The story you tell yourself only has as much power as you give it.
You can choose to see your past as either what has helped shape you into the person you are and focus on what it has taught you or you can choose to see your past as what has created your issues and held you back.
Either way, it is in the past and you can’t change it. You can, however change your relationship to it.
This isn’t easy, believe me, I have struggled with this myself.
But torturing myself over past mistakes, decisions I wish I had made differently, etc, does not change those decisions, it only makes me feel worse about them and myself.
I am coming to a place where I am choosing to see my past as a historical event. It is what happened. It doesn’t have to mean any more than I want it to mean. I can choose to declare that it helped me grow, learn, become stronger, kinder, and more aware vs. emphasize the struggles and sadness I went through as that only creates more struggle and sadness. I have had my share, thank you very much. Why would I want to perpetuate more of that? But that is exactly what I have done all too often in my life. I kept digging up the past and wanting to change it, which only caused me to focus more on it, what I didn’t want and how I didn’t want to feel.
I don’t want that anymore. I do wish I could change things about my past but I am not God and that is not within my power. I can change my current relationship to my past and how I choose to live now and what I choose to focus on now. I can honor the path that I chose and can now choose a different path.
If you don’t want more of the past, you need to release it. If you want to create a new future, you also need to release it. Letting go of your attachment to how it was supposed to go and how it is supposed to look frees you to pay attention to what lights you up, what catches your attention, what things, activities, people, and ideas pull you forward. That is where your power lies and that is what you have control over – this moment, right now, the present. That is what will shape your future.
I invite you to engage in a small ceremony as a way to honor and release the past. This could look like writing out what you want to release and then burning it or tearing it up and throwing it away. It is an act of courage to release the hold of the past and your expectations for the future. It shifts the focus to the present and to the power of faith as you begin to trust it is somehow working out better than you could ever have imagined.
Honor where you have been, honor where you are going, but most importantly, honor where you are right now in this moment. That is where you can begin a new story.
What story or stories do you need to release? What will you do to let them go today? What can you do to write a new story right now?