Letting Go of the Past

Mia DeMarco

In the Disney movie The Lion King, Rafiki says to Simba, “The past can hurt; but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” Take a moment to think: do you run from your past or do you face it head on? Well, if you struggle to move on from your past, hopefully this can guide you into moving on.

Why can letting go of the past be so challenging? Most people can’t let go of their past because they maybe can’t appreciate their present. Reframing our relationship with our past requires us to stop thinking of how things should be and accepting it for what it is.

When trying to express how one feels about their past, most people will say they feel angry, but did you know anger is actually a secondary emotion or as a mask to hide what you’re really feeling. Anger is just like an iceberg. Think about the Titanic; the ship just saw a little tip of an iceberg and tried to move past it only to realize there was so much more underneath. Well, anger is like that; your anger is the tip of the iceberg. People can see the anger, but really there is more emotion under that anger: like betrayal, sadness, lack of trust, etc. The past can be a very daunting thing, especially when trying to move on from it.

There are many ways to get over the past, but it all starts with self-love and forgiveness. Start with these eight steps to get over the past.

  1. Create positive mantras to counter those painful thoughts.
  2. Separate yourself from the situation or person.
  3. Work on your own self-worth.
  4. Practice mindfulness.
  5. Be gentle with yourself moving; on isn’t an easy thing.
  6. Allow all negative emotions to flow; don’t suppress them.
  7. Accept that the other person might not apologize.
  8. Engage in self-care.


Letting go of the past is challenging, but these steps can help move you in the right direction. Just focus on what you want, and remember nothing is impossible. Don’t forget what Po said in Kung Fu Panda, “You got to let go of stuff from the past because it just doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.”