Learning to Let Go

With a brand new year just commencing, the ability to let go is a gift we may not all want but desperately need. Many of us are completely weighed down by events from our past. We live with unimaginable pain and hurt from our old experiences and we carry the burdens around with us constantly. The sad realization is that weight of these 'old' issues does nothing to propel our lives forward in the direction we'd like for it to go, yet we can't seem to let these things go. Why is that? Why do we insist on reliving events from our past that do not serve us well? Could it be that we get some payoff from replaying these useless tapes in our minds over and over again? The only way to really move forward is to let go of the things that are keeping us stuck.

The truth is no matter how wrong what happened to us might have been, it doesn't change the required effort to just let bygones be bygones. We can't go back to yesterday and we can't change any of those things. Someone treated you unjustly. They were completely wrong to do so. You still need to let it go in order to move forward. A relationship didn't go the way you wanted it to go. You still need to forgive and forget. You need to be patient and wait for what you truly deserve. You made a terrible financial decision that has set your fiscal status back in a way that keeps you up at night. Forgive yourself and start working to get back on track. Your father did not take his rightful position as the head of the family. You will need to forgive and release him. Your mother gave you up as a child and to this day, you have no idea why. You need to embrace the people who love you now and be grateful for that love. The gratitude will take you very far.

One must be very careful not allow the past to contaminate the future. It's a choice we all must make; an important one at that. Being wronged or having some difficult circumstance thing happen is part of what makes life what it is. If we choose to sit in the ashes of what has not gone so well in our lives, we lose the opportunity to focus on those things that have a good chance of being phenomenal. We lose sight of the amazing possibilities. Besides if we are to view things from a positive perspective, we can start to see the pain, the hurt and the disappointment that we experience as circumstances that come to make us much wiser and stronger.

The serenity prayer captures the approach we really should to take when it comes to past experiences we can do nothing to effect: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

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