativity.
Ask yourself “What good things came out of my traumatic past experiences?” Maybe you learned how to be a stronger person? Maybe you have been able to help others and make a difference in other people’s lives because you have shared a similar experience?
If your past events had never happened, you wouldn’t be the incredible and strong person you are today.
My father’s death helped me develop my self-trust muscles, lead me to find ways to rely on myself and sharpened my decision making abilities to an extent that I fully believe in myself. No matter what will happen next, I always know I can count on me. I became my own anchor.
Hardship can serve you in favorable ways as well. A great first step for training your mind to look for the good is writing them down. I encourage you to start listing all the good things that came out of your pain and start making peace with your past.
Check out how I’ve shifted my subconscious blockages and managed to attract abundance, happiness and well-being.
Step 4: Let go of the should have/ shouldn’t have concept
To make peace with your past, you’re probably trying to change what has already happened. Well, this strategy doesn’t really work.
Our main cause of our suffering happens because we attach limiting beliefs to our past. Most of the limiting beliefs come in forms of should have and shouldn’t have. Such as-
“My father should have respected me”
“My ex-husband should not have betrayed me”
Whatever occurred in the past already happened. Therefore, coming up with scenarios of how it “should have/shouldn’t have” been is not going to give you the relief you seek.
When you say things like “my father should have respected me,” this kind of thinking only creates suffering. It should have happened exactly as it did. You know why? Because that’s how it happened.
A healthier approach would be something like this – “my father behaved the way he did because he was carrying his own negativity, insecurities and destructive conditioning. It would be surprising and even weird that if despite all of his issues, he would treated me with respect”.
I know it never helped me, no matter how many times I told myself “my mom should have been softer and go easy on me”. Well, she should have been the exact person she was at the time because that’s the way she was.
Years later, I realized that what caused me the suffering was my concept of how I thought she should or should not have behaved.
Your opinion of how things should have played out in the past is a waste of energy. It will not change anything and will only make you feel stuck in the same spot.
Step 5: Let go of receiving recognition and acknowledgment of the hurtful person
Many of you who are stuck in the past believe that recognition and acknowledgment of the one/s who hurt you will ease your pain. You expect that the transgressor will acknowledge their mistake and apologize.
But no matter what angle you look at the second lot, this is utterly counterproductive.
Why would you sit craving for an apology from someone who caused you pain? You don’t expect the same person who poisoned your sumptuous plate of shrimp to come and see you lying in ICU.
You may be craving to hear these words from a parent- “I know I was so wrong. I made so many mistakes. I understand your pain and know you’re hurt by me. I’m so sorry”. But even though you think you need to hear this, you don’t. And you probably will never hear it.
The person that hurt you is probably not enlightened enough to provide you with this closure. So, ask yourself “why am I desperately seeking this from him/her?”
The recognition and validation we’re looking for from the person who hurt us is just an illusion. We think this will give us the relief and resolution we want so badly. But when we give the full responsibility to the one who hurt us, to also be our healer, we give away our power.
Another person’s recognition and acknowledgment cannot impact your emotional healing. Making peace with your past is up to you and not a validation of someone else.
The limiting belief of “I need you to know the harm you caused me” just keeps you in the cycle of pain.
As a matter of fact, you DON’T need them to acknowledge your pain. You can make peace with your past WITHOUT their acknowledgment.
Step 6: Forgive and let go
You can’t begin to make peace with your past until you forgive. Forgiving is all about you and has nothing to do with the person that has committed a transgression against you.
Ask yourself without judgment – “how am I limiting myself by holding onto all of this negativity towards this person or experience?”.
Yes, I get it, you feel so much resentment towards that person or people. I was there too. But remember that you forgive for YOU, not for her, him or them.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do. But actually forgiving is just a bonus. It’s not necessary in order to make peace with your past. It sure will be beneficial for your growth. But you can even make peace with your past WITHOUT it.
How? by not holding on to a grudge.
When you fall into the trap of holding on to a grudge, you are surrendering yourself to the control of others. You subject yourself to carrying aggravation, bitterness, and bad feelings into your future, along with denying yourself the happiness and peace of mind you deserve.
Step 7: Be aware
Stay aware and be conscious when negative thoughts and feelings arise. Let them come and go as they please, and do not suppress them. Staying mindful of each passing thought is important.
Pretend you are driving down the road at night, and bright headlights are shining at you in all directions. Your eyes are pulled to all of these lights, and it takes some effort not to look at them. However, to proceed forward you must selectively focus. You must be aware.
Don’t let yourself become absorbed by all of the lights. Instead, notice them, and gently look away onto your desired focus point. In the case of a driver, this means staying in your lane – keeping on course. And once you are on course, you can create what you want out of each thought.
You can consciously direct your train of thought into making peace with your past by putting the emphasis on thoughts that serve your healing.
Step 8: Make a decision to fully let go of the past
Making peace with your past requires you to consciously decide you are ready to do so. It’s about realizing that you’re tired of reliving that past every single day. Decide right now that you’re not going to keep letting the past predict your future.
Decide and believe that you deserve better. Letting go begins with choosing to do that. And this time for real. It might take a while until you find that peace of mind. You might need therapy. And it also might take time to find the right therapist that really gets you.
But once you’ve made up your mind you are willing to stop holding on to the past, then this is a great start.
Harness your subconscious
Sometimes, as much as we try, we still need the help of our subconscious mind to generate new thoughts and to make peace with the past. There is no better way to do this than using subliminal messages, which will dig deep to the root cause of each problem and break you free. These life-changing hidden suggestions are designed to rid emotional attachments that do not serve us and move us fully into the present.
As you know, I am the leading source of subliminal messaging and helped tens of thousands of people to heal their heart and transform their life. Down below you will find a list that will help you release the traumatic pain and negativity you experience on a daily basis.
In some days, you’re probably feeling this sadness and negativity without even knowing what have triggered that. It could be a smell of something, a TV commercial, someone in the street that resembles the person that hurt you and so on.