Two monks were on a pilgrimage. One day, they came to a deep river. At the edge of the river, a young woman sat weeping, because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her. The younger monk turned his back. The members of their order were forbidden to touch a woman.
But the older monk picked up the woman without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down on the far side and continued his journey. The younger monk came after him, scolding him and berating him for breaking his vows. He went on this way for a long time.
Finally, at the end of the day the older monk turned to the younger one. “I only carried her across the river. You have been carrying her all day.”
I really like the above story because it’s a great example of why we need to let go of the past.
You see every single one of us has been hurt at some point in our life but holding onto that pain isn’t helpful at all as, as the story above shows it just causes anger and unhappiness.
Instead what you need to do is you need to accept your past. You may have been bullied at school and sure they may have been bad but you need to realize that was so long ago and thinking about it and holding onto the anger for those people who did it isn’t helping you one bit.
Think about this, do you think the people who have hurt you in the past are sitting around right now thinking about the things they did do you? No, of course they are not, instead they are going on living their lives, not giving one thought to you, so why should you give any thought to them and what they did to you?
What you need to do then is to forgive the people who have caused you harm in the past because it’s when you forgive them that you are able to move on with your life and finally be happy.
Now maybe you aren’t having trouble letting go of something that someone has done to you, maybe you are having trouble forgiving yourself for something you have done bad in the past.
Well, if that’s the case then you need to start forgiving yourself because once again what happened is in the past, thinking about it and beating yourself up about what you did years ago is just pointless, as long as you are a better person now and that you aren’t engaging in such behaviours now is all that matters.
Talking about forgiving yourself for things that you have done in your past here’s a great video:
This video is of Ethan Smith expressing himself about his past. As you will learn from the video Ethan used to be Emily and he feels guilty that she doesn’t exist anymore and this letter is a sort of apology from him to her and it was the only way that he could accept his past and move forward.
I think the idea of writing a letter to who has ever hurt you is an excellent way to help you overcome your past and forgive. You don’t actually send the letter to that person, instead just write down how they hurt you and how it made you feel and that you forgive them and accept what happened and that you are no longer going to allow them to have any power over how you feel now.
It’s important to understand that you are not your past, what you did and what happened to you in the past doesn’t define who you are now, work on letting go of your story, your story is meaningless and is holding you back.
Remember, holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.