HOUSTON, TX - For many, this year is an especially daunting one to face. The past year was filled with politics, stress, toxic rhetoric, and an uncanny sense of feeling divided as a country. Perhaps you’re feeling drained or fearful of the year ahead. You may be grieving the loss of a friend or family member and letting go of them makes your feel more vulnerable and insecure.
As tempting as it is, you cannot hang on to the old year. Life goes on, relationships change, careers move forward, and children grow up. You, too, must continue to learn new things, take on new challenges, and grow into the person you’re meant to become. In order to do that, you have to remember the past, enjoy the present, and move forward into the future.
If you’re digging in your heels and holding on to past grudges and hurts, these suggestions may help you let go and move forward:
- Take responsibility and accept your situation. There are many reasons people hang on to old hurts and painful memories. For example, it may make them feel in the right or gain them attention. Staying stuck in a joyless rut and hoping it punishes someone else only hurts you more.
- Remember that forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is a freedom you give yourself. If you feel as though you’re carrying hurtful memories or anger into 2019, it will affect every relationship. Why destroy positive relationships with others because of hurts from the past? Free yourself to love by forgiving old grudges.
- Focus on what you can control in your life. You can control your healthy lifestyle, how you communicate and with whom, what you eat, and what you spend time and energy on. Let go of the past because you cannot go back and change it today.
- Live in the present but build towards the future. Living in the present forces you to appreciate moments and not ruminate about the past. Spend more time with friends and family, creating new memories that overshadow past hurts. Invest in yourself and others by volunteering or helping with a community project that will impact generations to come.
No one gets through a life well lived without having setbacks, a broken heart, or being wronged or disappointed by someone they loved. You can’t change your past, but your present and future actions and attitude are within your control. Leave the negative thoughts and free yourself to move forward into the New Year! -Mary Jo Rapini