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Releasing the Past

Releasing the Past

Many of us have been through ordeals we would have rather avoided in life. How can we overcome the pain and disillusionment they leave in their wake?

Firstly, allow yourself to feel the emotions that come up in relation to what happened. These feelings will come with memories, sometimes memories you would rather avoid, but donít: it is important you allow them to run their natural course.

Having said that, take care not to start playing the story of what happened over and over again in your head, as a way of torturing yourself. If you have been through hard times, it was enough the first time round! Donít prolong the suffering by aggravating the past. When the memories come, go to the feeling and release the emotion. Then bring yourself back into the moment. We are letting these emotions go so that we can experience something new, here and now, not to stay stuck in what happened.

Usually we ignore all of our emotions, pretending that everything is fine, so as not to rock the boat, so as not to create conflict or concern in those around us. We shut down to what we are really feeling and behave in the ways we think are expected of us, but underneath it all the resentment and anger begin to grow, often toward those who are closest to us. It is so important to express ourselves, to be real: if we donít, we begin to hate ourselves.

We think that if we are real and speak our truth, we will hurt someone, yet we are hurting someone when we donít: we are hurting ourselves.

The truth flies the highest. It unites; it generates trust. Protection generates fear and separation.

Being Ďniceí, being Ďfriendlyí without really feeling it, doesnít generate love. It’s false, it’s fragile, it lacks connection. Why? Because it comes from the head: it’s an intellectual behavior, disconnected from the heart. We can all feel the difference:

“Hello, how are you?”

While inside we are thinking, I hate him! but he’s my brother. And Mom and Dad are watching. So Iíll just smile and say:

“Are you well? That’s great!”

If we are full of anger and pretending to be nice, our connection with those around us is superficial, but if we express what we feel and release the emotional charge, what happens? We reunite with love. For the love was always there. It really is impossible to hate someone when you are loving yourself: when you release the charge you will love everyone! That doesnít mean your enemies will suddenly become your best friends, but there will no longer be any charge or resentment toward them. Whatever you reject externally is a part of yourself that you are not loving. When you express your judgements, you will soon find them inside of you. Then you’ll be surprised: Oops! That which I judged in others was me! And yes, that which you see externally as something bad or inadequate has always been you.

So express what you feel. Give it a try and see what happens. Keep emptying yourself of the emotions that have built up, expressing the charge behind your judgements and letting them go until all the resentment is gone and all that remains is unity. You can try moving anger in a pillow: just cover your mouth with it when you scream so as not to frighten the neighbors! Or cry to release the sadness: whatever feels natural. The important thing is that that which you have been avoiding inside may finally be released.

Our resentments are often toward members of our families. It is so important to walk towards these people and speak our truth, instead of distancing ourselves. By saying what you feel and being open and vulnerable with the other person, you can let go of the past instead of allowing it to continue influencing your present. By avoiding the other person, you are denying an aspect of yourself. Donít say no to yourself. Donít create separation in your world. Be the exception to the rule: walk towards that which you wish to avoid, until you can heal the pain that caused you to step back. See what happens if you say yes instead of no to the people and situations you have learnt to avoid. You can tell me how you go in the comments section below!

Isha Judd will be touring the US and Canada in May for the launch of her new book, Love Has Wings. Learn more at

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Isha Judd

Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness.


+ add your own
3:26AM PDT on May 28, 2013

Thank you :)

2:53PM PST on Mar 8, 2013

most of the time i feel the most fufilled when i face problems head on.

4:43AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

Letting go is to be nice to oneself

10:27AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

1:30PM PDT on May 23, 2012

thanks for posting this article,interesting

12:22PM PDT on May 16, 2012

I will give this a try.

1:31PM PDT on May 8, 2012

I gushed, yelled & cried. Then accepted forgiveness. Things are OK now.

10:36AM PDT on May 8, 2012

I find it very hard to talk about some of the things that hurt me the most. One day I decided to write a letter about someone who had died detailing all the things that had hurt me they had done. When I had finished I walked outside and said "all the hurt you put on me I am sending to you, I should not be the one to suffer from these things any more". Then I set fire to that letter (it had taken me 6 weeks to write down all those hurts). Since that day I have felt a whole lot lighter. I plan on writing similar letters to people I have lost contact with on purpose and letting go of those hurts too. Try it, it really works.

7:28AM PDT on May 8, 2012

" It really is impossible to hate someone when you are loving yourself."

So true.
And we are all, deep down, worthy of that love. We're all so, so beautiful under all that crap we pile on top of ouselves.
And getting rid of the crap (even the gold-plated crap) is hard. But it's more than possible - just not overnight.
What doesn't work is puttting on layer after layer to try and cover it all up. Sorry, Jane B, but ultimately it makes things worse, not better.

10:47AM PDT on May 7, 2012

A good article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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