Let Go of The Past

Let go of the past

Let go of the past

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the secret to letting go of the past and what it means to accept the past.

First a quick update:

“What do men want?” What are the truths and what are simply myths?  What are the four things a man wants and the four things a woman wants? Read the article I wrote for RU Magazine TX at my blog.

Now let’s talk about what it takes to break the chains of the past.

From my professional experience, I have found that the key block to our happiness is our perception and perspective of the past. In my last three Success Newsletters, I wrote about how a lack of forgiveness is a major block to our happiness. Why? We remain stuck in the past. We hold onto something over which we no longer have control. We try to change something or someone and we eventually learn that we cannot change anyone else except ourselves. Of course, some people never realize this and they remain stuck in pain – depression, anger, resentment, physical illness, etc.

I teach that one of the keys to enjoying life is to accept the past and gain new understanding about our past.

One of my favorite and prized clients is Gillian, who has dedicated herself to happiness and achieving her goals. Accordingly, she has always been willing to face her painful past even though that did involve bringing up a lot of pain and hurt. Her continued dedication and transformation has been an inspiration to me. This week, she opened my eyes when she explained to me that so many people do not understand or fully grasp what it means to accept the past.

The dictionary defines accept as:

  1. to take or receive (something offered); receive with approval or favor: to accept a present or a proposal
  2. to agree or consent to; accede to: to accept an apology
  3. to respond or answer affirmatively to: to accept an invitation
  4. to accommodate or reconcile oneself to: to accept the situation
  5. to regard as true or sound; believe: to accept a claim
  6. to receive as to meaning; understand.

In the context of accepting the past, I define accept as:  

–to consent that the past happened, consent that there is nothing you can do to change it and consent to the fact that it is over; it is finished, and there is nothing innately wrong with you.  

Therefore, consenting in this case also involves understanding.

Let me explain.

In almost all of my work with my clients, I find the following to be true:

Something painful happened in the past (usually during childhood), the client made a conclusion about his or her self-worth and subconsciously she still battles to change the past or the people from the past and doesn’t subconsciously realize that it is not happening anymore. The result: pain, misery, failed relationships, insecurity, self-doubt, low self-esteem, etc.

For example, let’s take Mary, a mother of three.

When Mary was a child, her father was often not around; he worked late. When he came home he was often in a bad mood, angry and irritable, and the slightest thing that Mary or her mother did would send dad off into a rage or he would simply lock himself in his room or disappear for the evening.  Now as an adult, Mary often fears expressing herself and fears that her husband will leave at any time. Mary still holds onto a lot of pain because she wanted dad to be there, to listen, to play with her, to allow her to express herself, to be loyal and to not abandon her. Mary’s anger, pain and frustration comes from not yet realizing at a subconscious level that dad couldn’t do any better than he did; he couldn’t give to her what he didn’t have (patience, understanding, love, affection and loyalty.) He couldn’t give this to her because he never received it as child. Mary remains angry thirty years later not because of what she didn’t receive but because she still subconsciously wants it from dad and believes he can give it and he either doesn’t want to give it to her or it’s her fault that he didn’t give it. Mary doesn’t subconsciously realize that she is trying to change the past, nor does she subconsciously realize that the past is over, finished, not happening anymore.

It is critical that I also explain that the subconscious mind doesn’t have a sense of time. In other words, all of our experiences play like a loop, over and over again. That’s great when we think back to our favorite vacation and we have this flood of wonderful feelings rushing over our body as we hear those favorite sounds and see and feel it as if it is happening right now. But, that same timeless loop works against us when we still think that the negative painful past is still happening and we continue to battle those people in our mind, refusing to consent that it is over and refusing to consent that we cannot change them or get them to make up for the past.

Thus, inner peace occurs when we subconsciously or emotionally consent and understand that the past is over, it is finished and whatever they did or didn’t do had nothing to do with you and you cannot get them to give it to you since it finished a long time ago! Only by accepting and learning from your past can you be open to enjoying your present and future!

Remember to check out my Blog on my website to read my past Success Newsletters, post your comments and take a few exciting quizzes. If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Patrick says:

    Dear Debby,

    I am glad that my initial response was helpful to you. It seems and sounds like you have never been good at putting yourself first. In other words, you are probably not a good reciever and you feel uncomfortable when people do things for you. You probably have created a habit of only serving others. I am almost sure this goes back to what you experienced as a child.

    With regards to finding it difficult to separate, ask yourself what are afraid of. It may be many things. Try and find the key, core fear.

    Your therapist should be helping you to smash your old subconscious belief regarding recieving and being treated well (where you thoughts, feelings and opinions count) and should be helping you to learn to love yourself first so that others can love you.

    I hope this helps. If you get to the place where you feel you need greater help, you may consider me working with you over the phone.

    Whatever choices you make, I hope they will set you free to love and be loved!


  2. Avatar
    Debby says:

    You knew exactly what I was talking about! 🙂 Thank you! My husband and I went to a marriage counselor several months ago, who, along with many other things, stated that we are quite opposite, and that we may benefit from individual counseling.. he was diagnosed with clinical depression…. me? trying to please everyone, except me. I have been seeing a therapist for myself, not so much for the “marriage” since January, but he refuses, saying there’s nothing wrong with him, I’m the one with the issues. I’ve stayed in the marriage because I have two children, however, they are now 19 and 21, and I believe it’s time for me to be happy. I’ve tried to provide a happy home for my kids, putting my happiness aside, but now, like you said, it’s time to put myself first. This is what I’m seeing my therapist for……I seem to be having a very difficult time doing that. I know what I want, which is a separation, but why can’t I do it??

    Thank you for your reply, it really meant alot to me.


  3. Avatar
    Patrick says:

    Dear Debby,

    it’s hard for me to give you a clear answer without knowing the details and circumstances of your situation. If you mean that the person or persons in your life refuse to change and it is hurting you and destroying you or making you unhappy, then yes, you might need to let go of that part of your present life and break free from it. There are times when you have to put yourself first, when the situation is much too unhealthy for you. Please read the newsletters before this one also.
    Let me know how it goes!

  4. Avatar
    Debby says:

    How do you let go of the past, when it continues to happen over and over again…….still…..in the present? is it time to let go of that part of your present life and break free from it?

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