With the passage of time throughout our life, we may hold on deeply to past events and memories, the good and the bad. We hold on to them because they are familiar and what we’ve always known.
There are many reasons that we hold on to our past. Perhaps we do it out of fear of what is happening in the present moment or it's because of our anxiety for what will come in the future. Maybe we are gripping on to the past because letting go of it might mean facing an old demon or facing something big, new and unknown. Some of us hold on to the past because we believe it defines us. Letting go might open us to something new. That newness might include a change or an evolution of ourselves that we have somehow come to believe we cannot face, that we aren't worthy of or that we just can't handle. It feels safer and easier to hold on to the old. And when we hold on, we do so with a white knuckle grip, defending the past like a wolf guarding it's pack.
As we hold on to the old, we begin to clench mentally and physically. Our mind and thinking may become rigid and inflexible. Even how we hold and carry our body may tighten and we may even begin to have physical pain or reactions that come from our mental holdings.
Take a moment to consider how you may be holding onto a specific memory or event. See the memory clearly. Try to feel the grip you have on it in your mind, what are your thoughts about this memory. Notice if you feel yourself tightening anywhere physically as you think about this memory. Breathe into the tightness and allow it to soften, exhale and envision yourself letting go. Inhale, soften. Exhale, release.
Now, think about how you might be different if you were to let go of this oldness. Allow yourself to say, "This memory happened to the 'me' of the past, it may have shaped some behaviors or thought patterns, but it is not the core of ME. It happened to me, but I am not this memory." We can also do this with present feelings that come up. Any feeling we have is NOT us. We feel it, very strongly at times, but it passes. We are still us, with or without our feelings or attachments to past memories and events.
Letting go doesn't mean forgetting or ignoring. It means we look very deeply at the past, we acknowledge it but we don't allow the memories in our mind to dictate who we are and how we must be. We are capable of letting go while also honoring the past as one of our greatest teachers. A teacher who shows us what works and what doesn't. When we let go, we make space. When we make space, we can begin a new. When we begin a new, we give ourselves permission to start again. With each sunrise, we can begin a new. With each moment, we can begin a new. With each breath, we can begin a new.
Breathe. Soften. Let Go. Begin a New.