In the first post on this topic, I talked about why it’s so important to focus on the good you have NOW instead of recalling negatives from the past. In Part 2, I explained how the past can manifest limitations in your present, with a technique for moving on from them.
In this post, there are some more suggestions for letting go of the past so you can live more consciously and happily in the NOW. When I discuss the importance of living in the NOW with some of my clients who are still wounded, they argue that it’s hard to let go. I agree. But making excuses for why you don’t let go of misery or pain or bad habits is counterproductive to being happy.
It’s YOUR CHOICE to be a victim of things that happened before right now. And it’s YOUR CHOICE to move on.
When I was a DoorMat, I was also the walking wounded, battle scarred from what people did to me, or more accurately, what I let them do to me. Something innocuous that someone said or did would remind me of something that happened before, and I’d often respond as if that happening again was a given. So I’d be defensive and also hesitant to do a lot of things that I wanted to do. It created a lot of fear.
Keeping my focus just on what’s happening right NOW helps me not remember old incidents and hurts in ways that could affect me today. When I start to look back, I remind myself, sometimes out loud if I can—all that matters is right now, and right now everything is fine. Here are some things you can also do that have helped me stay in the present moment.
* Make an effort to be loving to yourself. Say “I love you “ in the mirror. Find ways to be kinder to you. The more self-love you feel, the more you’ll be motivated to cut negative ties and move forward. When you show yourself lots and lots of love, you’ll heal wounds faster.
* Make a list of why you want to live in the now—why it would be good for you and what you want to let go of. Really think about old situations that may contribute to your current attitude and behavior and why it hurts you. Let that motivate you to take some baby steps.
* Find the lessons in old situations. How can you handle a similar situation in a healthier way? Do you jump into relationships and then get burned shortly after? Go much slower the next time, no matter how good it feels. Maybe you gave someone too many chances. Cut them off quicker in the future. Don’t trust as quickly as you used to. Make people earn it over time with actions that show their words are for real! How might your response or behavior in a situation that ended up unpleasant have contributed to the outcome? How can you avoid repeating it?
* Monitor your thoughts. What negative beliefs may have run through your head, putting the Law of Attraction to work—bringing you more negatives? Consciously think more positively, even if you don’t believe the thoughts—yet! The more you stay aware of what you’re thinking, the more you can change it. Do positive affirmations when negative thoughts arise. Since it’s hard to think two thoughts at the same time, you can protect your thoughts by blocking negative with positives.
* Remind yourself that you’re not the person you were in the past. I talked about how I did this to swallow pills in Part 2. It’s today. You’re healthier, older, wiser. You know more than you did in the past. You understand what you don’t want to attract. The person you’re with now isn’t the one who hurt you before. You’re not the child who had trouble in school or the teen who was abused. Keep reminding yourself who you are now. Consciously refuse the limitations of who you were in past situations.
* Focus on the present with affirmations. When you repeat a belief over and over it can become your reality. Try “Right now is all that counts and right now I’m fine.” Create your own—ones that have meaning for you. And use them often! Put it out to the Universe as much as you can and it will replace your old reality.
* Forgive anyone who hurt you. Forgiveness is a critical tool for moving on. I’ve been able to let go of anger by having compassion for the person who hurt me. That makes it easier to forgive. If you don’t, you continue to hold the anger in and it will continue to resonate in your NOW. Forgiving isn’t for the person who hurt you. It’s for YOU! You don’t even have to communicate with the person. Forgive in your heart and move on.
* Write down everything and everyone that’s hurt you in the past. If you have many memories connected to one person or situation (like your home environment or a boss who drove you crazy) write a separate list for that. This greatly helps you forgive someone. When you put feelings on paper, you can let go of them inside. When you feel ready, read each list out loud, grieve, then burn it. Your anger will go up in the smoke. Then forgive each person in your heart.
* Forgive yourself. You may not think about forgiving the most important person of all—YOU! You may beat yourself up often yet not forgive yourself for being human. I had a post about it called I’m Not an Idiot, I’m Silly a while back that talks about a technique I came up with that generates instant forgiveness. To stay in the present, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay that you made mistakes or aren’t perfect. That’s part of being more loving to YOU!
* Recite your blessings. Say out loud what you’re grateful for NOW. Write them down and hang your list as a regular reminder of the good you have NOW. When old fears and memories come up, recite your blessings as an alternative.
* Get an energy clearing. A lot of people don’t know it but I’m a certified Reiki (hands on healing) practitioner. I’m currently studying to get to the second level with a wonderful teacher named Janet Dagley Dagley, who writes The Reiki Digest. I just do it for personal use. As I study with Janet, I feel a huge transformation happening since I still have some DoorMat scars. I’ve learned that there are a variety of ways to clear bad energy from your body. Studying Reiki or getting a treatment can help with that. There are many practitioners who can help clear negative energy.
Years ago, I heard from a spiritual counselor, who’d read one of my books. I mentioned I was struggling to remove a block from an old belief that I couldn’t let go of. It kept me from making progress in my career. I’d had several negative incidents that made me expect one to happen when something g
ood was on the horizon. I’d tried all of the above but couldn’t let go of that nagging in the back of my head that warned what I hoped for wouldn’t materialize. And of course, the Law of Attraction sabotaged my getting what I wanted, as per my thoughts! The spiritual counselor generously offered me a session on the phone. It opened me up to many opportunities that my subconscious blocked before that. You must be open to this kind of treatment. It truly does work when you’re open to it working!
Open up your consciousness so you can become more aware of self-sabotage. When I got to a point where I wanted to live for today badly enough, I did all of the above. Now I’m happily living in the present moment. And in this moment, I’m blessed beyond measure! He hurt me last year and that’s not NOW so it doesn’t matter anymore! She called me names but they’re not true NOW so I don’t accept them. Oprah has a series with Eckhart Tolle, who wrote The Power of Now. I listened to it on a CD when I did a long driving trip and it upped my awareness by a lot. Oprah’s series is free if you register. Living for right now is such a lovely place to be! Please join me! ?
Thanks to Anand Dhillon for including me in the Carnival of Self-Mastery.