Let (it all) go.

Focus less on what can’t be changed; More on what can.

I’ve been doing a lot of self-discovery lately. Some days are better than others. Some days I move forward a few steps, and then there are the bad days where I take a few (or many) backward steps. I touched on this on my blog recently. I’ve found (or least, I am trying to find) solace in writing again and this is an attempt to help me shift focus and start working towards my goals.

The past is something that we have no control over. There are the good memories and there are the bad — decisions, actions of others, our own actions and inabilities, mistakes we’ve made — that we wish had never done, or had happened. But it is the past. It has happened.

We cannot change the past, what has been done, said, or whatever the effects might have been as a result, but we can choose how to live our life in the present and how it will define our future. We can choose to (metaphorically) walk away from the past, whatever it may have been and put it aside, or choose to let it affect our decisions, our abilities, and let it consume our life, thus effecting everything else, and those most important to us, as a result.

We cannot change the past, but we can make the choices to determine our future past.

Just like we reminisce over good memories — the happy thoughts and the achievements we want to celebrate — and use those to motivate us, or brighten up our day, we, as humans, tend to focus on the bad, the bits we don’t want to remember. We let the bad thoughts bring us down, consume us, keep us up at night, and as a direct result, we tend to teeter on the edge of going forward or backwards, or regress and thus repeating our mistakes.

Some people handle pain and misfortune and their mistakes differently. Some of us learn from our mistakes the first time around, others make the same mistakes repeatedly. Some can put it (their past) in a box, seal it up and walk away, carry on like it never happened, and others cannot — they carry it (their baggage) with them every day. That baggage weighs them down, becomes their burden, but worse, it ends up becoming somebody elses burden to carry.

Some of us need help, in the form of a psychiatrist, or SSRI’s, or both. Some need support groups, a good (unbiased) friend, or group of friends and others find escape in the form of drugs, alcohol or both. Some focus on sport(s) or a hobby that helps them focus, clear out the cobwebs and come to terms with whatever happened in their life. Some require bits of each. Everybody is different and everybody’s mechanism is different.


Focusing on the negative begets negativity. The effect: we become selfish, unsupportive, lazy and we do things on autopilot, without considering the effects it has on the most important people around us. We let the negative consume us like a wet blanket, so much so that we start drowning in it. We miss the important positive parts of our present, or if we do see them happening, it doesn’t have the impact that it should. We’re so consumed by the past, that our past becomes our present and our future. The things that make us feel good, loved and supported are not noticed. We start to become less supportive to those around us or we don’t even notice that others around us are in need of support too, but, we also tend to lose sight of the most important factor: ourselves.

I am one of those people. A little bit in the middle, maybe, because I’ve learned from some of my mistakes and I have let some things go but I have also held on to others. Some (mistakes) take a bit longer for me to learn from, sometimes to the detriment of others, and some things are still too fresh to learn from or to let go of — or at least that was what I was telling myself. My reason for why I was doing the things. My excuses.

I’ve been through a lot. We all have. Some worse than others, but who am I to be the judge on what is worse or not. Just because something doesn’t affect me the way it affects you, doesn’t mean it is any less or any more difficult for you to live with.

I have made some mistakes in both my personal life and in my work. I’ve done some things to my family and friends, that I am not proud of. I’ve disappointed some people, let them down and made empty promises — though not by choice.

Some of the things I have done are a big deal to me as well as to others, and some things are small enough that they shouldn’t be a burden to me at all, but they are, or they become a burden, because the big things that I have held on to have become parasitic. They (the big things) draw out every ounce of positivity that the smaller things just pile themselves on top of the rest and feed from it. Typical parasitic behaviour. Like a poison.

The place I am in, in my head and the reason I am not moving forward however lies squarely on my own shoulders. While there might be other people involved, people who’s actions have affected me or been party to the pain or the wrong doing, the onus lies upon me to make the choice whether I let it affect me or not.

Forgiveness, however is the key. Whether you choose to keep the people around or let them go, the ultimate goal is to forgive those people as well as forgive yourself.

If you choose to walk away, walk away on a clear conscience. If you choose to work on the issues and keep the people in your life around who’ve made bad choices, or hurt you, you need to forgive them, and forget. Be they friends, family, your partner/wife/husband/lover, colleagues. It doesn’t matter who they are to you, or what they are in your life, if you want them around, regardless of what it is that they did, you’ve got to give them the chance. You’ve kept them around for a reason, don’t push them away by pushing their past back on them.

Only you can make the choice and the active effort to let go of the past. You and only you can make the choices to let the bad and negative people go or forgive those you want to keep around.

If you do choose to let them go and not the past that goes along with it, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. You’ve got to let it all go.

If you choose to forgive someone and keep them around, don’t rehash the past* because you’re not only doing yourself, and them no good, but you’re also affecting the other person’s ability to forgive themselves, and their ability to walk forward from their mistakes.

Only I can determine my own future and who I want to be. Only I can determine my own future past. Only I can choose who/what is a part of my life and how I want it to pan out. Only I can choose to look at my own mistakes and either repeat them or learn from them. Only I can let go.

Starting today, I am going to be the better person and speak to those people who’ve had a negative effect on my life, and put the past behind me. I’m going to forgive and forget. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to be a rocky path but it’s the one I have chosen to walk because I know that only I can determine my present, my future, my future past and how I live my life.

Starting today, I am letting go. For my wife, for my two amazing little boys, for my friends, my business partners and my family, but most importantly, for me.

*It’s not always possible to not rehash the past and it is not always by choice either (triggers can come in many forms) because part of the growth and learning pattern required to truly forgive might require that you bring up the past at times, but don’t do it to inflict pain, or to make yourself feel better/superior.