Self Expression Magazine

The Past Has Passed

Posted on the 22 May 2016 by Sofia Essen @SofiaEssen


Hello there!

Today I want to talk a little about the past…

What’s done is done. There’s no going back. The past is unchangeable. You have to accept that.

That makes sense, right?


But it’s easier said than done.

Believe me, I speak from experience.

Walking Down Memory Lane.

We all look back sometimes. That’s normal and it’s okay. It’s fun to bring out and dust off an old memory once in a while. I have a mental box of great memories that I like to revisit every now and then.

Good memories are a gift but if you’re constantly looking back, thinking about what used to be, then you’re in trouble. There’s a big difference between appreciating a happy memory and clinging to the past.

You can’t live your life in a box of yesterdays, no matter how good they were. Doing that robs you of your present and the ability to shape your future.

Go Back To Move Forward.

Not that long ago, I was stuck, living in the past, dwelling on things that I did and didn’t do. And where did all this dwelling get me? Absolutely nowhere.

Going back in order to move forward sounds, well, backwards. But it works if you do it consciously. You see, part of my problem was that half the time I wasn’t even aware that I was looking in the rearview mirror. It had become an ingrained habit.

The good news is that I was able to break this habit of mentally spending time in the past. If I can do it, so can you. All you have to do is make the decision.

Do you want to move on with your life? Yes? Then consciously go back to the parts of your past that you usually dwell on. Acknowledge them. Give them a moment. And then let go.

The next time you find your mind heading back to a part of your past that you’ve already acknowledged and resolved to let go of, say this, “This is the past. It doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not real. My present is what matters now.” Yes, I know it’s a mouthful but I want you to say it every time you catch yourself dwelling on things you’ve made up your mind to leave behind. In time, it will become a habit. You will eventually start believing those words and, as weeks and months go by, your past will have less and less power to interfere with your present.

Move On Even If Others Can’t.

Confession: I’m no angel.

That’s right, I’m only human. I’ve made mistakes. Less than others, more than some. I haven’t always done the right thing. And there have been times when I wasn’t the best person, friend and daughter I could be. I’ve let myself and others down. I’ve hurt people and I’ve been hurt. But now I’ve moved on. I’ve forgiven the former version of myself.

If you want to move on, then you too have to forgive the former version of yourself. Life is about trial and error. We all screw up and we all make mistakes, some of which deeply hurt other people. You can’t undo anything you’ve done but you can apologize. There’s a chance your apology won’t be accepted, of course.

So what do you do if your apology isn’t accepted? Quite frankly, it isn’t your problem anymore. If the person on the receiving end of your apology refuses to let go and move on, that’s his or her choice. He or she is free to keep dwelling on old hurts. That’s their choice. The only person you can control is you. Accept that and move on.

Strike Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda From Your Vocabulary.

If I made a list of all the things I should have, could have, would have done differently or better in the past… well, it would be a long list. Making such a list would also be a criminal waste of my present.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda is a “what if” game. Nobody ever wins that game. What you did or didn’t do yesterday is of no consequence today. Focus on what you can do now. All you have is now and it’s a gift. Don’t waste it.

Yes But…

Yes, I want to move on, but something terrible, painful, and really sad happened to me.

Did you just say that?

Guess what? We all have sad stories. Some are sadder than others. How long are you going to keep telling your sad story? If you’re reading this, then you have survived whatever terrible, painful, sad thing that happened to you in the past. It’s over. Now close the book on that story. Move on. You can choose to let go and move on. The power to do so is yours if you take it.

What’s done is done. There’s no going back. The past is unchangeable. You have to accept that.

That’s all from me for now. I wish you a fantastic Sunday!

– Sofia

The Past Has Passed

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