Moving forward means letting go of the past. We can be grateful for what we’ve learned and gained from the past. However, staying in it and wishing to change it, or remaining resentful for many years, will stunt your personal growth.
There are many things you can move on from. In order to best glide forward and reach new heights of happiness and success, there are people to forgive, fears to move on from, and negative people to let go of. You can even let go of yourself and forgive yourself. Set yourself free from all of these things.
Let Go of Resentment
Resentment is one of the heaviest things you can carry with you. It limits genuine freedom. People can be unjust and hurtful. You never have to be okay with what anyone has done. When someone has done something to hurt you or someone you love, you’re allowed to be angry.
The fact is, what happened is what happened. That is the first step to forgiveness. Practice radical acceptance. Begin by acknowledging that the reality is indeed the reality. Acknowledge it mindfully, without judgment.
All you need to say is, “yes, this happened.” This is acceptance. Acceptance does not mean that you’re okay with what happened. Acceptance will enable you to move forward from resentment.
Once you’ve come to acceptance, you can begin the process of forgiveness. Despite how you may feel, forgiveness does not require the person you’re upset with to do anything. Forgiveness is all about you.
As with all things, forgiving becomes easier with practice
First, write down your resentments in a list. Begin with the people who are easiest to forgive, and work from there. When a person comes up who you want to forgive, you can take a deep breath and say, “I forgive you.” While you’re doing this, release tension in your body and allow yourself to relax and feel the resentment leaving.
You will need to do this process for some people multiple times.
Forgiveness is powerfully beneficial and will make your life more joyful and rewarding.
This is also a great opportunity to learn more about yourself. Use your feelings of resentment and your process of forgiveness to get to know yourself better. How can this inform your values? Where do you want to go from here?
Let Go of Fear
Most fears are imaginary. They are stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what is going to happen.
When you feel fearful of the future, you keep yourself from achieving your fullest truth. You have learned fear. At some point, fear has served you. Of course, there are rational fears. The fears to let go of are the ones you think of when you think of what fears are holding you back from being truly you.
When you imagine your fullest self, what fears have you shed? What fears are long forgotten? It’s helpful to visualize yourself feeling this freedom. These feelings will motivate you to make your fullest life a reality.
When you find yourself feeling fearful, observe and name that fear. Use your rational mind to understand what fears are coming from your ego.
Observe the moments when you feel fearful. Then, watch what you do in response to that fear. Begin working on remaining open during these times of fear. Instead of closing off and going back into your shell, see what it’s like to remain open even in the face of fear.
You have much courage within you. When you feel fear creep in, name it, sit with it, and release it. Being mindful in these moments is essential. Bring yourself to the present moment. Breathe in your courage, exhale your fear. Imagine the fear leaving your body and leaving you only with greater courage.
Let Go of Negative People
Are the relationships in your life serving you well? It’s easy to get lost in a destructive relationship. Sometimes it’s easier to stay friends with someone than it would be to stop being friends with them.
Remember, there are many people around you who relate to and appreciate you. The only way to find them is by loving yourself fully and putting yourself into the world around you.
The way you let people treat you says a lot about how you treat yourself. If you begin being kinder to yourself, you may find that you’re better able to ask for what you need from those around you.
When you can ask for what you need from others, you’re showing yourself respect and love. When you demand respect from others by demonstrating it to yourself, you will find your relationships beginning to improve.
You will know that a relationship is no longer serving you when you leave interactions with that person feeling worse than you did when you arrived. If this happens regularly, or you see a pattern of inconsistent behavior, or even if it’s simply a difference in values, you might want to consider letting go of that relationship.
It can be intimidating to cut ties with a friend. However, it’s a necessary part of growth. Sometimes you only need to be in someone’s life for a short time so that you can both learn what you need to. You don’t need to be friends with all of your friends forever.
One way to create structure around the kind of people you allow in your life is by setting boundaries. If you have a toxic friendship in your life, you can put boundaries in place to keep your needs clear.
For example, if you have a friend who is frequently intoxicated when you’re together, and that upsets you, you can set a boundary that you will not spend time with that friend when they are intoxicated. This boundary is clear and not up for interpretation.
Setting boundaries like these can help keep your toxic relationships at bay, and new positive relationships will come forward.
How to Set Boundaries
Try these techniques:
Get quiet and think about your needs. You can write on a piece of paper about what you need in your life and what people are no longer helping you attain your greatest good. Let yourself write without judgment and see what feelings or needs come to the surface.
Establish your limits. Know where the line is for how much you’re willing to tolerate.
Know what you need. In times of stress or frustration with a person, what are things that you need in those moments, based on how you feel? Do you need to leave? Do you need to end the interaction?
Communicate your boundaries clearly. Boundaries are a great guidepost because they are sturdy and you can simply repeat that boundary in response to any reaction you get back.
Be consistent in following through on your boundaries. Pay attention to how you feel when you do or don’t follow through. If it’s difficult for you to take a stand, keep practicing and see what happens.
Give yourself the okay to let go of these people that are causing harm or limiting you.
Allow Yourself to Let Go
Now, give yourself permission to do all of the healing and letting go that you need to. In order to most powerfully grow forward, you must commit to trusting the process fully. You can now let go of your past. You can let go of your regret, anger, fear. You can let go of the people that hold you back or don’t believe in who your best self is.
When you’re letting go of people, you can take that time to participate in your community in ways that will help you get closer to people who are better suited for this season in your life.