Tag Archives: let it go

The Past is Not Yours to Keep

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

Let it go. We’ve all heard the phrase. Did you know your past paves every corridor of your being? How is one to let the past go when it is reflected in who you are today?

Sitting in the therapist’s office, I said sincerely, “It is not mine to keep.” Unfortunately, it was not the past or negativity of which I spoke. It was the comfort of a good day, a nice moment I was certain did not belong to me. 

Sure, I was deep in depression. No doubt that partly explains the attitude. Yet how is one to overcome depression while clinging to a prevailing mindset of defeat? Major depression had its roots, but was I feeding it? 

In my mind, I was disqualified for anything good. What sorrow in that statement!  Thankfully, and with great joy, I can say that is no longer my experience! I’ve learned to let the past go.

You are not trapped

The past carries pain for many of us. Divorce, perceived business failure, abuse, loss… you can easily write your mental list. That is part of a defeatist issue – how simple it is to fill out such a list of negative experiences. 

Doing so can lock you in to a sense of victimization. You may have been a victim at one time. The hands or decisions of others may have caused you great harm.  Those events matter; they do not own you. You can escape the cycle of defeat and disqualification. Victimization does not have to continue.

How to let the past go

  1. If you are currently abused, end the abuse.  I can only suggest you reach out for help from someone or an organization that knows what to do.  You will find numerous phone numbers and websites listed on my The Truth About Abuse resource page. Click here.
  2. Challenge your negative self-talk. Question the messages that fill you with self-doubt and fear. Take notice of evidence that contradicts the old “I’m hopeless” repertoire circling in your racing thoughts. Consider this. You have read over half of a blog about moving beyond the past. That means you have a glimmer of hope for change. If that much hope can exist, so can more!
  3. Start writing down every one of your successes no matter how small. Perhaps you tend to dwell on shame for things you have said. Instead, record the times you have not spoken hurtful words. Count the smallest of moments. How about your encounter with a waiter last week? You were polite. There was no fight. If it is possible once, why not many more? 
  4. Look inside yourself, perhaps with the help of a therapist, and see if false beliefs are guiding your decisions. Complexities may take some time. However, it is very much worth your investment. 
  5. Allow God to work in your heart. He is the difference-maker!  When you realize he embraces and forgives you, your ability to forgive yourself and others grows strong. Become rooted in the knowledge of God through his Word, the Bible. You will begin to fully grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3: 16-19) 

Once your ideas about who you are and how you interact with the world begin to take a positive turn, you will find it easier to let go of the past. 

After all, you do not own it.  It is gone. It is not yours to keep.

Today’s Helpful Word

2 Corinthians 5:17, 18a 

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.”


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

*Trees by XYMONAU of rgbstock.com



Saying Goodbye Brings New Perspective (relationships)

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness    (c)2014 Nancy Virden

photo-25318978-printI called my dad today. He is in a nursing home and dealing with dementia. In his four years of living there I’ve seen changes in his demeanor, physical capabilities, and memory.

Today he told me he is working on getting “up and walking” so he can leave the facility. Sadly, I know he’s not leaving that place. His body cannot mend anymore, and his mind is slipping away.

One year. We never know on New Year’s Day what our reality will be like by the next January 1. In some ways we may want nothing to change, or perhaps we hope with all our heart everything will look and feel different in twelve months. How has 2014 been for you so far?

Among several people who play significant roles in my life, the past ten months have included heart-wrenching events.  These include physical deaths, the loss of a child by miscarriage, disbanded loyalties, and an attempted suicide. I too have experienced painful severing of key relationships this year.

Goodbyes might be slow, tragic, sudden, or inexplicable. In the case of an adult child watching their parent slip away, a vulnerability arises. My longing for a dad who will take care of me is not realistic. There is no more hope for that. Today he forgot I was on the phone and stopped talking to me. Last week, my dad didn’t remember I moved eight hours away a few years ago. I don’t want him to wonder why I don’t come around each day.

Anything the past holds between us has faded into the cloud of compassion I feel for him now. What is positive is that dementia has softened him somewhat.  When he heard I’m writing he said, “Good. That’s what you should be doing. You’re good at that.”

My choice is to spend time wishing I’d seen that side of him earlier, or to thank God for the gift. I choose the latter. There is simply no more time for counting a closet full of dead bones.

Saying goodbye. At the new year, I was one who hoped change would occur in 2014.  I suspected there might be a critical parting or two. What has surprised me is that finally saying goodbye to old hurts and resentments has been such a joyful experience. “Let it go” now makes sense. It means today matters, and I can embrace this moment.

I’m saying goodbye to my dad. Today he’s still here, he is proud of me, and I’m glad.  That’s all that counts anymore.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.