Your past doesn't define you

In October last year, standing in the midst of autumn leaves, I thought that nature understands that in order to begin again, to grow, one must get rid of the burden of the past.

If we want to move on, we must leave the past behind us. We can’t get rid of it or forget about it, but we can accept it as a part of us, say goodbye and let it rest.

Our past is part of us, but it does not define us, and certainly does not define our future. Our past does not decide who we can be and what we can do.

What can you do to prevent the past from getting in your way?

Begin by being thankful for it, thank your roots for helping you become who you are today. Forgive those who did not treat you as you deserve. Thank them for the lessons that led you to today. Do it for yourself, not for them.

How to do it?

One very effective way is to write an “unsent letter”. It’s a letter you write, but you never send it. You can write it on loose paper or in your diary. You can tear it, burn it or keep it for future use.

Write a letter to those you want to forgive. This letter will help you close this period, reconcile with these experiences. Remember that forgiveness does not mean rebuilding the relationship. Forgive them because you want to, because it will help you take a step forward.

When writing this letter, don’t limit yourself. Everything is allowed. Remember that you are the only person who has access to it. Write down everything that you can think of, everything that you would like to say to that person, but you never did. Write what your heart tells you to write.

The second letter you can write is a letter to your roots. Thank them for everything they have done for you. For keeping you upright and for giving you life. Write everything you need to tell them. Listen to your heart.

Finally, tell them you’re ready to go further in your journey. Write that you will not forget about them, but it’s time for independence, for releasing your own roots. Tell them that you will come back to them, that you do not cut them off, but you need space, that you have to go the rest of the way by yourself. Thank them for their support.

And what now?

Now go ahead. Leave the past behind, let it be your foundation, but don’t let it limit your decisions. Strive for your vision, start putting down your own roots, let them be your strength, your guide.