The Art of Letting Go: How To Let Go Of The Past

Do you have a hard time letting go? Are you trying to find out how to let go? We all have something that happened in the past that is hard to let go either it was something that a person did, death of a loved one, or something else.

But whatever it is, it is very important to let go of the past and move on.

In my article, I am going to talk about why letting go is considered an art, why it is difficult, what you can do to make it easier, and how to let go of your painful past.

But before I get into it I will answer some questions.

You might be asking why letting go is considered art? Why is it difficult? How can I make it easier? And How do you let go?

I had to research to get some of the answers because I didn’t know myself.

I am going to answer why it is considered an art first, why is it difficult second, how can I make it easier third, and how to let go last.

What I gathered from all the research I have done is that it is considered an art because it is difficult to do, means that you care and love yourself enough to do it, and it takes courage.

It is difficult because you are holding onto the past, you want to be right, paying attention to negativity, and you are telling yourself the same story of what happened.

You can make the process so much easier when you are ready to let go, be more present in the moment, and when you don’t blame others.

As of how to let go, well, you first observe, express all of your stuck emotions, forgive yourself and others, be okay for what happened, and let go of the story that you tell yourself.

Now that I have answered all of those questions, let us talk about them in more detail so you know what to do.

Why Letting Go Is Considered A Art

A lot of people say that being able to let go is considered an art.

And I agree To That Statement 100%, Letting go is considered an art and I will talk about 3 reasons why letting go is considered an art.

And to be honest, I had to do some research on why it was considered an art because I didn’t know myself.

If you want to get a heads up of what those three are, they are it is difficult to do, it means that you care and love yourself enough to do it, and it takes courage to do so.

Now let us talk about them in detail, shall we?

It Is Difficult To Do

Letting go is not a real easy task to do especially if you are holding on of what happened.

Letting go is difficult because you want to rehearse what happened in the past and you are sometimes scared of what happens when you let go.

You stay in the victim mentality thinking that it has happened to you.

Letting go means that you let go of all the expectations of what should have been and letting go of aspects of your past and yourself.

The victim mentality is really difficult to avoid sometimes and if you can avoid the victim mentality, then you are very strong and had some experience.

Means That You Care And Love Yourself Enough To Do It

Being able to let go means that you care and love yourself.

Even though it might not seem like it, you at least value yourself to say that you have to let go or cut off something or someone from your life.

Some people don’t love or care for themselves enough to cut things that bring them down in their lives.

Which is sad but it is the truth.

It Takes Courage

It takes a lot of courage to let go of the past.

Why you may ask?

Well, it takes courage to let go because we might be attached to what happened in the past and are afraid of what might happen once you let go of a certain thing or person.

And it takes courage to let go of people from your life that you have been with for a long time.

I know that for sure because I had to let go of my old friends. I felt like our friendship went completely stale and it just wasn’t the same anymore.

It took some time but I took the courage to let go and my life has been a lot better ever since and I am glad I let go of them.

Why letting Go Of The Past And Moving On Is Difficult

Letting go of the past and moving on from it is rather difficult to do.

We can get too attached to what was and what should have been and never really move on from it.

If you are wondering why it is difficult you came to the right place.

The reasons I am going to share with you fright now are holding on into the past, wanting to be right, paying attention to the negativity, and telling yourself the same story of what happened.

Now I am going to get right into explaining why letting go can be difficult to do.

Holding On To The Past

Holding on to the past makes it very difficult to let go especially letting go of the past.

People usually hold on to the past because they might have a grudge or is mad about what happened in the past and think that something should have happened differently.

Some people also might hold on to the past because they don’t have the courage to let go of what happened in the past.

Holding onto the past means that you are holding onto what happened and you are also holding onto emotions that you have not expressed yet.

Wanting to Be Right

Your ego mind or what I like to call it your monkey mind always want to be right of what should have happened in the past.

It always thinking of what was wrong about what happened in the past and what should have happened instead.

It will be impossible for you to let go if you are paying attention to what your monkey mind is saying.

So to make letting go process a whole lot easier, don’t pay attention to your monkey mind.

Instead, pay attention to the calm voice and simply let the past be.

You can not change the past so why bother to grieve about it?

Letting go of the past will be so much easier if you do those things.

Paying Attention To The Negativity

Some people pay attention to the negative things that happened in the past.

And if you are trying to let go, then you will have to stop paying attention to the negative things that happened in the past.

This is very difficult to do, especially because most of us are programmed to pay attention more on the negative than the positive.

This makes it really hard to let go of the past but it can be changed.

You can stop paying attention to the negative things that happened in the past by observing the stories you are telling yourself what happened and neutralize it.

Telling Yourself The Same Story Of What Happened

We all tell a story about what happened in the past.

But letting go can be very hard to do when you are telling yourself the same story of what happened in the past over and over and over again.

To be able to let go, you need to let go of the story you tell yourself of what happened in the past.

After you figure out what story you are telling yourself, separate it to what happened.

After you see the story that you tell yourself what happened in the past, you will have an easier time letting go of the past.

What You Can Do To Make It Easier To Let Go Of Your Past

Now that we talked about why letting go of the past and moving on is difficult, now let us get right into how to let go of the past and what you can do to make letting go of your past a lot easier.

The points that I will talk about in this section is, be ready to let go, be more present in the moment, and don’t blame others.

Now I am going to talk all three in them in detail so the letting go process can be much easier for you.

 Be Ready To Let Go

Make sure you are ready to let go.

This is pretty easy to do, it is just being mentally prepared to do it and going through with it.

Just take into account that you might feel a little bit of pain when letting go.

Having pain while letting go is common especially if it involves letting go of a specific person or something that you have an emotional attachment with.

Take into account that you might feel like you shouldn’t let go but if this comes up then simply let it be and continue with the process.

 Be More Present In The Moment

Being more present allows you to observe what happened in the past.

It also allows you to not react with your thoughts.

You can be more present to the moment by meditating or doing breathwork.

I do both of them to be more present in the moment and they both work tremendously.

You want to be present while you are letting go of the past because you don’t want to react with your thoughts on what happened in the past.

Reacting with your thoughts will cause you to lose focus on what you are trying to accomplish in the first place which is letting go.

Though if you feel like you need to cry, laugh, or something else then that is fine.

Crying, laughing, and other things are signs that you let go or you purged it out.

So ultimately being present makes it a whole lot easier to let go.

Don’t Blame Others

It is very I mean very important you don’t blame others for what happened in the past.

That is one of the signs that you are not letting go of what happened and it won’t help at all if you are letting it go.

So instead of blaming others, just stop blaming all together and just let the past be what it was.

There is no point in blaming others for what they did when you can’t change it at all.

Stopping the blame is one of the gateways to allowing yourself to let go of what happened in the past.

How do I stop blaming others you may ask?

Well, you stop blaming others by being aware that you are blaming other people than yourself and deciding to not blame other people based on what happened.

It is as simple as that.

How To Let Go Of Your Painful Past

Now that you know why letting go of the past is difficult and how you can make it easier, let us talk about how to let go of your painful past.

First, I found a video that I recommend that you watch because I think it would help you let go of the past.

What I am going over in this last section of the article is to observe, express and release all your stuck emotions, forgive yourself and others, be okay for what happened, and let go of the old story you tell yourself.

Now I will explain all of them in detail so you can get a better idea of what to do in each one.

1. Observe

The first thing to do when letting go of your painful past is to observe.

Observe what happened in the past.

Don’t react to the thoughts that come up, just observe them.

I would recommend observing during meditation.

Meditation is, in my opinion, the easiest way you can observe your painful past.

You also want to make sure that you go somewhere quiet so you can give your full attention to it.

Distractions will distract you from what you need to do.

So make sure you go somewhere quiet and start to observe your thoughts and the thing that you want to let go of.

2. Express And Release All Your Stuck Emotions

You might have some stuck emotions inside your body.

So you want to make sure that you release all of your stuck emotions.

To release them, you can yell in a pillow, cry, or express any other emotion that you feel like you need to let out.

This is an important process to do.

It is important because you can get depressed or sick if you don’t release your stuck emotions.

I recommend that you try out some guided meditations for releasing stuck emotions.

I usually do a guided meditation of releasing stuck emotions when I feel like some emotions need to come out of the surface.

It is very intense at times, but it is well worth it.

3. Forgive Yourself And Others

You need to be able to forgive someone who can let go of the past.

I want to be clear in saying that forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you agree or are fine of what they did to you was okay.

Forgiving means that you understand why they did it and simply deciding to carry on with your life and not having any baggage from it.

Sometimes, you even need to forgive yourself.

People sometimes blame themselves for what happened in their past.

To be able to forgive yourself, you need to apologize to anyone that you may have hurt or apologize to yourself.

You can apologize to yourself by writing it in a notebook or just saying out loud in a mirror.

I have two articles about how to forgive others and how to forgive yourself if you want to check both of them out.

4. Be Okay For What Happened

Be okay with what happened in the past.

You might have not liked that it happened or you prefer that it never happened at all, but the past is in the past and you can’t change it at all so just be okay with it.

I know that it can be hard for some people because they have been through a lot and have experienced some terrible stuff.

But if you want to let go, then you will have to be okay with what happened.

Personally, for me, it was very hard to accept what happened between my friends and a girl that I liked at the time.

I don’t want to go into detail but, most of them would make fun of me for it and then eventually the girl that I liked eventually did the same thing. I was very devastated and was one of the lowest points of my life.

It took me a while to be okay for what happened and I honestly still struggle with it sometimes.

But I am learning to be okay with it every single day and I have grown to be more okay for what happened back then and moving on from it.

5. Let Go Of The Old Story You Tell Yourself

Oftentimes, when we look into our traumas in the past, we tell a certain story of what happened.

Usually, people tell to themselves like they are a  victim.

The key to this is to take the story of what happened and change it to what actually happened at the time.

I would recommend to grab a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle of the page.

On the left-hand side, you have the story of what happened in the past and on the other side, you have what actually happened.

The right side should sound neutral or have very little emotion to it.

If you need an example than here is an example for you.

Let us just say one of your parents did something to you about a year ago.

On the left side, you write down the story you tell yourself.

You wrote down that the parent is very mean, the parent is ver abusive, he/she always yells at me, she is always mad at me, etc.

On the left-hand side, you wrote down what actually happened.

You write down that the parent can be mean, a parent is abusive at times, yells quite a bit, and he/she tends to get mad.

Do you see the difference in the tones of those two?

One side has more emotion than the other.

Once you understand what happened in the past and neutralize it, you will end the story that you tell yourself what happened and would also let go of the past.

Conclusion

I know that it can be very hard to let go, but it is very necessary to move on in your life.

The past will eat you up alive if you don’t let it go and accept what it is.

It is difficult to do but it is well worth it and you might even realize that it has helped you to shape into the person that you are now.

So in this article, you learned the art of letting go, how to let go of the past, how to make it easier,  and why it is difficult.

If you want to share anything that you have trouble letting go of or what to share any of your experiences of letting go, or you have any questions at all then make sure to comment them down below and I will reply to you as soon as I can.

I hope that you get something out of this post and I hope you are having a good day.

6 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading your article, very helpful, I went through that patch where I needed to let go the past and move on. some of the things you mentioned are very true, you blame others and become stuck on that episode. Your article connects well with your targeted group and it is easy to apply it.

  • Thank you for commenting Christine. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed my post and got some value from it. We all go through patches where we need to move on. I think I am going through a patch right nowhere I have to let go of some of the things that I used to do.

  • Really great article about an important. I think people in general have huge problems with letting go, yet sometimes it is the only way to be able to receive the new, often beautiful things which are coming in our way. I, personally experienced as well some serious life circumstances I had to let go and time to time there are some smaller showing up. What really helped me was be able to be more present in the moment, and not blaming others. Exactly, how you suggested. There is as well particular movie, reminding me the situation, and when I am watching it I almost always cry. Not afraid to confess it -;) Outside of that I never cry, just for the record.
    One question. You wrote that you have to forgive yourself and others, does it have to happen always you think? Isn’t enough just forget?

    Thank you for sharing Scott,perfect article.

    • Thank you for commenting on my article Julius! And to answer your question I think that it is necessary and should always forgive yourself and others when letting go. I find it rather difficult to let go of what happened in the past if you don’t forgive yourself or another person for what you or the other person did. If you don’t forgive, then you will still have a grudge or feel resentful about what happened.
      And ya everybody, in general, has problems letting go as you said and for me, it is really difficult to 100% let go of certain things that happened in the past. But I am working on that and I think that is really all that matters. I like that you confess that you cry when watching a movie that reminded you of that situation. Can I ask what that movie was?

  • Hey Scott,

    I really found your article encompassing on the situation of letting go of the past. The past is something most people try run away from but by accepting it, turning it into a strength is definitely lifelong skill that must be learnt. I feel people change all the time but their characters are something deeply ingrained, so if can’t accept a part of you that you refuse to believe exists, you deny yourself and that can tear you apart.

    Thanks for the article and I’ll be looking forward to more lessons from you!

    • I am glad that you enjoy the article, Justin! I agree that letting go is a lifelong skill that needs to be learned. I have been getting better at letting go but I do struggle with it sometimes.

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