We all have at least one time in our lives that we wish we could erase. Whether it’s a moment, an event, a relationship or even an ongoing issue that seems to plague your life, we all have them and we all wish we could take it back or make it stop.
But why let the mistakes of the past haunt our successful present? Why let what once was stand in the way of who we are now? We can’t make our past completely go away, but we can make it better—it does not have to be a part of who we are now.
Circumstances change based on your certain situation, however, there are basic guidelines that everyone should follow when it comes to letting go of the past and moving toward your future.
Don’t let the mistakes of others affect you or your life.
It would be a gross understatement for me to say that my extended family situation is complicated and it would be an even bigger understatement if I were to say that it does not affect the way that I live and the way that I see things.
However, I have a choice: Do I let the mistakes family members have made in the past disrupt my life and happiness or do I dwell on their mistakes, allowing the past to consume me and make me incredibly upset?
You have to learn to let go of the things that may upset you, but in the end, have nothing to do with YOU. You have to focus on your own path and your own choices, not what other people are doing in their lives.
Make the decision to get over it.
Getting over the past is not easy, in fact, it is a daily decision that we have to make.
For me, my family situation isn’t going away any time soon and it’s something that I have to deal with on a daily basis. The way I get through it is talking with people I trust, but it’s not something that I should let consume my mind or the joy that I have.
You should find your own ways to cope with the past so you can let it stop affecting your future.
Forgive and move on.
We all know the saying “forgive and forget,” but how many of us actually put the “forgive” aspect into practice?
We can try to forget about something and act like nothing ever happened, but if we are not forgiving the person that did us wrong or even ourselves, we are prohibiting the healing process in our hearts.
Forgiveness is a complicated topic, but it’s even more difficult to do. Forgiveness means humbling yourself and not holding bitterness in your heart and mind against someone else.
Be true to who you are, not a label.
In high school everyone is given a label. I was the “girl that dated ‘him’,” my best friend was the “goody-two-shoes.” Other friends were labeled”the clingy one,” “the slut,” “the funny guy,” “the arrogant guy that thinks he has all the answers.” It’s a sad truth, but the second you walk through the doors of high school you are tagged and labeled.
If you feel like you need to move away from your past label in college, then do it! Don’t let a stupid high school label formulate the person you will be for the rest of your life. Change it now while you have the opportunity.
And here’s another truth: You are not your high school tag. College is a time to find yourself, define your expectations, and be who you really want to be, not live up to someone else’s expectations.
Time to move on.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I have all the answers—I don’t.
I’m coming to you as someone who has to do the same thing every morning with consistency. I haven’t figured it all out either and this is only what I’ve learned so far and I write this only because these three things have proven themselves to be true in my own life.