Do you want to experience a new, more accurate you? Letting go of the past brings joy by filling the void with possibilities for the future. As a result, you experience less emotional baggage and open up the room to develop into your true self.
Letting Go of the Past Brings Joy
I clearly remember when my friend said, “Let it go. Just let it go.” The subject of my rant was the judgment I felt from my mother. My internal response was anger. Since I grew up with the illusion that anger is an unacceptable emotion, I pushed the anger down. I felt it was impossible to let it go.
What is a better response?
Lower your gaze and take a deep breath into your energy center, just below your belly button.
With compassion for yourself and your friend, respond,
“That feels like a kick in my gut. Can you help me decipher where that discomfort is coming from?”
At this point, your friend might be angry, have hurt feelings, or they might welcome the opportunity to help. It’s okay.
The most important result of this scenario is that you made a giant leap toward letting go of the past.
What is Anger?
Anger is an illusion. It lives in your past. When my friend responded to my outpouring of frustration, my anger response was in the past. Specifically, it lived in the seconds before I acknowledged my anger. Furthermore, my lifetime of hurt and disappointment fueled the flames of emotion.
This concept that anger is an illusion because it lives in the past can be life-changing.
You can feel anger, acknowledge it, and immediately let it go by purposefully living in the present with a deep breath. That deep breath is in the now. It is the only thing that is now.
How to Change Living in Past Anger
Practice is key.
Imagine a situation in your past when you became angry.
Notice how you feel about that now.
Take a deep breath.
Notice how you feel.
Next, you can practice in your everyday life.
When someone pushes your emotional button, take a pause.
Take a deep breath.
Acknowledge your feelings.
Share how you feel.
Ask for help.
You can do this after the moment has passed, such as later in the conversation.
“Hey, I just realized your comment hurt my feelings. Can we talk about that?”
It’s never too late to start letting go of the past.
What’s With the Plates?
In the past, I worked for the Department of Public and Environmental Health in the City of Denver. I was the smiling face that appeared at an employee’s desk to fix their computer problem. I loved my work. It satisfied my curiosity and need to connect with people and gave me a deep sense of accomplishment in troubleshooting their problems and finding a solution. One high-level manager was eating her lunch on a beautiful plate. It made such an impression that I bought two small Fitz and Floyd plates for my lunches at work.
While Mom lived with Wayne and me in Florida, she helped me by setting the table for meals. Mom always chose one of the Fitz and Floyd plates for herself. I resented it but didn’t let her know my feelings. After we moved to NC, these plates fell out of favor for me. I moved them around in the cabinet, and yesterday I took them out.
I said, “Enough! It’s time for these plates to go.”
I’ve cried three separate times over this. First, forgiveness for Mom came during the release of tears. Then I forgave myself.
Letting go of the past brings joy into our lives in unexpected ways.