The Importance of Releasing Your Past To Be Happy


I came across this quote recently that really struck a chord.

“The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life.”

People always tell us that to be truly happy we need to live fully in the present moment. But while this is true, we can still find ourselves living in the past – longing for past situations, believing that we were happier then than we are now or maybe thinking about negative things that have happened to us and not quite being able to move past it.

I completely agree with this quote. How can we honestly say the past was better in some way when we weren’t fully aware of those present moments? If we constantly live in a state of desperately wanting the past how are we truly living in the now?

The past does matter but only in so much as it has made you into the person you are today. The past has its place, in that, you are the person you are because of what has happened before. This is to be cherished both for those good times and those tough times but to move forward you have to release on past situations.

The future will one day be your past. This shows that nothing actually matters other than the present moment. If the past has happened and the future will one day be your past, you only really have the present moment to be truly happy.

Realise you’re not the same person. If you find yourself longing for the past or the person you once were, remember that you aren’t the same person anymore. You probably have different perspectives, beliefs and ideas that wouldn’t serve you back then. Embrace your growth and know you are always moving forward in the right direction.

Know the importance of letting go. Guilt, anger, bitterness and resentment all stem from past experiences that, no matter how much we hang on to them, don’t serve us in our quest to be happy. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean condoning what happened, it just means letting go of the situation and the negative feelings surrounding it in order for you to move on.

A lot of our current negative beliefs are based on our past. It’s hard to change our mindset or perspective on something when we’ve had negative experiences connected with it but remember to think of each new present moment as a clean slate. We have the power to change our negative beliefs at anytime and not be a slave to the past.

As I said, the past has its place. The awareness of the past can lead you to a further understanding of the present but never dwell on past situations or experiences – process them, move forward and be happy in the here and now  🙂

18 thoughts on “The Importance of Releasing Your Past To Be Happy

  1. transitionnext

    Very good observations. As years go by events and situations from the past do seem so much better thru the filter of time. Thanks for this reminder.

    1. Jenny M

      Yeah it’s strange how our mind can delude us a lot about the past, like it’s completely in denial sometimes. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  2. Marie Therese

    I really liked your point that we are not the same people as we once were, and that it doesn’t make much sense to have any sort of nostalgia for “back then”. As always, very nice article 🙂

    1. Jenny M

      Thanks Marie 🙂 I guess it can also be applied to our future selves – we always assume we’ll be the same person with the same feelings and perspectives when we’re older but our past proves that’s never the case!

  3. utesmile

    I agree totally with all that. So many always say ” the good old times” – and moan about now instead of making the now amazing. We do change and times change so it is so important not to live in the past!
    Thank you

  4. Vernon

    We can learn a lot from our past. For instance, like how much we have grown or need to still grow.
    But other than that there isn’t much more we can get from it.
    It’s important not to stay in the past too long if you do you may find yourself comparing then to now.
    Gratitude will then be hard to obtain and guilt or shame may come into play.
    Like you said know the importance of letting go you can save yourself a lot of pain.
    Great post!

    1. Jenny M

      Thanks Vernon! Agree with everything you said especially that, if anything, we should use it to grow and use it as a measure of how far we’ve come 🙂

  5. dvaal

    Great quote and article. I love remembering the good times of my past and learning about the lives of people who lived prior to my age group. The past can teach us so much but also thrill us like a great movie. Although, if we fail to live for today -we are throwing away our hours.

  6. Andy


    Great article and posts. I was obssessed with genealogy. Is this some sort of loging for the past?


Comments are closed