Don't be held hostage by negative people, experiences, thoughts, or emotions

"It's like my buddy Timon always says: Ya gotta put your behind in your past..." - Pumbaa (warthog) 
"No, no, no. Amateur. Sit down before you hurt yourself. It's "You got to put your past behind you." - Timon (meerkat)
"The Lion King" (movie)

Whatever you've been through, whatever you've seen, those experiences are NOT who you are now.

Do they matter? Yes, but only because of the lessons you learned from them.

You don't know what you learned, you say?

Then, my dear reader, it's time for some introspection.

What you learn from your past can be as simple as:

"Don't go there"

"Don't allow (insert name here) back into your life."

"Don't eat (insert food here) on an empty stomach..."

You get the idea, right? You don't have to wallow in the past and keep reminding yourself of it - especially if it was painful - but don't block out the lesson learned, or information gathered from the experience.

Here's a wonderful opportunity to put your journaling skills to work. Use the pages of your journal to help you analyze, break down, and brainstorm a solution to the challenge you experienced. 

Learn from what happened, but don't let it increase your fear.

When I bought my first car, I made a BIG mistake. I fell in love with the vehicle before I had test-driven it, had it checked out by a mechanic, etc., etc., etc. It was a red-and-white 1977 Firebird - double racing stripes down the hood and the trunk lid. 

I did everything wrong - didn't ask the right questions, gave much too much information to the salesman, and he took advantage of my youth and naivete. I overpaid for the car, and when I got the car insurance bill, I nearly passed out.

I'll never make that mistake again, though. I could have let my negative experience change me for good - refusing to buy another car on my own because of that challenging occurrence, but I didn't.

selective focus photography of gray rust-covered chain and padlock

Photo by Ben Lambert on

Break those rusty old chains from the past and throw them off!

You have the power to do the very same thing - even if you haven't done it before, or if you feel like it didn't "stick" before.

Today is a new day - and you can start again, move forward, and refuse to let the past (or its mistakes) hold you back.

You possess inherent worth and dignity that isn't dependent on perfection. If you never made a mistake, you'd still have it. That means that no matter what happened in your past, you still have worth and dignity. You need to believe it, and you need to act "as if."

Make today - right now - the day you start affirming that the past has no control over you and that you can move forward. Will the past still be there? Yes, of course, but by concentrating on the present, and a little on the future, you can leave it back there where it belongs.

Will others hold your past against you? Perhaps - but you don't have to let that occupy your mind, your heart, or your thoughts. Anyone holding your past against you is probably not a big part of your life right now - because they are holding that negativity toward you.

Release the negative and give yourself permission to move forward. Baby steps forward are still steps forward, and when you put enough of them together, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day and so on, you'll put your past behind you.

If your past is holding you back and you don't yet have an affirmation practice, start with one or the affirmations below and use it to help yourself get free. Every day, start your day with one of these affirmations about letting go of the past - at the beginning of your day, several times during the day, and again before you head to sleep.

You can program yourself to shake off the chains of the past and to cut yourself some slack. We are often our harshest critic - time to break that pattern and instead empower yourself to drop that dead weight and move forward.

Affirmations to Help You Release Past Negative Experiences and Emotions

I easily release the past and I trust my ability to move forward.

I coped with the worst, and I am stronger.

I learn lessons from mistakes and release regrets and pain.

I release pent-up emotions from negative experiences.

I let go of the past and continue my personal growth.

Each day is a new opportunity to move forward.

I will learn from my mistakes and focus on moving forward.

I will let go of painful thoughts and emotions – nothing holds me back or keeps me down.

About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

Dianne M. Daniels

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