Another valuable lesson from Don Miguel Ruiz’ The Four Agreements.‘ This card comes from the Agreement, Always Do Your Best:
Surrender and Let Go of the Past
Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender
and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be
in the moment.
Letting go of the past means that you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.
I know — more about the terrible past and the bright, glowing present — yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. But honestly, don’t we all have pasts we’ve held onto too tightly, or for too long? I’m not talking only of major traumas, such as sexual or emotional or physical abuse of an overt nature. Sometimes the only thing that holds me back is a small, seemingly inconsequential occurrence in my life. I’m talking small, as in a letter not written, or never sent; perhaps a situation in which I could have smiled or encouraged someone, but I didn’t. I don’t mean to discount the major traumas, by any means. I just don’t want place any limit on needing only to put big stuff behind me, and this is simply a reminder.
If we hold tight to some pieces of our pasts, we waste energy for absolutely no reason. No one can change the past. No one. I spent years dwelling on my miserable past, with no result but to allow me to wallow in crap. I still spend too much time dwelling onthe pa st; I am learning, however, to stop myself and turn my eyes once again to now. When my attention is drawn forward to the present, I realize that I am not still so miserable as I was. In fact, when I let go fully, I remember that I am, in fact, quite contented with my life.
Still, we all remember, but we would all gain if we concentrate on what is happening, instead of what happened. I don’t mean to imply in any way that this is a simple task. If you have never achieved this goal, perhaps you are starting with memories far too big to begin with. As in all of our self-discovery, we need to be gentle with ourselves. Don’t expect miracles, (but do welcome them when they happen.) With intention, letting go of our pasts can become a regular feature in our lives, kind of like being grateful. Even with no schedule, nor any plan to put our pasts behind us, we can all benefit from letting go of situations we cannot change.