This men’s mental health topic provides some strategies to help you move forward by leaving your past behind. Please review and seek professional help if required.
Men’s mental health Australia
We all have a past, whether it was good, bad or indifferent. You have experienced exciting moments and wonderful memories that you’ll keep with you, and yet you’ve also likely been through situations that were challenging and full of heartache that you want to leave behind.
Certain things are always better left in the past.
Put this knowledge to work to actively let go of your past:
- Avoid trying to deny your past. It’s best to face up to what has transpired. If that means seeking professional therapy, then I recommend that you do. Once resolved, you can cut the ties of the baggage that has been weighing on you and be liberated once and for all.
- Acknowledge your own understanding of the painful events. Although we sometimes lack understanding about why those around us did what they did or how certain events happened (if we were young children at the time), we can use our adult reasoning skills to determine why things might have happened.
- If you’re unable to gain an understanding, it’s okay. You may have struggled to make sense of things, but come up empty. Certain things are unable to be explained or understood. Sometimes acceptance of this goes a long way to helping you move past things.
- Ask yourself if you’re ready to let go. Maybe you’ve unconsciously used your past to avoid moving forward and go after the life you deserve. Are you truly ready to let it go and start living a happier, more stable life?
- Your past contributes to who you are today. Recognize that, although some elements of your past may be upsetting, you are who you are because of your childhood, parents, education, and other events from your past. They have helped shape you in some way. That being said, you have the means, power and choice to shape and mold your life as you choose by conscious effort.
Seek to find strength in the fact that you’re made up of many things. You’re so much more than the negative experiences you’ve lived through.
- Look for the life lessons. Ask yourself what you may have learned from the painful events. Perhaps there were certain people that you swore you would never be like, or conversely, that you wanted to emulate. However painful things are, there are always lessons you can take from and incorporate into your life.
- Avoid becoming cynical or negative. Avoid thinking things like, “No one will ever love me again,” or “Everything I’m involved in turns out poorly.” I’m sure we have all been guilty of this in some way, but who is it really serving? Remember this, you really are nature’s greatest miracle to paraphrase Og Mandino.
- Stage your own personal letting go ceremony. When you’re ready to release the things from your past that weigh you down, have a ceremony to mark the end of your personal pain.
- For example, you could make a list of the past events or situations that have troubled you. Then, you can say aloud, “I’m done hurting from all of these things, and they’re not going to negatively affect my life ever again.” Next, go to a safe place, such as a fire pit, fireplace, or campfire, and set fire to your list. Watch that list burn!
- When it’s gone, say, “You’re no longer in control. My life without you starts now.”
- Another example of a ceremony to let go is to collect a stone for each of your past hurts. Then, go to a lake or pond and throw each stone into the water, one at a time. You can say something like, “It’s time to let you go. You’ll no longer bring pain or sorrow to me.”
- Designing your own letting-go ceremony can be liberating, so if you have ideas on how to release your old hurts, go for it.
- Another thing you can do is write a letter to your younger self highlighting who you have become, the trials and tribulations you have overcome, the triumphs, as well as the magical relationships you now have and enjoy.
These are just a few of the many strategies you can apply to let go. It will take some focus and effort, but you have the power to embrace a new beginning. Discover the freedom of leaving your past behind, it’s so worth it, believe me.