Letting Go of The Past: Don’t Stumble Over Something Behind You

By Akash Gautam

Posted 9 years agoGROWTH

Your past is just a story

Don’t keep reading the same chapter again and again while wishing you could read the next one.

Don’t waste your fresh tears over old griefs.

In short, don’t keep thinking about your past. It is a time that has gone and never going to come back. Just as the twist in the tale in a thriller which once revealed, can never be a suspense for you again – the life that you have already lived, will not come back to you (mostly that’s true. Unlike movies, where the ghosts of people’s past keeps haunting them. Trust me, in reality – most of the haunting is self-inflicted.).

If you keep reading that book, slowly the suspense, the thrill and the exhilaration dies. The same jokes stop being funny after a while. The same saucy story starts becoming boring after a while. Then why does not your sad, not to be remembered past – keep haunting you so much?

I think – most of the times people aren’t actually very sad about the things that couldn’t be theirs. Or the people. Maybe, memories come back fleetingly. But we start fantasizing. As soon as we see a trigger, we initiate a domino effect inside our brain, that starts racking up all the associated memories. Voluntarily.

Otherwise, don’t you think your brain has better things to do? Than to keep revising the same old boring stuff? Remember how during exams – you didn’t really want to read all those boring chapters again.

But you forced your brain anyway. The same happens when you are digging up your past in your head. You are forcefully doing that to yourself. A fleeting memory is not your doing. But the flashback that starts after that, most definitely is.

Letting go of the past dawn-landscape-mountains-nature

I am not saying you completely scoop away your past from your life. No one has been able to do that. Unless you somehow have come across those memory removal agencies (Sunshine on Spotless Mind anyone?). Flashbacks will be there. But whether you cry over that or just shrug it off – makes all the difference.

I would say shrug it off. And it is easier said than done. I am with you on this point. It is not easy. Not at all easy. And you know why? Because the human mind feeds on negativity (we have actually trained it over the years to do so). We love the feeling of have been victimized.

We constantly and consistently and actively seek out that feeling, of sadness and loneliness. As if the world will come crashing down on our tiny little shoulders every now and then. I call it “Dimag ka fitoor” (a delusion that the brain creates).

Learn to appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had

The question is – how to get rid of those negative emotions? How do you flip? As I said, forgetting is not an option. But forgiving is. When you keep anger bottled up inside you, it is like trying to give someone else poison but dying slowly yourself. Because those feelings of frustration and anger and hurt, will give you a heart burn. And more rare. Inconsolable range. That can’t be good for your mind and body. Ever.

And by forgiving, it does not necessarily mean that you have to forgive a person. There are griefs where there is no person involved and that’s what makes it more miserable.

Sometimes, you have to forgive the situation. Because it probably was no one’s fault. Or maybe it was yours. In which case, you have to forgive yourself – even more important.

Allow yourself the joy of healing. Because if you believe that whatever happened was your fault, it will lead to a mountain of guilt, locked inside your tiny form. And that can’t be good. Living with guilt is like driving on an empty highway with your hand brake on.

Learn your lesson, take the right highway, and move on with full throttle!

Flip your negative mood

Yes, learn your lesson. That is the best first step you can take to avoid fresh tears over your old griefs. Every failure and success is an opportunity to learn something new. And to not repeat the old mistakes. And I also know it is very hard to remember the good things only. Here’s what you can do – remember both – the good and the bad.

So that when you have to have to flip your negative mood, you can use the good things you learned to make you feel better. And you can bask in the glory of your triumphs over unpleasant situations. And you can use the bad memories as a lesson, in case you ever have the urge to commit the same mistake again in life.

Don’t keep fixating on the past. Life is meant to be understood backwards but lived forward. And know – that you are not alone. Everyone has a past. An old grief that was probably unmanageable at some point in their life.

It is like that glass of water that is not getting any heavier no matter how long you hold on it. But it seems to be heavier with each passing moment because your hand cannot take that pain.

So is with life. The past, like lost time, like an empty seat on an airplane that has taken off, has no value except for the lessons that it teaches you while passing away.

What you make out of it – is entirely your prerogative. I won’t say – never cry. Tears are a natural phenomenon. If nothing, they will clear out your eyes of any residual dirt.

By all means cry. But decide that every grief gets only one teary night. The morning after, when there is a new dawn, you should rather decide to do something about it. Crying doesn’t help much anyway.

Save your tears. Maybe for onions. And fresh wounds. And beautiful moments when you see magic in life. When you feel loved, when you succeed.

When you experience new failures. When you achieve. There is a lot on the road ahead. Use your tears for the moments to come. Not the ones that have been taken away by time.

Let bygones be bygones.


About the author Akash Gautam

Akash Gautam is a Popular Public Speaker & Motivator in India for Corporate Events & Youth in India. He has more than 16 yrs of experience of speaking, writing & career counseling. His style has a blend of humor and sarcasm and contemporary ideas. He believes that he is an ardent student of life and learning. To know more about him, please visit: akashgautam.com

3 thoughts on “Letting Go of The Past: Don’t Stumble Over Something Behind You

  1. Akash Sir I cant tell you how badly i wanted this article. You have influenced my life and thoughts in a huge way already. Thank you

  2. Fab article sir…as always…I would love to work with you someday…1-2 maheeney bhi chalega,it would be a complete turnaround for me…The way u write,practicality exudes in ur writing…Sheer brilliance

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