Why You Need To Break Free From Your Past And Finally Live Your Life

This article is about taking your life in control with the eyes looking at the future, by not allowing to be affected negatively from the past.
Life is not pain vs happiness, they coexist
Image source: themindsjournal

We all look at the future with great expectations and dream of creating the life we never had in the past, hoping to create it in our future. There are challenges to face along the way, they are not easy to overcome, but they are there for a reason.

Our life is created by good and bad experiences, they are the ones that shaped us into what we are today. None of us can lead his life without a certain measure of pain, sorrow, and regret.

Carl Jung has wisely stated: "Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity." He perfectly explained the reality of life, for all human beings, life has almost the same things to offer.

Jung perfectly stated: "The sad truth is that man's real-life consists of a complex of inexorable opposites - day and night, birth and death, happiness and misery, good and evil. We are not sure that one will prevail against the other, that good shall overcome evil, or joy defeat pain. Life is a battleground. It always has been and always will be; and if it were not so, existence would come to an end."

After all, we all want to live our lives to the fullest with the goals we have in our hearts, for this reason, we need to look deep inside of ourselves. We have to hear the voice of reason. We cannot understand our reality and life without understanding ourselves first. In another quote, Carl Jung says: "Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside awakens."

Why you should let go of the past 

Let go to move forward
Image source: everydaypower.com

The first thing to remember, no one can live his projected life if he keeps looking back on his past. If the past spoils your present, it will definitely spoil your future unless you break free from it in the present moment NOW. You have to take chances and acknowledge there is no time to lose, this is the moment.

Take a deep breath and be inspired by your dreams. Within you, there is a lot of potentials you can use to accomplish your dreams. Your journey to success starts with a single small step,  which will lead to another, and finally to great results. 

Life is not easy, it has to offer pain and sorrow, it carries sufferings and disappointments, moments of regret you wish to change but life cannot repeat itself as we want, nor can anyone relive the past. Life is better lived when we understand it, but to do this, we have to look at the past, whereas we must keep our eyes on the future to live our lives.

If we stay in the past, we will miss and erase the present. There are many things we wish to change, however, we must appreciate the present moment. The past must not rob us of the happiness the present has to offer. 

If negative things from your past persist in your mind then shift your focus on your plans for the future. A dream you want to fulfill, a place you would like to visit, something that makes you feel complete of energy. Staying in the past is useless, if something makes you go there then turn the page looking at the present.  Life is not lived in the past, but in the moment of NOW, and enjoy it. The past must serve as a foundation where you can build your future, and the future is built by living in the present moment of NOW. 

Why is learning to let go so important

In the study of Dr. Tracy Hutchinson about emotional trauma, she shares her professional insight on how to break free from the past. We can set ourselves free from the past and use it to serve as a lesson to avoid repeating it. It has to serve to increase our consciousness and self-awareness about ourselves and the people around us. We have to accomplish this to find meaning in our past experiences, which will enable us to look at the past from a more positive viewpoint. There is a silver lining in all human experiences. 

Negative experiences such as sadness, bitterness, or despair are the ones that make you grow. Growing strong and healing your mind and soul doesn't mean that sufferings never happened, it actually means having a different approach towards them, not allowing them to control your life any longer. These challenges make you grow strong and resilient. 

What we said so far about learning from the past, is not enough, we must also learn to let it go. It is a crucial part of everyone's life, especially if your past is full of bad experiences and sufferings. There are many people whose biggest obstacle to moving on with their lives is not letting go of the past things said and done. No one can change the past, we can only learn from it. 

By learning to let go of negative experiences of the past, those that have caused you pain, you allow yourself to do better in the future. Our mistakes and things that embarrass us must serve as lessons, if we cling to them, we are dwelling on them. This way we are stuck in the past. It is crucial to learn and acknowledge yourself with all your errors, actions, and feelings but you have to let them go to improve yourself. 

By letting go of your mistakes and removing them from your mind, will give you a better sense of consciousness. Letting go allows you to love yourself rather than fester in your mind. When you learn to let go of the past, with everything it carries, it is the best gift for yourself and your future. It will create space for the better life you plan in the future. 

When you are living in the past

Healing the past by living in the present
Image source: quotefancy.com

If you keep dwelling in the past, this will be a severe problem in your life because it will take away the opportunity to live joyfully in the present. Living in the past will not let you deal with the issues of the present which must be solved, not postponed.

Even if the past is full of happy experiences, living with those memories will not benefit you at all. The past is gone, and will not repeat itself, you have to live in the present and think about the future. 

Some people want to dwell in the past because they cannot handle their present, while others fear what the future holds for them. The future is full of uncertainty and fears. Fear about your person, family, and career. What frightens us the most, is the assumption if the best moments are behind us, or will the future be as good as the past. 

The future might be scary if you are anxious about what it has to offer in the coming months and years. Avoiding long terms plans, or having no plans to move forward, being stuck in your life causes only frustration, and you must not believe your best days are behind you. 

How to let go of the past 

How to let go of the past
Image Source: outofstress.com

The past may be full of pains and disappointments, it may carry prejudices you were target due to your physical appearance, race, ethnicity, or religious belief. We all carry on our shoulders past experiences that caused us pain.

Maybe you have experienced in your past a string of negative events making you feel you aren't good enough decreasing your self-esteem, and the internal dialogue feeds it like an echo sound that keeps going back to unresolved traumas, although they have passed. 

Most people cannot understand themselves and what is happening to them. They cannot understand their beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions, they run away from their problems and indulge in drugs, alcohol, see as a tool to hide and protect themselves to keep their sanity. It's difficult to bring to light years of buried emotions and delve into the memory of painful events, but this is crucial to understand and heal yourself. 

What we feel on the inside about ourselves directly affects what we create for us in the outside world, including health, joy, friendships, or financial success. Looking at yourself with the distorted lens of the past will make you victimize, making you think you had no power to take responsibility, and allow your past to define who you are, and how you perceive yourself, due to lack of knowledge or awareness. 

To deal with life challenges, we must learn resilience, unconditional love, and self-acceptance. Your negative experiences may make you think this is the fate you deserve, but events have a hidden meaning. They will teach you how to live your love with compassion, empathy, and to be independent.

If you have a different approach to your past and recognize what you gained from it, you will change your self-esteem from being a victim into someone strong and empowered. As a result, you will show up in the world differently. Once you learn this, it will be easier to move on. What happened cannot be undone, you don't deserve this, but the right thing to do is pick up the pieces and move on. 

Replaying your past in your mind will only reinforce your beliefs into reality. The more you do it, the more you will manifest the same events - until you become desperate to break free. We may start to believe we lack the power to reshape our stories because they are ingrained into who we are and how we react to life situations.

breaking free from the past

Writing down your story as a tool to break free from the past

Rewriting our stories can help us break free from the past and transform our lives. It gives insight into how we see ourselves. Is your story with achievement and happy moments? How many bad things did you experience? Do you find rejection, shame, resentment, or blaming others?

You will soon get valuable clues on how your beliefs and past experiences dictate your story and your choice of how you see your life. Now let's answer these questions:

  • What have you learned?
  • What skills did you gain?
  • How can you use them in your present life?
  • If you could change something, what would it be?
  • Are you ready to let go of the past? And if not, what's the benefit of being stuck in the past?

When we look at the past from a positive approach, we will reshape our negative past experiences into lessons, because they have shaped our life and who we are today. Without them, we couldn't have the wisdom they gave us. Being grateful for what you've learned shifts your attitude from a victim to regaining power.  Keep in mind, you have the gift to change the direction of your future life, all you have to do is let go of what no longer serves you. 

A real-life example of how letting go does not ruin your life 

Basmir Gjeloshanj has spent most of his life in confinement in his home because his father's murder has dragged him into a blood feud, an Albanian tradition of revenge killing.

He is not the only one, blood feud is an ancient Albanian code of justice that requires the killing of the killer. They can start from theft, insults, or questions related to one's honor. If the case escalates to murder, the family of the victim has the right to kill the murder or another male of his family.

That male can be an adult, a teenager, or even a male child.  Then, that family has the right and duty to take revenge. It is a vicious cycle of killing and revenge going for generations, dragging descendants who are completely innocent of the original conflict. To save themselves from being killed the men or males have to stay confined in their homes, stepping outside means death.

The only way to escape and give an end to this vicious cycle of killing is when one of those families decides to forgive the killer and let it go. This way the future generations will not have to pay for conflicts of their forefathers and finally, they can live their lives.

Affirmation to break free of the past hurt 

The moment you live, let go of everything that hurts you, it will give you peace of mind and serenity, and set free your whole being. The past is not what defines you, what you choose to become defines you. For just as Carl Gustav Jung stated: "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become."Forgive yourself and everyone that made you suffer, it is the key to happiness. Replace the negative feelings with positive ones, it will enable you to live your life in the future.

Love yourself unconditionally and forgive not just others, but yourself also, because you are the one that needs it the most, to heal yourself from the sufferings of the past. No more grudges, baggage that doesn't have a place in love, and feeling complete. Don't replay the pain and be grateful for all the happiness you will feel by doing all this. 

Remember the wise words of the poet Rumi, "Don't get lost in your pains, know that one day your pain will become your cure." And also bear in mind his other meaningful quote: "The wound is the place where light enters you."


  1. Carl Gustav Jung quoted in AZ QUOTES. Even a happy life cannot be .... Accessed July 26, 2021. https://www.azquotes.com/quote/151482
  2. Carl Gutav Jung quoted in AZ QUOTES, The sad truth is that man's real-life ... Accessed July 26, 2021. https://www.azquotes.com/author/7659-Carl_Jung/tag/pain#:~:text=The%20sad%20truth%20is%20that,evil%2C%20or%20joy%20defeat%20pain
  3. Carl Gustav Jung quoted in BrainyQuoted. Who looks outside dreams; ... Accessed July 26, 2021.https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/carl_jung_132738
  4. Carl Gustav Jung quoted in GoodReads. "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." Accessed August 27, 2021. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/50795-i-am-not-what-happened-to-me-i-am-what
  5. Rumi quoted in AZ QUOTES, Quotes about pain. Accessed July 26, 2021. https://www.azquotes.com/author/12768-Rumi/tag/pain
  6. Rumi quoted in GoodReads. The wound is the place where Light enters you. Accessed July 26, 2021. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/103315-the-wound-is-the-place-where-the-light-enters-you

Additional References:

Annese, Michael. How to Break Free and Really Live. SUCCESS. Published date January 24, 2017. Accessed Date July 26, 2021. https://www.success.com/how-to-break-free-and-really-live/

Coffeybreak 21 Affirmations To Break Free Of Past Hurt. thecoffeybreak. September 11, 2018. Accessed date July 26, 2021. https://www.thecoffeybreak.com/blog-2/2018/9/11/21-affirmations-to-break-free-of-past-hurt

Costas, Rose. 8 Easy Ways to Break Free From Your Past And Succeed In Life. ADDICTED2SUCCESS. Published date Dec 5, 2015. Accessed date July 26, 2021. https://addicted2success.com/life/8-easy-ways-to-break-free-from-your-past-and-succeed-in-life/

Hutchinson, Tracy. Emotional Trauma: Break Free From the Past. n.d. https://www.drtracyhutchinson.com/emotional-trauma-break-free-from-the-past/

Kennedy, Karen Ann. When You're Living in the Past. HUFFPOST. June 6, 2014. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/living-in-the-past_b_5441033

Li, Lesya. Break Free From The Past. HAVINGTIME. n.d. https://havingtime.com/break-free-from-the-past/

Smole, Elton. Albania's Ancient Blood Feuds Traps Entire Generations. Fair Observer. July 17, 2020. https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/elton-smole-albania-blood-feuds-gjakmarrja-honor-killing-human-rights-news-15441/

Thaleshwar, Pooja. How to Break Free from the Past and Start Feeling Good Enough. tinybuddha. n.d. Accessed date July 26, 2021. https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-break-free-from-the-past-and-start-feeling-good-enough/

TheSpringboardCenter. Why is Learning to Let Go So Important? The Springboard Center. https://www.springboardcenter.org/learning-let-go-important/

I love reading and writing, books are my sanctuary. I want to explore the worlds they offer and live the lives inside of those pages.

No Saves yet. Share it with your friends.

Write Your Diary

Get Free Access To Our Publishing Resources

Independent creators, thought-leaders, experts and individuals with unique perspectives use our free publishing tools to express themselves and create new ideas.