Leaving the Past Behind
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
For several years, it has been part of my ongoing practice to live with intentional aloha. And if you were to ask someone in Hawai'i, “What does aloha mean to you?” you may receive a wide variety of answers. For me, aloha is an essence of being: acceptance, love, peace, empathy, and a mutual understanding of respect.
Aloha means living in harmony with the people around me and treating them with mercy, compassion, grace, and kindness. When greeting life with aloha, there is reciprocal appreciation and affection for living between myself and my Higher Power. And this aloha extends with warmth in nurturing and caring for others ~ without an obligation to receive anything in return. For me ~ living with aloha is spiritual, healing, freeing.
Aloha for myself ~ and my past ~ is how I have been able to overcome the shame and stigma of my mistakes. Aloha gives me the path towards letting go of the toxic emotions and embracing the future with boldness. But... I know it is not always that easy.
Letting go of the shame which others heap upon us can be ridiculously difficult. And even those of us who practice the Law Of Aloha find that releasing the past can be very challenging at times because part of letting go of the past requires forgiving yourself and others. Forgiveness definitely takes practice, practice, and yes ~ more practice.
Here are three tips for letting of the guilt, shame, and stigma that holds you back from fully living the Law Of Aloha:
1. Living Equals Learning
“Living is a process of developing oneself. Without experiencing pain from disconcerting periods of our lives, we would be different person, perhaps a lesser person.” ~ Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls
Over time, I've come to learn that there are WAYS OF THINKING about the past that aren't just nostalgic or regretful. In recovery, I've learned that the passing of time allows a certain kind of self-questioning that enriches an experience after the fact ~ if one is willing to see the puzzle piece for what it is: A piece of life's puzzle... Nothing more and nothing less.
Living the Law of Aloha and seeing the puzzle pieces as just that ~ one piece of a larger picture of who I am ~ allows me to apply the same mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion and kindness to myself that I would give to another who had made my same mistakes.
Learning from mistakes means pondering what worked and why, being honest about what didn't work and why, admitting the total lack of control over some things, and giving our Higher Power the ability to comfort and guide in times of turmoil. Learning from the past means taking the best parts of the past with you and leaving the worst parts behind you. Learning from the past ~ rather than shaming the past ~ allows the Law Of Aloha to heal old wounds.
The past has a purpose. Allow your past to teach rather than shame.
2. Carpe That Diem, Baby
As a former mental health and recovery professional, I learned a lot about regret. I have also lived with my own emotionally stunting regret for my choices and behavior. As a journalist, I am constantly shocked when an interviewee shares that they wished they had made different choices in their lives. So many people have unresolved relationship issues, unfulfilled dreams, and long-held resentments.
In recovery, I've learned that the successful people come to terms with their regrets while they still have a chance to change life. This incredibly impactful experience became a HUGE motivator for me to start living as if any day could be my last. We never know how long we will live, so we must make conscious choices each day to live fully and make the most out of each experience we have. This ideology gave way to the act of living the Law Of Aloha.
This can be tough, but training yourself to get into a positive mindset and believing that everything from your past made you who you are today is the best way to move forward and create your most successful future. Understand that living in regret is the exact opposite of manifesting a positive vibes future through the Law of Aloha.
If you struggle with this, meditation is a great way to get into a positive state of mind.
3. Stop Worrying & Start Doing
Once more, this could be looked at as “easier said than done." However, truthfully ~ there is nothing productive about worrying. Worrying takes up energy: Energy is what you need to create your ideal future. Worrying is the opposite of doing... It is the anti-doing of progress and forward motion in your life. And worrying or stressing over things we cannot control causes serious health issues ~ such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and depression.
Over the years, I’ve learned to get out of my worry place... by getting into my doing space. Meaning ~ I doooo something rather than stewing on something I cannot change anyway. Sometimes it is taking slow deep breaths, or going for a walk to quiet my fears and insecurities. Sometimes it is listening to music and singing along to my favorite songs to take my mind off of my troubles for a moment, And most times, attending a support meeting and sharing (in a safe space with people I trust) about how I’m feeling really helps me not feel so alone in my head. Connecting to myself ~ or to others ~ is a great way for me to stop worrying and start focusing on the future once again.
These three skills worked for me and I hope they assist you too.
Trust me. Let go of the past. Live with intentional aloha. Let the Law of Aloha work in your life. Bedazzle your world through forgiveness, kindness, empathy and respect for yourself. Isn't it time to embrace your inner sweetness and share your aloha with the world around you???
Do you have some tips for letting go of the past??? I’d love to hear them in the comment section...