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If you are anything like me then at some point in your life you’ve struggled with letting go of the past. You were hurt by something someone else did or maybe found it hard to let go of a mistake you made. Perhaps those issues are still bothering you and you have no clue how to move on. I’ve been there. In fact, it lasted years. I would constantly think about how I had been hurt in the past and made those around me pay for it in one way or another. Those relationships were strained because of it, and I was also hurting myself in the process. Eventually I learned to move on and you can as well. Here are five reasons to let go of the past.

1. It’s Painful 

Holding on to things that hurt us is simply painful. Though some may argue they simply can not forget what happened to them, as I once did, it is still detrimental to your inner peace. No, you may never forget what happened in the past but you certainly are capable of moving on from it. You are causing yourself emotional anguish by choosing to stay in that mental space. When thoughts of problems or pain from the past cross your mind concentrate on something positive.

  1. Exercise to build endorphins and make you happier.
  2. Meditate to calm and center yourself.
  3. Think back to a time that you were extremely happy.
  4. Complete a task you’ve been putting off.
  5. Ask yourself is whatever happened to you, worth you staying miserable.
  6. Call a loved one that always puts a smile on your face.
  7. Pray, ask your higher power to rid you of your heartache.
  8. Do something positive for yourself that makes your mind and body happy.
  9. If you’ve done all of these things and are still thinking about the past, simply write down all of the reasons why you have to move on and then repeat.

2. Straining relationships

When we either choose to continue a relationship with the person that hurt us be that friend, family member or a romantic relationship – by holding on to the pain they at one point caused puts a huge strain on your relationship. By constantly bringing up things you were supposed to move on from, it only reopens a wound that should be healing. If you chose to forgive this person and keep them in your life you must truly forgive them and move on. Bringing up a mistake from the past only causes tension and stress that is not needed in the relationship. If you feel the need to always blurt out your loved ones past wrong doings try these options instead:

  1. When a bad memory comes up attempt to replace it with a good one that you shared.
  2.  Try to remember that you too have made mistakes that might have hurt them or others in your life at one point in time.
  3.  Remember that bringing up the past is not actively moving forward.
  4. Think of all of the reasons why you chose to keep them in your life.

3. Your health is suffering 

Though of course happy emotionally balanced people get sick as well, stress and emotional pain can wreak havoc on your physical health. If you notice yourself getting sick more often, having headaches or just feeling unwell it could be to emotional stress. I’m not a medical doctor but I do know that when I am happy and taking care of myself both physically and emotionally, internally I feel better. D yourself and your body a favor and work on letting go for the sake of your health.

4. You deserve happiness

Sometimes when we are living with secrets, or even the guilt of past wrongs we won’t allow ourselves to be happy. We feel so bad about whatever it is that we did wrong and refuse to forgive ourselves even when our loved ones have. You deserve happiness. By constantly telling yourself how wrong you were for whatever it was that you did wrong, you are sending messages to yourself that you don’t deserve to be forgiven or happiness for that matter. You absolutely do. No one is perfect. Take your issues up with your loved ones and higher power. Focus on doing the right things instead of worrying about the wrong things you did in the past.

5. it’s Over 

The past is the past is the past. Key word, past. It is over. You can never relive yesterday, the year before or ten years ago. There is no magical time machine to take you back. Therefore, let – it – go! I know, I know, it’s easier said than done. It is 100% true though. You living in the past is hurting you and those around you. It’s written all over your face, and exaggerated in your actions. The moment you find yourself pining over what can not and will not ever be changed, simply redirect your thoughts or re-read and repeat until you are so drained your mind won’t be able to function on whatever happened to you. The truth is we all have been hurt at some point in our lives. We may feel like your situation is unique and i’m sure there is someone else who feels theres is ten times worse than yours. Whatever the situation may have been, you and only you are capable of moving on from it. So stop thinking about and start moving on.

I promise you can do it!

Are you still haunted by the past?

Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician,makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago, residing in Los Angeles! Follow her on instagram @ashleyreneepoet, twitter and personal blog why I Waited