Releasing the past

I am now home.
I flew in yesterday (yes April I was on one of those long metal tubes suspended in the air) to my beautiful family after having spent the past 10 days with my son (who is also wonderful).
This morning as I updated my Louise Hay Daily Affirmations desk calendar  to the present date, I found the following affirmation for the day just passed:

“I release the past with ease. This is a great day, and I rejoice in it.”

And the words spoke to my heart.
Over the past 10 days there has been much that has occurred in not just my own past but that of my older children that has come to light and caused me pain in knowing just how those choices have affected the children I love.
I have spent time questioning these choices and regretting the impact that those choices have had on my children.
I have questioned my qualifications as a mother and doubted whether I deserve that title.
I have learned things.
And now I am seeing one of my adult children dealing with the fallout caused by these choices and it breaks my heart.

Last night as I spoke with my wonderful Garden Gnome (oh how I’ve missed him) he reminded me that the past is gone and now that it is gone, there is nothing that can be done about it. As he spoke I was reminded of another wise old monkey – Rafiki in The Lion King

Yes, the past does hurt. I fully agree.
What we need to remember (what “I” need to remember) is that we can’t move forward if we keep looking over our shoulder toward our past.
Dealing with the past and learning from it is what makes us stronger.

There are many things that happened in my past that have defined the person that I am now.  Just as my children would not be the wonderful adults that they are now if they had not experienced the past that they had.
The past defines us and changes us. What the past is not able to do is provide us with an excuse for continuing behaviour once we become adults. When we become adults we are capable of reasoning and deduction. We can change ourselves if we wish to and we can’t always blame the past for who we are now.

I am reminded of a current storyline in an Australian television teen soapie where a male character who came from a bad background (with a criminal father) is terrified of having a child because he might turn out like his father.
You know how it is in the world of soapies? They drag a good storyline out and beat it to death before reaching a resolution? All this happened of course before the character finally realised that he is an adult and whilst he may have some genetic traits of his father’s, his ability to be a good father hinged solely upon himself and the decisions that he makes today using the lessons he learned from growing up combined with the wisdom and maturity garnered over the years he has lived so far.

So, as I learn to deal with the ramifications of things that have occurred in the past, I need to acknowledge that these things happened and then release them.
It is in releasing them that I am able to move forward.
The past is in the past. I am not able to go back and do things differently.
What I am able to do though, is live my present to the best of my abilities.


21 thoughts on “Releasing the past

  1. Perfect and so true, says he with three exes and celebrating his 23rd anniversary today. Fourth time was the charm. God works in mysterious ways. At 71 loving every day on this side of the grass.

    Dan in the Utah desert where only 38 today


  2. I love your post, I too struggle with releasing the past along with all the poor decisions I made that have had huge repercussions on my adult children’s lives over the years. Hopefully I too can learn to let go, forgive myself for not being perfect, and be proud of having achieved what I have in life, rather than always focusing on where I have so badly failed… 🙂


    1. Ruth, it is doubly hard when you see the impact your decisions have made on the lives of your children but believe me when I say that forgiveness of all (including yourself) is the beginning of healing. 🙂


  3. I happy you’re back. I believe I screwed my kids up as well by the choices I made as a mother. However, you are correct, we can’t go back and undo what we perceive were mistakes. We can be here today, in whatever capacity it is, to be here as a constant in the lives of our grown children. No matter what, we love them and they know it. Do I make sense? Anyway, I will conquer that tin can fear. I do have a great imagination–I need to use it during times of panic. 😀


  4. I so love your words “The past defines us and changes us. What the past is not able to do is provide us with an excuse for continuing behaviour once we become adults”
    My thoughts are with you as you process the past, let it go, and move forward.


  5. Thanks for that look into your life Sue.
    I have to accept the fact that looking back at the past only brings heartache, we cant change it.
    I too have an adult child who claims his errors on the fallout from my past.
    Nothing I can do except wait for wisdom to open his eyes.


    1. My children do not blame me Ian, I blame myself. They are such wonderful adults but I am upset with myself for the unnecessary hurt that I caused them.
      I truly hope that your son realises that there are no handbooks for parenting and we all make mistakes.
      Blessings to you Ian.


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