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  • Writer's pictureK.C. Dreisbach, LMFT

Why You Need to Let Go of the Past

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

If you're here, there's something you are hanging on to, something you haven't let go of yet. But, for some reason, you're still hanging on.

Sometimes you don't let go because you're afraid that, if you let go, you'll forget. And you don't want to forget.

Sometimes you hang on because you're afraid that, if you let go, you'll get hurt again. And you definitely don't want to be hurt anymore.

Sometimes you refuse to let go because you're afraid that, if you let go, you're saying that what happened to you was "ok" or acceptable. And it was absolutely NOT OK.

Letting Go is an Art

Letting go of the past is an art, and it's not easy for anyone... not even for those who've come to master it. It can be done, however, with a little patience, a little consistency, and a whole lot of thought. And, regardless of the reasons why you're still hanging on to the past, at some point, you have to let go.

When you hang on to the pains of your past, those pains slowly poison you from the inside out. You stay stuck in the past, stuck in the pain, while the rest of the world moves on without you.

When you're stuck in the past, you're not moving forward. And if you're not moving forward, then you're not growing. And if you're not growing, then you're stagnant.

As human beings, we're not meant to be stagnant.

Have you ever been hiking? If you have, have you ever seen stagnant water? What does it look like? What does it smell like? It looks nasty, doesn't it? It usually smells gross and has dirt or junk in it. And whatever you do, don't drink it! Why? Because it'll most likely make you very sick.

Because stagnant water is unhealthy. It usually contains parasites, bacteria, or viruses that could make you very ill.

But rushing spring water is a different story. The running water looks clear, smells fresh, and typically is much safer to consume. You should still purify it, but if you absolutely had to consume it without purifying it, then this rushing water is a much healthier choice. And, you have less of a chance of getting sick from it.

See, as human beings, we are meant to be in movement. We are designed to keep flowing, to keep growing, to keep rushing off to the next great adventure, just like that natural spring water.

As human beings, being stagnant slowly kills us. Our body literally falls apart slowly overtime if we live a life that's too stagnant. I guarantee that at your last doctor's appointment, your doctor told you to "get more exercise" or "keep exercising." Am I right? Why is that?

Because as human beings, we're meant to stay in motion. Movement is life for the body, BUT... movement is ALSO life for the mind.

Your mind wants to grow. Every single day, your brain is searching for opportunities to create new neural connections, to strengthen current neural pathways, and to build massive neural networks. And this is truly an amazing and aww-inspiring thing.

But if you're stuck in the past, if you're not letting go of those pains, you're not growing and you are stagnant.

When you stay focused on the past, you are GIVING your power to it. Your mind stays focused on the woes, and fails to grow into new avenues. It fails to see new opportunities. It fails to shift into an emotionally healthier place.

Just like that stagnant water, you become still. And the stillness poisons you.

Letting Go

It's time to let go. When you let go, you are affirming to yourself and the world that you will not stay stagnant, and THIS gives you back control.

Letting go is an act of empowerment, an act of self-love, and an act of strength. When you let go, you are refusing to grant the past control of your current life. You reaffirm your own awesome power to be the magic force in your life that takes you to new heights.

And when you do this, you begin to shift the brain. Subtly, movement happens. But that slight shift can do amazing things.

Imagine a young tree, a little sapling, that has been planted in the ground. If the tree is planted straight up, it grows straight. Now, imagine if the sapling is planted just a tiny bit crooked. You may not notice it much in that moment, or even at all. As that tree grows, however, the crookedness because more obvious, and it becomes much more pronounced over time.

That's the power of "baby steps," the power of little shifts, and subtle movements. But this power can be used for good, for your betterment, and for your growth. Or, it can be used for bad, for your disempowerment, your breakdown, and your deterioration.

Only YOU have the power to decide how you want that force to work in your life.

Let go.....

Choose to make a subtle shift. Choose to move in a new direction. It's possible and you can do it.

I hope this article inspired you today to take an empowering step toward mental movement and toward letting go of the past. Until next time!

P.S. If you think you're ready to begin letting go of your past and to start shifting your mindset, then I can help. As a life coach, I specialize in mindset work, and I can help you by teaching you the tools you need to let go and make the shift. Trust me, shifting your mindset is some of the most powerful work you'll ever do in your life! If you're interested, book a 15-minute call with me to see how I can help you on your growth journey.


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Krystal Dreisbach is a licensed therapist, mindset coach, adjunct professor of counseling, and published author.  Her specialties include depression treatment, anxiety counseling, stress management support, and mindset coaching.  Learn more about Krystal and see how she can help you live a better life.

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