From time to time, everyone tends to recollect past events, especially if they are bright, pleasant, and soothing. However, it may happen that we get absolutely lost in the past. In this case, we fall victim to senseless illusions as we try to come back and change past things, especially if the experience was traumatic.
Such dreams are doomed because we cannot return what is gone. We are helpless, and when everything is said and done, isn’t it better to admit that we’ve done everything we could?
We cannot change past events, but we always have a choice. Of course, you can continue living in the past desperately recollecting the events and endlessly thinking about the things you should have done another way. Yet, we should remember that it won’t help us for sure. Moreover, it will hurt us. Living in the past implies rejecting the present and future. Obsession with constant “what if” is only killing our time, energy, and emotions.
Also, it’s possible to learn from our own experience. Then we have a chance to avoid previous mistakes by making decisions and choices in the present. Leaving the past behind, we accept it despite anything and are ready to let past experiences go.
Here are the techniques to forget about the past
To consciously decide to leave the past behind
It seems that this statement is obvious, yet in reality, it’s not that simple. To decide something consciously means to realize what has happened and how it has influenced you. It means considering all variants, making conclusions, and moving forward.
Assume full responsibility
It depends exclusively on you whether you can refer to the future or continue looking back. It’s your choice, your responsibility.
Ask yourself: what makes you stay in the past and why? What do you feel clinging to past offenses and disappointments? Is it really easier to live with memories and fantasies than face reality? When do you feel safe? Aren’t you looking for excuses not to come back to reality?
In other words, existence in the past distances you from reaching present goals. Probably, you are trying to reject the pain and emptiness that you feel because of a trauma you’ve experienced. What will happen if you let the past go? Your honesty with yourself will be truly rewarded. Grief, loss, anger, and disappointment will fade once you are able to see a situation in a new light.
Accept the past as it is
This process can be compared with the process of going through grief. Typically, one goes through grief when we are talking about death or the loss of a close person. Quite often, a loss of the past causes genuine mourning, and we are going through grief and crying over a loss.
Rejection, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Before you come to the last stage, you’ll have to go through the other four. You’ll have to admit that the past cannot be changed. It’s not like you want it to be. It doesn’t matter anymore. When you accept reality, you find new possibilities, ideas, and broaden your conscience.
Make a plan for the nearest future
Define the most important things for you here and now and move on. Even if you don’t have the slightest idea about your future, you can reach any peak if you take the smallest step. Perhaps, you will re-consider your values. That’s why you need to foresee different possibilities and variants.
Try something new and leave your comfort zone. What really matters? Only your attempts and steps even if they are wrong. If you don’t clearly see the way you want to follow, it’s fine. Beat another road.
Define your strong points
What are your positive traits? What about your gifts and abilities? What traits can be improved? Start with a small thing and keep moving. What can you change right now? Instead of constantly putting others’ needs first, define what exactly you need to become happy. Surround yourself with people sharing your hobbies who accept your true self, support, and encourage you to move on.
Forgive yourself and others
Forgiving helps you to accept your deeds and stop blaming yourself. Everyone may insult others, either intentionally or by chance. However, dragging this blame through the whole life we cannot move forward. If we focus on past deeds, events, and emotions, we can’t relax, treat ourselves and others kindly, and enjoy a positive world outlook.
Instead of wasting a lot of energy and time looking for answers to questions that are impossible to answer and trying to correct things that can’t be changed, it’s more useful to forgive yourself and others all insults and deeds and start a new life.
Probably, you did everything you could, but it wasn’t enough. Or the circumstances let you down. Or you relied on an unworthy person. Stop blaming yourself for everything, make conclusions, and move forward.
Learn from the past
Everything we go through in life teaches us something new about ourselves and the surrounding world. The irony lies in the fact that the most painful events and relationships teach us the most important lessons.
Fear, pain, disappointment, and grief are hard to go through. When something goes wrong, we feel helpless, deceived, and abandoned. We lose faith in ourselves and others. We think we CAN’T CONTROL OUR FATE ANY LONGER.
Yet, if you are ready to learn, a painful experience will give you priceless knowledge. If you are patient and attentive enough, you’ll realize that there are many opportunities and no boundaries for personal growth. It’s always possible to make a better choice, find better variants, and live the life you want. For this, you have to take a break, stop, and listen to yourself.
Disregard others’ advice, opinions, and suggestions. The point is that we are the only people responsible for our lives, and only we know what’s better for us and what things we won’t put up with for sure. Find enough courage to lead a life you want and you are worthy of.