2020 is well and truly upon us, and we’ve already started putting the pressure on the universe and ourselves for this year to be better than the last.
For those who read their horoscopes and energy readings (yes, I am one of them), you would have noticed that the end of a decade means a lot about clearing energy from the past and letting go of things that no longer serve us—which I do believe.
However, I don’t believe that it all just magically happens on its own.
I’ve seen many people (myself included) who have gone through year after year, carrying around the heavy baggage they’ve collected on the way.
Just stop and visualise this for a second…
Imagine that you’re about to go on a holiday, and you need to pack your suitcase. In this case, you’re flying on a budget airline and your baggage allowance is only 20kg. You pack what you think you need for your trip, you don’t weigh your suitcase, and you just hope that it’s under the weight allowance.
Once you get to the check-in counter and your bag is weighed, you’re informed by airline staff that your luggage is 5kg over the allocated baggage allowance for your fare. To continue on your journey with your 25kg suitcase, it’s going to cost you an additional $50 per kg ($250 that would need to come out of your holiday spending money). The alternative is to take some stuff out of the suitcase that you packed and leave it with your friend who has kindly driven you to the airport.
There are a number of pieces that you could choose to take out of your luggage:
3kg: The terrible breakup you went through last year that shook you to your core and left you feeling like you’re not good enough.
2kg: The job promotion you missed out on that led to burnout.
1kg: That fall out with your best friend that makes you feel like you can’t trust anyone anymore.
The purpose of this visualisation is to highlight that carrying unnecessary baggage around, even emotionally, is going to cost you. Without doing the work, choosing to accept the past for what it was, and acknowledging that everything happened as it should have in order to let it go, it will taint your experiences in the present moment and in the future. It creates a cycle of history repeating itself over and over again, and the baggage continues to pile up and becomes more costly to carry.
At the end of the day, whatever you’re holding onto is most likely doing the most damage to none other than yourself.
You can have hope for a better future, to believe everything will be better than what you’ve already experienced, but:
“Hope has to have legs.” ~ Petrea King
Hope needs to be backed with action. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work to create positive changes in your life.
If you’re tired of being stuck in the same old story, only you have the power to write a new one.
1. Be present.
It’s so easy to get caught up in your head (especially for those with anxiety).
If you want to write a different story for yourself this year, practice being more present.
When you start thinking about the past and getting carried away with it, fearing that the future will be the same, stop yourself mid-thought. Choose another thought. You don’t need to keep reliving your past. Choose to be present.
When you start thinking you’ll be happy when you get that promotion, buy the house, get married, or become famous, stop yourself mid-thought. Choose another thought. Choose to be present in the current moment. Don’t let what’s happening around you in this very moment pass you by. Everything you need to make you happy right now, you already have.
One of the biggest reasons why we can’t move on from something that has happened in our lives is because we haven’t forgiven a particular person for doing something to us. More often than not, the person we really need to forgive happens to be ourselves.
When we feel guilt or shame for something that has happened in our lives, we beat ourselves up about it over and over again. We question why we did it, why it happened, and why we didn’t do things differently. Things could’ve, should’ve, would’ve been different, right? Wrong. Sometimes, as hard as it is to believe, everything happens for a reason, and everything unfolds as it should. Difficult events in our lives are necessary to challenge us, to help us grow or change our path in life.
When we acknowledge that we showed up in that situation, in that point in time just as we were meant to, it becomes easier to accept it for what it was and let it go. It becomes easier to forgive ourselves and to move forward.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
3. Surrender and have an open mind.
Another reason why we find it hard to let go of the past is that we’ve become so comfortable with it. For example, if we’ve been hurt in the past, we’re used to the story. We’re okay with the story now because we think we know what will happen. We become guarded and shield ourselves from getting hurt because we think every person who comes along will hurt us too. Subconsciously, we try to manipulate and control the future to be something we find familiar because we know how to navigate it. Once again, stuck in the cycle.
Surrendering the need for control and having an open mind may lead to experiences that you never thought were possible. Who knows what will happen, let life surprise you.
Once you start accepting the past for what it was, and the present for what it is right now, the future you create will be different.
Ask yourself this: will you continue to live the same old story and hold onto all your baggage from the past? Or are you ready to let go and evolve?