We all can have a hard time letting go of the past. Whether it’s a lover that broke your heart, a job you “should have gotten”, or a triumph you want to relive, being stuck in the past never creates a happy future (or present, for that matter).
It could be unrequited love
As a fellow creator wrote recently:
I love your website and Facebook page, but I’m struggling with a break up with someone I loved. It has been almost 5 months and I still think about her.
Any suggestions? Thanks!
Wrapped Up in What Might Have Been
It might be about money
Another fellow creator had a business in the past that did very well financially. Money flowed like a river. Her current business is scraping by (barely). But she can’t stop thinking about the “old days” and continually wonders why she can’t create this business as successful as the last one.
Sometimes it’s about being taken advantage of
Yet another creator had money problems because a client who owed him $700,000 declined to pay. Yup, that’s right. Just said, “No—I’m not paying”. Unfortunately the client was the US government.
This business owner is beside himself trying to figure out how to make them pay. It has been years now, and he still mulls over what he did “wrong” and how to get his money back.
What’s the harm?
One might ask, well these are justifiable situations, which might require one to think about them. What’s the big deal?
The big deal is, by continually focusing energy (i.e. thoughts and feelings) on any situation in the past is flowing energy towards (you guessed it) the past. What does that do for your future?
Generally, it recreates the past. Unless you are focused on something you had in the past that was good, and are lamenting its loss—then you are creating more lack. Why? What are the emotions around that wonderful past? LACK—I don’t have that any more.
And if you are in denial
Don’t think just because you hate something in your past so much that you pretend it never happened, that you are scot-free. That energy of hate, shame, embarrassment, or fear still lives within you, and it is still creating your world. In order to be free to create a life you love, you must heal the past.
So what can you do about it?
I’m so happy you asked! There is a lot you can do about it. You can, once and for all, let go of it. Heal it. And move on.
But it’s not like Nike—“Just do it,” wont work here. There are steps to take and if you do them wholeheartedly (i.e. with sincerity, determination and full emotion), you can move beyond your past.
Steps to letting go of the past
1. Mourn the loss of the dream. Yes, I know—I just said to stop focusing on the past and now I’m asking you to focus on it. But there is a reason for this. When you fully feel your emotions with the intention to let it go, you can.
Also, not many people allow themselves to really feel their pain, sorrow and disappointment. Unexpressed feelings don’t just go away. They live, quietly, just beneath your conscious mind, flowing those feelings 24/7.
Realize as well, even if you think you have put this issue to rest, my suspicions are you haven’t really mourned. Please know mourning the loss of that dream doesn’t mean you want it back.
For instance, you could be absolutely certain that your former mate is no good for you, yet you still think about him/her obsessively. It is because the dream of “what might have been” has died. Let yourself feel the sorrow for the loss of that dream.
2. Own you created it. This is a tough one for many. We want to believe we create everything except the bad things—those are just bad luck. But you did create it. Own that—whether it was a good or bad thing.
If it was a bad thing, it doesn’t mean you are bad for having created it. You created it unconsciously—not by “making” it happen, but by “letting” it happen. You need more love. You need more healing.
If it was a good thing, own that too. Realize you have the power and ability to create wonderful realities—you proved it. Let that in.
3. Forgive yourself. Whether good or bad, you do need to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself, obviously, for a less than stellar creation. But also forgive yourself for not re-creating the good stuff too.
And forgive another, if appropriate. You don’t have to forgive that they did you wrong, but you can forgive what caused them to wrong you (that they are wounded and damaged). A subtle, but important distinction.
You will not be fully free to move on, until you have received the freedom of forgiveness.
4. Do a “do-over”. OK this is a bit tricky. But there is a part of you who exists back in that time and space— a part that is still living in the past you are seeking to be free of. That self may be the self who is really hurting.
Go to them, in a little visualization. See them in the time and space they exist in (your past). And give them the reality they wanted!
So in the case of unrequited love, give that past “you” the love not leaving, but staying, and getting married, building a life, growing old together, whatever that dream was for you.
But I don’t want to be in that relationship!
Yes, but that “you” does. So give it to them. It will heal them…and you.
In the case of the woman who couldn’t recreate her successful business, give that past entrepreneur a business that never stopped growing! And then let her go. Every comparison to that past self sends the universe an order: “I am not successful.” Let. Her. Go.
In the case of the man owed money by the government, go to that man at the time the debt was due, and let him be paid.
But “I” didn’t get paid!
YOU need to let it go and focus on the future, not the past. Allow him to be free—by allowing him to be paid, and it will be easier for you to be free.
5. Get the “goodie bag” before you leave the party. Every experience has a gift. And those we are sure have no gift whatsoever generally have the biggest gift of all. Before you close the door on this past experience, figure out what the gift was.
Now these are just ideas to get you started—you are the only one who can say for sure what your gift was…
The long gone lover may have given you a gift of realizing you can create a mate, or the gift of self-love. You may have realized in your sadness that you do deserve more—you deserve someone to love you unconditionally, and it may have been the impetus to do the work you have done on yourself (or are about to do here).
The disappointed entrepreneur may have received the gift of owning her power—she did create amazing success. And the gift of humility—realizing each day must be created anew; and to expect the past successes to create the future is a very subtle form of entitlement.
The double crossed professional may have been given the gift of discernment—hopefully being better able to detect a “wise business decision” from a “not so wise one”. Or they may have been given a gift of “letting go”.
Even though it was an expensive lesson, the gift is worth exponentially more. If one can let go of disappointments, and expectations of how money or other creations should show up, the sky is virtually the limit.
6. Be different now. This experience in your life changed you. You can allow that (and the work you do here) to move you into another state of being. A more powerful, wise and insightful being. Don’t let it be for nothing. Own you are more. And also own you are free.
7. Create anew—as an empowered, more “whole” person. OK now is the fun part. Assuming you have done the work thus far, you are free from the ball and chain that was holding you back! What do you want to create with your newfound freedom and power?
Dream new dreams! Follow “The Map” to create those dreams! But don’t forget to take a look at possible beliefs that may have created that past you have just become free from.
The lover may have beliefs such as these:
I cannot create a long-term, committed, wonderful relationship.
Women abandon me.
I can’t trust women.
It isn’t safe to fall in love.
The entrepreneur may have beliefs such as:
I was lucky to get one good break, I can’t have another.
It is hard to create success.
I can’t create my business succeeding.
Money is difficult to come by.
Abundance in the universe is limited.
The swindled professional may have beliefs such as:
People take advantage of me.
I can’t trust people.
No matter how hard I work, or how filled with integrity I am, I will be cheated in the end.
Money can be just taken away.
I don’t deserve to be rich.
The beliefs that caused the past reality do need to be changed. But the good news is, you are the one who can change them.
You can do this. You can be free. Ask for help from your unseen friends before you begin this work. And expect to receive it. You (and they) are more powerful than you know.
Happy creating my friends!