The sum up of experiences that defines your life can be incredible and one hell of a journey. But they can be painful, too. What you have gone through takes up much of your mental space as you remember, and ruminate on your past. Perhaps you have had a past that was harder than most. Perhaps others have had a harder past than you. The fact of the matter is we all go through some degree of suffering that we need to transcend, and, you need to let go of your past so it doesn’t weigh you down.
No matter what you’ve been through, however, moving forward without that heaviness can make life happier and mentally healthier. Here are four healthy ways to make peace with your past and become a better person for it.
1. Take Time to Process It
Whatever it is that you’ve experienced, it’s important to take the necessary steps to understand what you went through, as well as why and how. This will allow you to depersonalize the past and look at what happened to you with a rational, even critical eye. Analyzing your past helps you find the meaning in your experiences and will allow you to feel less angry or resentful about it. You may just need to journal about your past, or chat with a trusted friend. For more serious experiences, however, finding a therapist or speaking to a life path psychic may be the best option.
2. Forgive Those Involved (Especially Yourself)
Forgiveness is a key part of letting go of your past, because if you’re still harboring resentment, it’s impossible to move forward. Forgiving doesn’t mean that whatever someone did to you was right or excusable; it’s more about allowing yourself to be free of the weight of resentment. In many cases, you may also need to forgive yourself for the transgressions and mistakes you made so you can stop beating yourself up over them.
3. Learn From the Experience
The past can haunt you, but it can also be a unique tool to help you live a better life. Looking at your past, you have the opportunity to change your own future behavior, be more careful about who you decide to spend your time with, and decide what path you want your life to take, given your experiences. What you went through could all be in vain if you don’t find a way to learn from your past, especially if you fall into similar destructive behaviors or make comparable mistakes.
4. Move Forward and Grow
Once you let go of your past, you’ll move forward with a lightness that can only come when you’re focused on the present moment. Without the past weighing you down, you can more fully live your life and grow as a person. You will be more open to new experiences and people because you’ve been able to transform into someone who doesn’t let the past hold them back. Wiser and stronger, you’ll be able to truly take advantage of all the gifts your life has to offer.