*Before I freak you all out, no I’m not going anywhere. This blog is not shutting down. haha*
Today I had to do one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I had to say goodbye to my past.
I don’t mean forget about it, like it never happened, but rather finally being able to say goodbye to it. To let it go. To stop carrying it around like it’s a piece of jewelry that I wear around my neck. To push off the weight of it that has been crushing me for years. That’s what I mean when I say I’m saying goodbye to my past.
And when I say the past, it doesn’t just mean what has recently happened, although it is including my recent break up and breakdown. But it also includes all of my previous hurts. The times when people hurt me. The times when I hurt others. The times when I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Or the times when I let others down. The times when I made mistakes. The times when I went through hard trials. The friendships I’ve lost. The people I’ve lost. My homes I’ve lost. The opportunities I’ve lost. The dreams I’ve lost. The love I’ve lost. Anything that has ever weighed me down in some significant emotional way, I must say goodbye to now. I must stop claiming it as part of who I am – like a scar that I won’t allow to heal because I keep picking at it or showing it off like a battle wound. I must stop playing the victim and feeling sorry for myself because of all the past has ever done to me.
Don’t we all need to do this in some form? Say goodbye to the things that we carry with us that we know are so unhealthy and only dragging us further down?
I share with you a poem my favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert, shared on her own Facebook, that resonates so well with this idea of carrying the past.
“What do sad people have in common?
It seems they have all built a shrine to the past, and often they go there and do a strange wail and worship.
What is the beginning of happiness?
It is to stop
Being so religious
– Hafiz, 14th c.
It is true. We stay sad because we continue to worship our past and the sadness that lies within it. We purposely torture ourselves by repeating the memories, the hurt, the pain, the sorrow, and whatever else that is causing us such sadness over and over again. Why? Because it’s familiar. Because even though it is painful, it is something that we know and anything we know is better than anything unknown because the unknown is just too scary. And that fear alone will hold us prisoner. And we will continue to carry the past with us, allowing it to weigh us down day after day. And we will complain and say how miserable our lives are or how we are the victim or how we wish things would change, but then we still continue to hold on to the weight. We stand there with our weights and we complain about how heavy they are, yet we won’t unload them. And it is so simple to unload them. All we have to do is stop worshipping them. Just let go. Just release. Just put it down.
Then finally once you stop worshipping at the altar of your past, you can begin to live again-live in the present moment and find happiness in the present moment, instead of constantly looking for at what point you lost it at in the past.
I made this choice today. I decided to stop worshipping at the altar of what once was or what once hurt me or what mistakes I once made. I said goodbye to it. I didn’t forget it, nor will I ever choose to forget it because it is part of who I am and what has shaped me, but I did say goodbye to it. I set it down on the floor and I walked away. I found my closure and I made peace with it.
And the weight has been removed. I feel more free. Like I can take in a full breath of the fresh air of the new day and not feel like I am being strangled by the remains of my past. I’ve let go of the guilt. I’ve let go of the shame. I’ve let go of the sadness, the hurt, the bitterness. I’m free. I’m FREE.
Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.
You no longer have any hold on me. I will no longer worship at your feet and remain in that state of sadness. The past was who I was. The present is who I am now and that is all that matters. The present is what I will worship.
This is my challenge for you today and what helped me to say goodbye to the past. I wrote out everything I ever wanted to say. Any unresolved anger or hurt. Anything I wanted to say but couldn’t say to certain people. I wrote about how I felt. What I wanted to feel now. I told some that I forgave them, I apologized to others. I even said I forgave myself. One by one, I found closure for many unresolved circumstances that were haunting me. I may not have had any interaction with anyone else to truly make amends, but just writing it out was enough. And then slowly the weight began to lift. Slowly, I began to let go of the emotions I had deep inside me that were eroding my core.
And then I threw the paper away, as if to resemble a physical act of letting it all go. And I did let go. And it was freeing.
The Self Love Challenge: Say goodbye to whatever you are holding on to that you shouldn’t hold on to anymore.
May you find peace and freedom.
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