Some say ‘let go of the past’. Move on. Sure, that would be great, as long as we understand what letting go really entails. It means truly letting go of anger, blame and judgment in order to heal our deep wounds; to be at ease. In practice, most of us are working hard on letting it all go while coming up against understandable resistance, from ourselves and the outside world.
Internal resistance has us in relationship with our own varying levels of ignorance, denial, shame, avoidance and suffering – all of which coalesce into a unique combination of fear, unconsciousness and narcissism. With immense personal, generational trauma and cultural trauma suffered by millions of people, our own peculiar version of unconsciousness then constantly collides with the very same in the outside world, especially with family, and… it’s intense to say the least.
At our centered best, we authentically let go of our past and there is no amount of triggering by family, friends and humanity that will take us off our game. Because we know, without a doubt, that the other person is always doing the best they can, just like us. Often, it can seem like that ‘best’ should be way better. It sure could, but we’re working on it. It’s a process, sometimes an ugly one. We all have our own pace and ways.
It is our ego, and accompanying judgment, that allows us to believe we know another person’s deal. We simply don’t. As individuals, our lives are made up of an infinitely complex and unique array of thoughts, feelings and experiences that we are scarcely aware of in ourselves, let alone in others.
If we saw hidden video of the childhoods of the people we have the greatest issues with, including family, coworkers and politicians we love to hate; if we actually felt the rejection and betrayal that they felt in those many moments that led to them losing their trust in life; to not believing in love; that led to them becoming angry, resentful and heartbroken; if, if and if… we allowed ourselves to genuinely feel their deep shame and pain; our hearts would explode with compassion and understanding. We would want to rush over and hold that person and say, ‘I’m so sorry for what you have endured’.
Meanwhile, the more callous and dismissive we are to ourselves and others, the deeper our own trauma, the more blinded we are to our own failings.
What we are unable to reconcile in ourselves we unconsciously seek out and highlight in others, which, needless to say, they don’t appreciate. But too bad, we justify to ourselves. We’re just telling them the truth, which may be the case, except we can’t see that it’s our own truth as well. In that place, we betray ourselves and others; the others being mirrors we have attracted to reveal to us who we are and where we are at in our process. These mirrors will keep showing up until we recognize them for who they are: us. These lessons will be repeated, and often intensified, until we finally have the profound revelations required to dissolve the seemingly never-ending cycles of trauma.
As long as this resentment has a hold on us, our empathy is compromised and we will have trouble forgiving ourselves and others. Ultimately, there is only one way to move on from past traumas, by diving within, by connecting with our higher selves; by opening to deep heart connection and healing. This is the opportunity. This is the liberation that is worth more than all the tea in China. So, yes, let us let go of the past.