Let Your Painful Past Fall Away From You

Today is the day to let go.
illustration of a tree with falling leaves
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My lungs ached like I had just been punched in the chest. It took all the strength I had to get through the stairway door, only to collapse in solitude on that first concrete step. Drawing in air was impossible, and I wondered if I would ever breathe again.

Over lunch, one of my best friends had confessed that he’d been lying to me and trash talking me behind my back. It was exactly what I imagined was going on, but having it confirmed was heavier than I expected.

My other friends warned me that our friendship had little value, but still I built him up in my mind. He was the charming, happy-go-lucky guy who drew in the kind-hearted like a spider drawing flies to his web. Who wouldn’t want him around? Forget about the fact that my wallet bled cash every time he showed up.

He didn’t have the depth to be the friend I wanted him to be. For whatever reason, he chose this day to admit it.

Afterwards, the angry beast inside me took over. All I wanted to do was destroy him and anything related to him.

I found a small Spiderman figurine that reminded me of him and broke it up into 20 pieces. Then, I painstakingly glued each of the tiny pieces to a white piece of cardstock and scribbled above the pieces, “When you can fix him, you can fix me.”

I was sure I would never get over the anger.

But I did.

“Be like a tree dropping leaves in the fall, and let your painful past fall away from you.” – Scott Ninneman

The thing is, nothing changed that day. I knew the truth. I just didn’t want to hear it out loud.

In that one conversation, my friend didn’t change. He was who he always had been. But I could no longer deceive myself into believing he was something better.

I was upset for a long time. Truth be told, there’s a part of me that’s still angry, but that part is tiny compared to what it once was.

After a while, I realized my anger wasn’t affecting him at all. He was living his normal life. The fact it no longer included me meant nothing to him.

I was sitting home alone drinking my anger poison and waiting for him to die. It was senseless.

When it finally clicked what I was doing, I decided to let it go. I forgave him from my heart, and let him vanish from my thoughts.

Start Today!

I will not pretend letting things go is easy. As I said, there’s a part of me that’s still angry, and it’s been over a decade since the fateful conversation. But mostly, I let it go.

I let my leaves fall and accepted what our friendship had been. I recognized he had no substance and chose not to be angry anymore.

Holding on to resentment only hurts you. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but there’s a peace that envelopes you when you finally let things go. No matter how much effort it takes, it’s worth it to achieve that tranquility.

For today, think about something you need to let go. Maybe it was someone who hurt you, the end of a relationship, or a boss who was especially unkind. Do they know the thing still bothers you? Probably not.

Today’s the day to let it go.

Like a tree, shed your leaves and make room for the fresh growth.

Inspirational quotes can help you focus on what’s most important. Check out this post for 51 motivating quotes.

Until next time, keep fighting.

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