“Free yourself from the burden of feeling the need to hold on to anything.” ~ Steve Maraboli
There are things from our past that continue to live in our present. Beautiful memories like the birth of a child, finding love, or accomplishing something amazing can still make our hearts beat faster.
And then there are things from our past that can make our hearts feel empty. The mistakes we made; the addictions we suffered or the sins committed against us are things we wish had never seen the light of day.
These events follow us into the present moment. They haunt us; and they tempt us into believing we are weak, or deserve the same treatment again. Over time, these memories can spread like cancer into our hearts – stealing our hope; taking our happiness.
One treatment for cancer is to remove it; to cut it out and keep it from spreading.
We can do the same for the things that are invading our present. We can cut ourselves free.
Removing the Damage
I need to start cutting myself free. The death of my mother four years ago dredged up painful memories of being a child of an alcoholic parent. My brother’s death less than two years ago then sent my spirit into a dark, downward spiral.
Pain, guilt and grief have been metastasizing in me. However, I’m starting to remove the damage before it claims the hope left in me.
Cutting Yourself Free
Even though I’m just beginning, I already feel freer.
If there’s something from your past you need to remove, here are six cuts that may bring you closer to freedom, too:
The first cut: Tell someone.
You don’t have to suffer alone with the pain. Confide with a friend, a partner or a spiritual counselor.
The second cut: Forgive yourself.
Forgive yourself for the mistake or addiction. You are human – born to be imperfect. Release the guilt; and through its release, you will find freedom.
The third cut: Forgive others.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It allows you to release the anger, place the past behind you and live freer in the present.
The fourth cut: Recognize your power.
No matter what happened in your past, you have the power to choose how you want to live today.
The fifth cut: Be patient.
Moving past shame, guilt or grief isn’t a sprint; it’s a healing journey that is best walked one step at time and one day at a time.
The sixth cut: Don’t be afraid.
Your spirit will find its way back.
Sometimes the simple path to cutting yourself free begins with wanting the beautiful memories to be the only things that are allowed to live inside of you.
Last week I confided with Mary Beth. I admitted what my anxiety has been costing me. She hugged me and said all of the right things. But most of all, she didn’t judge me.
I have a plan to cut myself free and I can’t wait for hope, faith and love to be the only things that live inside of me.
What is A Simple Path?
This post is in A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.