How to accept and let go of your past

How to accept and let go of your past

Srinivas Rao Founder of The Unmistakable Creative podcast, author of books on creativity.

Don't fight disappointment and pain

We often look outside for answers to our questions: in books and podcasts, at trainings and seminars, with mentors and spiritual teachers. But this does not always help to understand your aspirations, and sooner or later you need to look inside yourself.

In doing so, disappointments and painful memories will inevitably surface. You want to run away from them, but you have to look them in the face. And then you will notice such a paradox: the more you struggle with pain, the more you give it strength. And when you finally let go of this struggle, it becomes easier.

This is quite difficult. The need to surrender is contrary to everything we are constantly taught: strive, push, endure, win. But when we give up, we find peace and inspiration. And this is not the same as resigning and falling into apathy.

And you can live a meaningful life only in this state of freedom and self-expression without justification. Understand that frustration and pain are a natural part of life. Don't be afraid of them. Yes, you can get heartbreak, you can get fired from your job, your creative project can fail.

But what you learn along the way will help you grow and become a different person. The only way to avoid disappointment is to never take risks. But it will be a very limited life.

Find Something Good in the Past

Usually, when we recall bad experiences from the past, such as a relationship that didn't work out or a lost job, we focus on the bad and don't notice the good. We carry this negativity with us, and the future becomes similar to the past. But if you acknowledge what happened and learn from it, his power over you will dissipate.

For example, self-help books advise you to write something nice about every person who dumped you. And this advice can be applied to any painful circumstance. Write down what good you've learned from the situation, what you've learned, what you've learned about yourself. And you will see that, in spite of the pain, the people around give us amazing gifts.

When we accept a difficult situation or let go of feeling resentful towards the person who has hurt us, negative experiences lose their hold on us and our future.

Help yourself to realign

By letting go of the past, you create space for a new future. And by clinging to old negativity, you will most likely repeat the same mistakes. I understand that in practice all this is more difficult than in words. Especially when you've just recovered from pain or are still trying to weather the storm in your own life. Therefore, I will give some tips that help me:

  • Learn to be grateful.This will not solve all problems, but it will help to change the mind. You will notice the good things in life that you usually take for granted.
  • Change your environment.It greatly influences feelings and behavior. It is not necessary to burn everything related to the past (although sometimes you want to) .Let your environment personify everything that you want to become, and not what you were before.
  • Talk to a therapist.It seems to me that this should be done at least once in a lifetime. A psychotherapist is a trainer, not only for the body, but for the mind. It can help you spot repetitive patterns in your life. And he is also objective, he can be told about everything, knowing that he will not judge.
  • Take care of yourself.Treat yourself to something enjoyable to close one chapter of your life and start another. And regularly take care of your peace of mind. For example, go in for sports, travel, start new hobbies.

Imagine what opportunities might open up for you

Each event has three scenarios:

  • The one that we assumed.
  • The one that is now.
  • The one that may be.

When reality does not match assumptions, we get upset. We close ourselves off to all other possibilities and try to fulfill unfulfilled expectations. However, in such a situation, it is necessary to accept the third scenario, uncertainty. We usually associate it with fear, anxiety, and our worst fears. And we do not notice the amazing things that can also happen.

I remember how it seemed to me that I was in a terrible position in terms of career: I graduated from the university in the midst of the global economic crisis, did not get a place after a summer internship. But it was this that pushed me to start what would later become the basis of my podcast.

I started writing as a freelancer, but in 2013 I was turned down by those with whom I worked. I freed up time, and soon I published my first book myself. It became a bestseller, and I ended up getting an offer from a publisher.

Thanks to these events, I was relieved of the work in which you need to write about what you don't care about. Of course, at first, such turns are frustrating and frightening. But try to look at them as opportunities, not losses.