Why You Should Forgive And Heal The Past

It Is Our Light, Not Our Darkness That Most Frightens Us

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” — Marianne Williamson

Your emotional connection to the past is vital in how you perceive life. To forgive the past is paramount in moving ahead mentally and emotionally. Many people are haunted by their emotional links to the past and recycle memories into the present moment. Allow me to highlight via a personal example. My relationship with self-love evaded me on a deeper level for many years. While I understood it intellectually, at a soul level, I found it challenging to embrace. Upon closer self-examination, I realised the source of my disconnection stemmed from a false belief formed when young.

You see, I was afraid of drowning as a child and was left behind during swim lessons. I unknowingly painted an inaccurate belief about not being good enough and compared myself to other children who swam well. In adulthood, I noticed this theme emerge frequently. When writing or speaking, I noticed an inner dialogue about not being worthy of this position. I convinced myself there were others smarter and more talented than me. Therefore, I felt unworthy of success. My inner critic offered many reasons to substantiate my beliefs, such as “Who I am to be talented, wise and smart?” The inner chatter dominated my mind for a long time. “Who am I not to be those things?” I would remind myself. Is this something you can identify with? If so, how did you confront the inner talk?

I’m reminded of a passage by the spiritual author Marianne Williamson aptly named Our Deepest Fear, in which she writes: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

If the concept of God prevents you from connecting with the passage, replace it with what is comfortable for you. You may call it universe, source, light or nothing at all; that is fine either way. The passage serves to remind us of our own inner brilliance. My journey of inner discovery revealed I had wrongly labelled my inability to swim to being unworthy. I further complicated this by invoking the suggestion I was unworthy of love. Can you see how convoluted a story our minds will conjure up? Through self-enquiry, I realised a young child of six years had very little knowledge about life to be passing judgement on himself. It took a great deal of courage and faith to release this belief and create an empowering one. Therefore, I encourage you to identify similar beliefs you may have created early in life.

Your Memories Do Not Define Who You Are Now

“You will begin to heal when you let go of past hurts, forgive those who have wronged you, and learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes.” — Unknown

If you notice a pattern which you wish to change, it may be attributed to a misleading belief. Drop it if it no longer serves you. How will you know? Look closely at aspects of your life which cause you distress. Is it relationship issues? Is it money related: health, career or something else? You may notice the same patterns and cannot navigate your way of out it. Limited beliefs will have their source at the unconscious level of the mind. Therefore, we must go to the source and reframe or update our beliefs to coincide with the reality we wish to create.

Below is a list of how limited beliefs may show up in your life.

  1. You unconsciously spend money you don’t have and wonder why you struggle with your finances.
  2. You attract the wrong romantic partner, even though you desire to be in a fulfilling relationship.
  3. You sabotage your relationships when things are moving in the right direction.
  4. You miss out on job promotions, even though you work just as hard as the person who gets them.
  5. You unconsciously gravitate toward unhealthy foods when you start a new health regime.

These are indicators you may hold unconscious beliefs related to that area of life. In clarifying the points, here are my suggestions to what the unconscious belief may reveal.

  1. Spending money you don’t have. Unconscious belief: receiving, self-esteem, or unworthiness.
  2. Attract the wrong romantic partner. Unconscious belief: low self-esteem, unworthiness, or fear.
  3. Sabotage your relationships. Unconscious belief: fear, change, fear of the past, or success.
  4. Miss out on job promotions. Unconscious belief: fear of success, self-esteem, unworthiness.
  5. Eat unhealthy foods when following a health regime. Unconscious belief: fear of failure, self-esteem, unworthiness.

The key is knowing which beliefs to work through, to release the memories and wounds of the past. A good analogy for clearing the past would look like this. Imagine a person who refers to their past successes or failures. They might use the words: “I used to be…” or “I used to do…” What they’re telling you is: “I am an amalgamation of my past success and/or failures and I choose to relive them in the present moment.” They are defined by their past mistakes or success and not alive to the present moment. The present moment is your key to the future. Memories are a figment of your imagination. I’m not suggesting your memories don’t exist or aren’t important, rather avoid referencing them to define yourself in the here and now.

I hope to open your eyes to thoughts or beliefs which may hold you back from achieving your highest potential. Make a vow to forgive and release the past, to live a deep and meaningful life. Refuse to be a victim to your thoughts and emotions. You’ll know you’re making progress when you see those unconscious habits fall away, thus experiencing your heart’s desires. Create a space in your heart for that which you seek in life and continually fill it with love. Whatever you look for awaits you on the other side of your fears and doubts; so dare to claim them now!

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2 Responses to Why You Should Forgive And Heal The Past

  1. Samantha says:

    excellent article – when I did finally forgive and released my past I felt a heavy load was lifted and walking much lighter.

    Thank you Tony

    • Yes it’s interesting how our body stores elements of the past. When we release these emotional connections, we feel ‘lighter’ and free. Well done!



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