How to let go of the past?

“If you want to fly on the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go of the past that drags you down.” -Amit Ray

We all know this is 100% true. But the point is, much knowing the truth we are not able to implement it in reality. Past is not just a single paper to let it fly away from us. It feels near to impossible to forget the past and let the past be past. Letting go of past hurts. At the same time, it is very much better to let go of past. Since this is a huge task, you have a long blog post here for learning to let go of the past.

Admit, analyse and accept

The first step to give up anything is to admit that you have it. Similarly admit to yourself that you are hanging on to your past. Think about which happening in the past very often bothers you. Without any partiality think whether you are guilty. It will be tempting to blame someone else for the incident. Nevertheless, if you are the one who has done the wrong, accept the fact that you have erred.

Give yourself the time to heal

If the dreadful past is somewhere very near, a week or two, then it’s completely normal that the thoughts keep on coming back. Give yourself the time to grieve. Sometimes, instead of shooing it away, embracing it also helps to let go. But healing time should not get extended for months and years.

Pour out

Whether it be writing down on a piece of paper or talking about it to someone else or even self talk, pour all your thoughts out. You may feel the burden reduce. Cry if you need. Allot a huge chunk of time for this. Think whatever you want and pour it out. Some people even claim that writing it and burning it helps. Try whatever suits you and bring out the burden from your heart. If you have no idea what to write or talk about these questions may help you:

  • What is the one thought that keeps nagging me all the time?
  • Are you scared of that thought?
  • Does it make you feel like you are cornered?
  • Why do you think this thought will never leave your mind?
  • What is your emotional state when the thought comes?
  • What stops you from letting go of that thought?
  • What do you think you could have done differently in that situation?

Take time to solve

I was very guilty because I wasn’t there for my friend when he went through a break up. I instead, shouted at him for disturbing me when I am in my class. I felt awful later. I didn’t want this to create a rift between us. So I immediately called him and apologized.

The same way if it can be changed or amended or at least covered, do that. If someone else has hurt you, maybe you can make it clear to them that they hurt you.

Try gratitude

Try finding out things that you can be grateful about. Let’s say, a friend dumped you. Instead of blaming the friend or yourself, be grateful that you got rid of a person who didn’t like. Also think whether there is a lesson you can learn from it.

Maybe your so called friend already made it clear he/she didn’t like you and you were the one to ignore those signals. Then, that’s a lesson. If you feel something is wrong, don’t ignore it. Try thinking like this.

Forgive yourself

Say to yourself “It’s okay.” very often. Honestly these two words work wonders. Whenever the past bounces back into your mind, stop whatever you are doing, take a deep breath and say it’s okay. While saying, you should mean it. Because, it is actually okay to do mistakes. Mistakes are proof that we are progressing.

But wait! The fault wasn’t mine… That takes me to the next point

Don’t wait for apology

If you are not the one in fault, then this problem is not at all about you. You are unnecessarily dragging extra load. If the other person has committed a mistake then there are three options

  1. They’ll realise and apologize
  2. They won’t realise and won’t apologize
  3. They’ll realise and still won’t apologize

In any case don’t keep on expecting that they’ll come and apologize to you. If they really do come, welcome them warmly and forgive them genuinely. If they don’t come just forget about it, they won’t come.

Mentally create a scene like that person apologizing to you and you forgive them. Done! Now move on. Otherwise you would be bearing the punishment of their fault.

But you know what? Somethings are easier said than done. That person is still around me…

Related post: Stop taking things personally

Move on

This will be the most hardest step, I suppose. If you feel that you can’t put up with the person anymore just move on. I would suggest cutting down all the ties but sometimes it becomes impossible. In that case, avoid them whenever possible.

And when you avoid them, you shouldn’t be whining about what they did.

Instead, you should…

Set new goals

When we remove a person or a thing or whatever from our life, that place remains vacant and hence becomes the stagnation ground of negative thoughts. Don’t allow that. Instead, fill that place with new goals. Remember that book you have always wanted to read? This is the time to read it!
Fill your goals list with exciting tasks and start slaying them like a boss

Step out of comfort zone

While setting goals, don’t set very easy goals. Although, a few can be what you love the most and have mastered, a few goals should challenge you. Move out of the safe zone and take risks. Try new things, fall, I repeat fall, get up again, learn and master. When you fall down don’t get demotivated and think “This isn’t my cup of tea” instead, say “How dare it refuses to become my cup of tea?” and punch it on the face.

And by doing this you’ll be more focused on how to master that freaking thing instead of thinking about something that happened and can’t be changed

Surround yourself with new things

If you want to forget the past, throw away things that remind you of the past. If you can, try moving to a new area or a new city. One of my friends depression drastically reduced when he moved to a new city after a breakup. When you move to new places, it’s highly impossible to trip over a place where you both used to hang out and feel grim.

Even if you aren’t moving to new places, change the ambience of your house. You can pack up, if not able to throw, things that remind you of the past and replace them with new completely different things. Also consider changing the way you have arranged your furniture.

Be mindful of your thoughts

There are feeble chances that despite all the changes the thought may come back to you. In that case, if it is a negative thought, change it into a positive thought.

For example:

I shouldn’t have done that, I am total waste

Immediately after this thought say

I shouldn’t have done that, but it’s okay, I won’t do it hereafter.

Related post: How to stop negative self talk?

Make others smile

Whether it is sending cards to your close one or helping some stranger. Be the reason for someone else’s smile. That smile will help you understand that present has more beautiful things than the past and will drag you to the present.


Know that past is something, no matter what, you can’t change. It’s like an illusion. Worrying about past is as stupid as worrying about an illusion.
Which part do you think plays the most crucial role in letting go of the past? Let me know in the comments ♡

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