Letting go of the past, and dealing with our grudges and resentments is something that most of us have struggled with at some time or another. And, as the years go by, our experiences tend to pile up.
We all have a past, and it’s made up of both joyous and sad experiences. But, when we focus more on our disappointments and resentments, it can keep us stuck in the past. And, being stuck in the past like that determines how we show up for ourselves and those in our lives, every day.
Highly sensitive people in particular, can be quite good at holding grudges (speaking from experience here), because we remember all of the slights that have happened to us. Also, we have very high standards that we hold ourselves and others too, making it easy for us to become disappointed.
The problem with holding on
Holding on to past painful experiences, can cause you to adapt a victimized mentality.
If you live in the story of a victim by constantly going back on reliving and re-experiencing all the wrong-doings and unfairnesses, you see more of that show up in your life because you are training your brain to show you that.
Your brain shows you more of what it thinks you want to see, based on your thoughts. It’s called the reticular activating system (R.A.S.)
We continuously remind ourselves who we are, we remind ourselves about our past – this is how we know how to show up in the world, right? But sometimes these stories become outdated and they stop serving us.
Letting go of the past
Letting go of the past starts with a conscious decision to do so.
You decide that you are ready to let go. You decide that you are no longer going to be a person who holds resentments and who bears grudges. You decide that you’re not a person who clings to the past.
Then, when you get triggered you remind yourself who you are being now.
Letting go and forgiveness
I believe that we forgive with our minds first and then with our hearts.
Forgiveness requires insight. Forgiveness requires a shift in the way in which you think otherwise you forgive someone but you never forget what they did!
It’s really about getting over and past yourself because your resentments and grudges and your disappointments live in your mind. So you need to get over yourself to get beyond them.
It requires self-work
If you’re here, then it means you are already doing some self-work!
One of the first ways to detach from your past is to become more present. When you are in the present moment, it is difficult to be fixated on the future or to be stuck in the past.
Two techniques that you can use for becoming more present, are grounding and embodiment techniques.
Working with a therapist or a coach can help clear some of the foundational issues that make you feel justified in holding on to your anger, resentment and disappointment. As long as you stay stuck in these emotions, you will not be able to move forward in life.