“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
Letting go of past situations where you experienced hurt, betrayal, or injustice can be challenging. What tends to happen is that people replay situations or moments in time where they made mistakes, said something they should not have, stressed over things that never happened, or they took actions that they knew that they should never have done.
Replaying these situations does not serve you. It only causes pain, grief, loss, shame, and guilt. Worrying about them is useless. People often think worrying about something gives you power to alter the course. Worrying does not involve action; without action things do not change. Letting go of these situations can be challenging especially when the situation defined who you were. This vision of what was and what was to be. Life circumstances change. You may have been shaped by an experience but you are not the experience itself.
Forgive others and then yourself. Realize that everyone is on their own journey with their own lessons to be learned. We are all human and can make mistakes. Trouble starts when you put people up on pedestals or romanticize our view of who they are and what they do for you. When they fail to meet expectations or make mistakes, you can get frustrated or angry. They suddenly have fallen off the pedestal that you perched them up on. Forgive them – they are learning their way in the world and hopefully learning from their mistakes like you are. Practice forgiving those who have hurt you in relationships, friendship, or family members through childhood. For there is a phrase, “forgive them for they know not what they do.” Most people do not make a point of wanting to hurt someone intentional. They do not always know if they have hurt or offended someone. Seek to understand and forgive them. When you are forgiving to others, they will be more forgiving to you.
Focus on the present to step into your future. Stop being a victim of your past and focus on the here and now. Pay attention to what you can control and realize that there may be some things you will not be able to control but you may have influence. Shift from thinking things happen to you versus for you. Everything in life happens for a reason. Some people are here to teach us lesson and others you are the teacher. You have probably heard the phrase, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”
Shift your attention and focus away from yourself to others. Ask yourself, “In 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years, will the stress I am experiencing right now matter? Often, it does not. Learn to see what happens for you as a blessing in disguise protecting you from future heartache and pain. Change your perception of a situation by asking questions and challenging your assumptions and beliefs, Learn something new. Instead of focusing in on your personal situation and the pain you may be experiencing, focus outward. Volunteer or find a way to serve others.
Change your actions if you do not like your current situation. You have a choice to keep things as they are, remove yourself from a situation, or accept it. Sometimes people stay in situations because they know nothing else so the accept the situation as is and live with it.
Express yourself in a creative way. You may choose to blog, write, draw, or paint to express yourself. Keeping your emotions bottled up does not solve anything. Write a letter to someone expressing how you feel even if you do not send it. It allows you to tell that person how you feel and you can release some emotions you may have been keep inside.
Letting go does not mean you will forget about your experiences. It means you realize that all things in life are temporary and that nothing is as permanent as it seems. Life can be fast and fleeting at times and at other times seem like it will last forever. By not having an attachment to outcomes, you will not struggle with letting go.
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DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free e-book download today! www.debrakasowski.com