The Uncharted Territory of Leaving It In The Past by Jada Barnes


Have you ever heard the phrase “the past is in the past“ or “my past is coming back to haunt me?” When something in your past comes back to haunt you, it’s usually a consequence of some wrongdoing on your part. However, give yourself some peace of mind. It’s much harder for a mistake to affect you if you don’t let it. Stop focusing on the things you can’t control and focus on the things that you can. 

 People tend to make mistakes or poor decisions and pin the blame on these past mistakes for their current misfortunes. Some call it karma, some call it fate. In my experience, karma is often confused with simple consequences. The thing about consequences is, however, they aren’t necessarily bad. If anything, consequences help you learn and grow. One shouldn’t worry about the consequences of their past, as leaving the past where it lies is the most important step to building your future. When in doubt, remember it’s never too late. When someone makes a mistake in the past, they should try to make up for it, but not let it absolutely define them.

We as humans have a tendency to hold people’s pasts against them. Take, for example, Demi Lovato, a famous singer, and former addict. Lovato has spoken out about her addiction saying, “she thought of it as running from the issues, but instead she was running deeper into it.” Lovato faced a lot of backlash on social media, so much so that she had to deactivate her Instagram and Twitter accounts. That’s where the problem comes in. No person should be judged based on their past because their suffering and their recovery could be what inspires others. Lovato had to let go of her past after multiple relapses and accept the fact that her past was there to stay.

At 17 years old I have made my fair share of mistakes. This year I let it go, which meant I had to accept the fact that my past doesn’t define who I am today. I make me who I am, not my past choices. Some of my past is questionable along with the decisions I have made, but letting it go was my first step towards moving on.

  As writer Allan Watts once said, “you are under no obligation to be the same person you were a year, month, or even 15 minutes ago. You have the right to grow. No apologies.” 

You will never be the same person you were yesterday, let alone last year. Your past can be a touchy subject, most of them are. But, a lot of relationships whether personal, business, or family-related would be better off if the past was forgotten. If we can forgive our own pasts, we must allow the same for others. Leave things where they belong. It isn’t always easy, but no matter what happens, if you try hard enough you’ll move on quicker than you ever thought possible. Start fresh. Start over. It’s never too late.

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